I’ve taken to calling the line of Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres and Jannik Hansen the “Roberto Duran Line”.
For those too young to remember, Roberto Duran is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all-time and an inductee in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was the Manny Pacquiao of an earlier generation of boxing fans. His nickname was “Hands of Stone” and he has a biography with the same name.
Which brings us back to Manny, Raffi and the Great Dane.
After last night’s game, Malhotra is now pointless in 2011, a stretch of 19 games. Torres is goalless in the same stretch, though he does have 4 assists. Hansen has been the most productive of the three with 5 points (2G – 3A) in 19 games.
For what it’s worth, they were probably more noticeable last night than they have been for most of the last 6 weeks. They managed to create their fair share of scoring chances, including a couple of odd-man rushes, but unfortunately were unable to finish them.
Again, hands of stone.
To be fair, we know this trio has been good on the defensive end of the ice this season so it’s not like they’ve been completely useless. Malhotra’s faceoff ability and work on the PK has been well-documented. Hansen, too, has progressed enough as a player that the coach doesn’t hesitate to put him out in any situation. But while the Canucks don’t expect much offense from them, I think they would welcome at least a little contribution here and there.