Nov 242009
 
Mason Raymond

Photo credit: canucks.com

At quick glance, Mason Raymond’s stats in the early part of this season look very similar to the early part of last’s. This season, he has 14 points (8 goals and 6 assists) in his first 23 games; last season, he had 12 points (6 goals and 6 assists) in the same number of games.

The big difference is, Raymond started last season with 10 points in his first 13 games before going into an 8-game pointless streak. (He would also have a 10-game pointless streak and a 12-game one later in the season.) This season, he started slowly with 3 points in his first 13 games before putting up 11 points in his last 10 games. If anything, he’s playing better and with more confidence with each passing game.

It was obvious during training camp that May Ray was determined to take a big leap forward this year. He came into camp bigger and with a more aggressive game. He always had speed to burn. But this time, he’s skating towards the net instead of behind it. He’s winning battles in the corners instead of shying away from them. He’s making plays with the puck instead of getting knocked off it. More recently, he’s been one of the most dangerous Canucks – if not the most dangerous – and his 10 points in November so far lead all Canucks skaters.

Can he keep it up?

So far, his play indicates that he can. He’s been given a regular shift in the top-six, and much like Kesler did last year, he’s made the most of his opportunity. And there’s no sign of him slowing down.

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