Player of the Week: Radim Vrbata
Every Tuesday, I’ll be posting and focusing on a hockey player from your Vancouver Canucks that ‘stood out’ throughout the week. This week, I’ll be talking about none other than Radim Vrbata (easy choice), whose impact only two games into the season is second-to-none.
Ryan Kesler who?
The Canucks are only two games into the 2014-15 NHL season, and newcomer Radim Vrbata’s presence has been huge already. Vrbata scored the game winner in a 4-2 tilt against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 8th and notched another goal and an assist three nights later against the Edmonton Oilers on home ice.
When your linemates are Henrik and Daniel Sedin, it’ts natural to assume you’ll automatically be a better player, but it’s been a two-way street so far this year between the three linemates. Many are saying the Sedins are in ‘2011 form’ after a disappointing season coached under John Tortorella, and the addition of Vrbata has been huge in the reformation of ‘wizardous Sedinery.’
Although the twins have just turned 34, they’ve proven they’re on the comeback with the addition of Vrbata, 33. Hank’s got 2 goals and 2 assists to his name, while Daniel’s got 4 assists. While Vrbata’s got a measly 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist), compared to the twins, and although it’s still early in the season, it’s a taste of — hopefully — good things to come with this top veteran line.
With skillful hand-eye coordination, quality puck possession and offensive skills, it’s easy to see why Vrbata’s been dubbed the ‘third Sedin’ (don’t they say this with every player on a line with them? This time feels different, though — sssh, just go with it), and it’s not just the European genes (this is broad, I know — sssh, just go with it). Vrbata and the Sedins (this would’ve been his doo-wop band name back in the 1950’s, I’m sure), are all puck-possessing wizards who generate quality offence on a regular basis — at least from what we’ve seen so far — and it’s something this team desperately needs.
So far so good.
It’s safe to say that the two games so far this year (2 wins in a row!!!) is a far cry from the entire 82 game season last year and we’ve seen the best hockey the Canucks have played in what feels like eons. Luckily, last season is nothing but a distant memory. While it’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities of this season, it’s easy to see that Vrbata’s fitting in just fine, and it’s nice to see someone wearing the number 17 playing like he wants to be here.