Performance of the Week: Jannik Hansen
Welcome to this week’s Performance of the Week — the weekly post formerly known as Player of the Week — same general idea, same cool blog, just a slightly different approach.
It’s painfully obvious who gets this week’s nod — as if the title wasn’t any indication — but it’s wholeheartedly deserved because it’s not every day you get your first career hat trick, and that’s a cool and neat thing that happened to Jannik Hansen on Sunday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
… granted, the third goal was an empty–netter, but it’s still a goal and Hansen potted that one in. Hats everywhere!
It’s also the first time someone from the Vancoouver Canucks has had a hat trick since December 2011 and I’m sure all of you thought the next one to get one would be Jannik Hansen, right?
… Bueller? Bueller? BUELLER?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m right there giving Hansen a hard time when he has a breakaway and doesn’t score — because that’s true 99.9% of the time — but that Hansen — who is so hot right now — hustled his butt off Sunday night against the Hawks. He’s had a pretty solid week all around. He’s scored five of his eight goals this season in the last seven days, and the NHL awarded him first start of the week honours.
So, it’s safe to say that Honey Badger gives a little bit of a damn, at least when it comes to scoring goals against a good ol’ fashioned Western Conference rival. He’s been the hardest working Vancouver Canuck this last week — hat trick for you, Jannik Hansen, and none for Patrick Kane, bye.
Hansen opened the scoring on Sunday night’s game with a short-handed goal — yes, short-handed — what a time to be alive. His second goal of the game, around six and a half minutes into the third, gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead over the Hawks.
Radim Vrbata gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead with a couple of minutes left. While the two goal lead had most of us, well — me, anyway — on the edges of our seats but have no fear, Hansen is here to pump you up with his first career hat trick.
But, Hansen wasn’t the only fourth-liner to step up on Sunday night: Bo Horvat notched 3 assists and Derek Dorsett had 2, which is a pretty solid fourth-line performance against one of the consistently top NHL teams in recent years. Who need primary-scoring when you have a fourth line of Hansen, Dorsett and Horvat doing all the work?
(Just kidding. Primary scoring also comes in handy, but it’s been awhile since the Canucks have had a solid fourth line.)
Let’s take a look at the hat trick goal one more time, because hey, these things only happen almost never to the Canucks and we like to celebrate these kinds of things. LET US HAVE THIS.
As an aside, it’s pretty great seeing someone score on an empty net again. I think Hansen’s shown us here that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, so keep on being you, you Great Dane. No, really. Someone’s gotta do it.
Maybe, somewhere in the next three or so years, another player from the Canucks will score a hat trick, but right now the spotlight’s on you, Jannik Hansen. You earned it.