The Vancouver Canucks only managed four wins in 11 games in February, posting a 4-6-1 record, and the team’s playoff odds have fallen to 0.6 percent, according to sportsclubstats.com. Despite sitting 10 points back of eighth place in the Western Conference with 19 games to play, the recent trend for the Canucks may not be all bad, as many have begun to truly look ahead to what their young group of players may offer in the near future.
As it has been all season, the likes of the Canucks’ young players have been given room to develop while veterans on the team have held things together. While continuing to miss key players Brandon Sutter and Alex Edler due to injury, the usual veteran suspects were steady during the month of February to bring positives to a gloomy month overall.
Here’s the three most valuable contributors to the Canucks group over the last month:
3. Daniel Sedin
After going pointless in the first four games of the month, Daniel Sedin totaled two goals and seven assists in the final seven games of February. At 35-years old, the story still reads the same on how Daniel and Henrik Sedin continue to carry the load offensively in Vancouver. The Canucks are on pace for 197 goals-for this season, which would be the third-lowest total in franchise history over an 82-game season, but the Sedins’ production has remained consistent.
Daniel also recorded his 3,000th NHL shot on Feb. 15th, making him the only player in club history to ever do so. Through 64 games in 2015-16, Daniel has had at least one shot in every game, and seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch, leading all Canucks players in goals on the season.
Daniel Sedin has 24G through 62 gms. Had 20G through 80 gms last year. Also he & Horvat are only #Canucks to play in every game this year.
— Irfaan Gaffar (@sportsnetirf) March 3, 2016
2. Henrik Sedin
The Canucks’ captain had a goal and nine assists in 11 games in February, all of which came in the team’s final eight games of the month. Henrik reached a major milestone on Feb. 13th, surpassing Trevor Linden for most games played in franchise history when he suited up for his 1,141st NHL game.
With Sutter injured most of the season and the likes of Bo Horvat and Jared McCann continuing to develop, Henrik has been the backbone at center for the Canucks all season long. The 35-year old also remains one of the premier playmakers in the league, leading the Canucks with 38 helpers and averaging more assists per 60 minutes than any other player in the league.
1. Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller was rock solid again in the Canucks’ crease during February as he carried most of the workload over the month. Despite only posting a 3-4-1 record in eight outings, Miller had a 2.26 goals-against-average and a .928 save-percentage in February. It’s hard to imagine what the Canucks’ record could’ve been in the month had they not consistently been bailed out by their goaltending.
While their numbers wouldn’t entirely reflect it, Miller and backup Jacob Markstrom have played superb hockey for the Canucks all season. Advanced stats show that the Canucks rank among the worst in the NHL for allowing high-danger scoring chances, meaning the Canucks goalies have had to make tough saves more than most other goalies in the league.
Jannik Hansen: Hansen had four goals and six points in 11 games in February, and set a career-high with his 17th goal of the season on Feb. 18th. The 29-year old has been instrumental in the Canucks’ lineup, being a versatile, hard-working player and taking on a major leadership role this season on and off the ice.
Chris Tanev: Since Edler went down with a broken fibula, Tanev has been the anchor defensively on a thin Canucks blue line. He played over 22 minutes in all but two of Vancouver’s 11 games in February, and led the team with 33 blocked shots.