What’s Up With Wellwood?
A quarter way through the season and Wellwood has struggled to say the least. He sits with one point in 17 games, an assist he got in his eighth game of the season against the Oilers. He’s missed 4 games because of a foot injury he suffered, however Wellwood should be contributing offensively significantly more than he has so far. With the injuries to some of our major players, Wellwood’s role elevated and he still didn’t produce. Wellwood’s game has struggled on a whole, and it’s certainly not for lack of playing time, or a result of the players he’s playing with.
Wellwood’s game has struggled on a whole though. He’s getting time on the Power Play, on the Penalty Kill, and everything from his play in the face-off dot, to his stats on the score sheet are suffering. He has the lowest face-off winning percentage of the four centers on the team, and averaging 14 minutes of ice team a night, he’s got less points than a handful of players getting substantially less shifts and minutes than him per game. He’s been inconsistent all season and now’s the time to start doing something about it. His face-off performance has been spotty and inconsistent, and in 17 games he’s averaged as shot per game, however he’s gone without a shot in 5 of his 17 games played this year. It factors that if he’s not shooting he’s not going to get the chances. Wellwood’s gotten play on the Canucks PP, and with it’s effectiveness in the early part of the season, the excuses for Wellwood’s sub par play are slowly disappearing.
Seven players have played less games than Wellwood this year and have point totals equal to or greater than him. He’s playing with line mates that are finding ways to provide offense, and yet he’s not getting in on the play. Something has to be done to get Wellwood motivated again. Last year after he was publicly lashed by Vigneault’s comments his motivation showed results. This year, coming into camp ahead of the game having dropped a number of pounds it seems the former Maple Leaf just doesn’t have that hop in his step. Wellwood needs an awakening. Hordichuk was benched and came back looking better. He made an impact and was actually visible on the ice even though his role isn’t to get on the score sheet. With the Canucks depth and bodies, if the injury list shortens and we have a few extras Wellwood needs some time in the press box to get his head together because he’s struggling on all fronts and the Canucks need him to be a part of the secondary scoring this team expects.
The Canucks have a lot of motivated players in the bottom six who look a lot better than Wellwood. Hansen’s return has been charged and in his two games so far he’s making his case to get off the bubble. Pettinger has come back a man reborn to fight for a roster spot after doing a tour of the Canucks minor league affiliates, and with players like Bolduc and Rypien, both capable centers, Wellwood has to start earning his spot or he’s going to find himself in the press box ordering delivery during the games.