Who's Hot and Who's Not for Vancouver Canucks in 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Well, not much has gone right so far for the Vancouver Canucks, as they fall into a 3-0 deficit against the San Jose Sharks. They can't score, and despite outhitting the Sharks, they are losing the possession battles as well.
So while it might be a stretch to consider any of the Canucks "hot" right now, there are some players who have met or exceeded expectations.
And of course, if you are three quarters of the way toward being swept in a series, there are many more players who are getting their heads handed to them.
Here is one player at each position who is hot (or at least as close as a Canuck can be right now), and one who is not.
Hot Forward: Alex Burrows
Alex Burrows is the only regular top-six forward on the Canucks who even comes close to meeting expectations right now. With eight shots and one of the three goals scored by a forward in the series, he at least is creating some offence.
Burrows is also the only regular top-six forward who has an even plus/minus rating, so at least he isn't getting his head handed to him at even strength like some of his teammates.
Of course, Burrows is also picking up penalty minutes, but that was to be expected after he led the NHL in minor penalties this season. He is also being his irritating best and has provoked the Sharks into a few penalties as well.
*For those wondering why Ryan Kesler didn't get this spot, it is because he has had two dominant periods out of nine-plus periods in the series. And even while Kesler is scoring goals, he is also on the ice for too many opportunities against as he tries to do too much and gets burned on a regular basis.
Cold Forward: Daniel Sedin
Nine shots and zero goals just doesn't cut it for the former Art Ross winner.
Yes, Daniel does have a pair of assists, but he needs to put the puck in the net too. Or at least generate far more offence from his teammates than he has so far.
Daniel's only assist at even strength came off setting up Burrows on a fast break through the neutral zone.
When the twins try to set up in the zone, their bread and butter to create offence at even strength, they have come up with zeroes. The Sharks are content to let them have the perimeter and deny them the crucial scoring areas.
Hot Defenceman: Frank Corrado
The rookie has played only six NHL games, including these three playoff games, but Frank Corrado doesn't look out of place on the blue line.
In fact, he looks considerably better than some of his higher-paid veteran teammates on many shifts.
Corrado has played an average of 12:33 a game, so he is getting some sheltered minutes. Still, he is one of only two Canucks to not be a negative when it comes to plus/minus (Jason Garrison is the other), and he is also the only Canucks defenceman to not register a giveaway in the series.
I'd say that Corrado is far exceeding expectations for a rookie who was playing in the OHL only a month ago and now is thrown into the NHL playoffs.
Honorable mention goes to the Canucks' best defenceman overall in the series, Jason Garrison, with his steady defensive play and 15 shots in the series.
But frankly, that level of play is expected from a player of his calibre and salary.
Garrison's lack of goals and the differing expectations mean that Corrado gets the nod.
Cold Defenceman: Alex Edler
He was an All-Star last season, but this year, Alex Edler can't buy a goal. Or even an assist.
Nine shots, zero goals, zero assists and zero points aren't good enough for the blueliner who leads the Canucks with 26:29 played per game, including substantial time on the top power-play unit.
It isn't all bad news, as Edler does have eight hits and eight blocked shots, but that sort of physical play is expected.
What is also expected is some offence, and that has been sorely lacking.
Hot Goalie: Roberto Luongo
He wasn't supposed to start this series.
He wasn't even supposed to be a Canuck after the trade deadline.
But Roberto Luongo has been the best Canucks goalie in the series.
Luongo's numbers aren't spectacular, with a 0.915 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average. But he wasn't the reason the Canucks lost Games 1 and 2, which is more than Cory Schneider can say after Game 3.
Luongo has also kept the Canucks in games early on when the Sharks dominated play, especially on the penalty kill.
On the penalty kill, Luongo sports a 0.947 save percentage, and he was the main reason the Sharks only had one power-play goal in nine opportunities in the first two games of the series. In Game 1, Luongo turned aside seven (!) shots on the Sharks' first power play of the series.
Cold Goalie: Cory Schneider
A 0.821 save percentage.
Five goals allowed on 28 shots in just 44:07 of ice time.
Maybe Cory Schneider wasn't ready to come back from his mysterious injury.
Schneider kept it together for the first two periods, not being spectacular, but keeping the Canucks in a close 2-1 game.
But in 2:27 of the third period, Schneider gave up three weak goals in rapid succession, and that was it for the Canucks.
Yes, his skaters didn't exactly bail him out with any real measure of goal support, but an NHL starter can not let in a slap shot from above the faceoff circles. Not in the playoffs. The other two San Jose goals in that sequence were ones he normally would have stopped as well.
But on the bright side, now the Canucks have yet another chapter to add to their lengthy goalie controversy.
And maybe the skaters can get a pass if the public scapegoats another goalie and ignores the lack of offensive production from everyone else on the roster.