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S13- Canucks Potential All-Stars [WB5]


It has been a little bit of a different season for the Vancouver Canucks this season. The team is off the pace from last year terms of point total. Despite that the team is leading the league in goals against and is third in goals for. The team sits with the third best record in the West and is playing pretty well as of late. This is also the first year since GM Schroor took over that the team does not have a player that is in the conversation for the Hart Trophy. Normally Theo Fleury is in the top scorers in the league, but for right now that is not an issue. Like mentioned above the team is currently third in the league in goals for, yet the Canucks do not have a single player that is in the top 25 goalscorers. The Canucks have been looking for a balanced scoring attack for years and now has seemed to find it. The team also does not have a player in the top 15 in points. After years of having numerous players in the top 10 it is an odd feeling, but I welcome the additional players stepping it up.

To be completely honest I’m not sure who from the Canucks should be in the All-Star Game. Should there be multiple players? Are they the most deserving? Let’s look at a couple possible candidates.

The player that is probably most deserving is Kenny Jonsson. In the previous articles I wrote I stated that Jonsson was one of the top defenders in the league, and it is true. He did start off fairly slow, letting Ed Jovonovski and Rob Scuderi have hot starts. He is also slightly behind the pace that he set last year; a season that he finished second in the Norris voting. He should receive consideration once again this year for the award. He is not a goal scorer by any stretch of the imagination. He also is not lighting it up on the powerplay, with only 14 of his 46 points coming with the man advantage. He just is playing great hockey even strength. His plus 20 rating is tied for tops in the West and tied for second in the entire league. He is fifth in the league in scoring and top in West by 4 points. He frankly is the best defender in the West so far this season. Also as an added bonus to the team he has decided to be a more disciplined version of himself. If he stays on the pace that he has set so far, he will be under 100 PIM on the season for the first time since 96-97.

So this might come as surprise if you are looking at the main page but I believe that Vesa Toskala is one of the three top goalies in the West. The stats on that page reflect ties as losses, so it shows him having a losing record. He might not have the amazing looking record but has some of the better stats in the West. Every team gets a player in the game and I believe that even though his record is horrendous, King Hank from Kansas should be in the game. His 2.44 GAA and 0.924 SV% is the best in the conference. After that the youngster Ryan Miller in Calgary has both the record and the stats to make it. After that the next best stats belong to Vesa Toskala. If you are looking at records the Bulin Wall from Edmonton should take the third spot. If you’re a stat guy then Vesa should be in the game.

I would feel like o would be doing several of my forwards a disservice if I didn’t mention them. Linden and Fleury are sixth and eighth in the West in points. They might not be dominating the way they have in the past, but are putting up respectable over a point a game seasons. Either could be at the All-Star game but could lose out to the fact that every team will be represented.

The game is sure to be a star studded affair and there will be players that are playing really good hockey staying home. I will respect the decisions of the selection committee when it comes to the players that will represent the West.

As always enjoy your night.

WC 734