Canucks Season Preview Series: The Third Triplet
[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.]
Photo credit: canuck.nhl.com
Last season, Alex Burrows found a home playing on a line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin and scored a career-high 35 goals, a total surpassed by only nine other NHL players. Those nine players? Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Marian Gaborik, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, Dany Heatley and Zach Parise.
The stat becomes more impressive when you consider that Burrows averaged a mere 1:25 minutes of powerplay time per game and scored 26 of his goals on even-strength. In fact, he scored more goals shorthanded (5) than he did on the powerplay (4).
His 35 goals represent 13.1% of the Canucks’ 268 total goals last season. His 26 even-strength goals is 14.9% of the team’s 174 ESG.
With Burrows still recovering from shoulder surgery and not scheduled to return until November at the earliest, who steps in in his place?
Richard: I think Samuelsson starts the season with the Twins. He’s had repeated success with the Twins and it’s nice to know we won’t have to be signing Anson Carter to a PTO anytime soon to replace Burr.
Chris: Although it seems like a done deal with Samuelsson, I really liked what I saw from Jeff Tambellini in the few opportunities he had with the twins. Standing on his toes at five foot eleven inches, he makes up for his short stature in sheer drive and determination – consider him to be Burrows without the mean streak.
Katie: It’s obviously going to be Samuelsson, and if you don’t like that, you can go……. watch the Flames.
J.J.: 5-on-5, Samuelsson will start the season with the Sedins. I’m more curious to see how Ryan Kesler lines up next to the Twins on the powerplay. He’s a right-hand shot – which Vigneault loves having on the powerplay with them – and doesn’t mind planting his butt in front of the goaltender. He led the team in powerplay goals last year – 12 of his 25 goals came on the man advantage – and should exceed that given more (1st unit) powerplay time.