Player of the Week: Nick Bonino
To be fair, this edition of Player of the Week was tough to choose — from either Nick Bonino or Linden Vey — but I went with the former. Both have been excellent. Vey has fit well together on a line with Jannik Hansen, although I think he outshines the Dane a little. Hansen may not be able to score on a breakaway but at least he can score on an empty netter, like he did in St. Louis, and that line has had some pretty satisfying results.
And okay, sure, the Canucks lost two out of four games last week — they suffered an abysmal 6-3 loss in Dallas; won 4-1 in St. Louis; lost a disastrous 7-3 game against Colorado on Friday evening even though Henrik Sedin scored the game’s first goal ten seconds in; and, lastly, posted a 4-2 win against Washington on Sunday night — but I digress. Despite the topsy-turvy week, there’s been some bright spots, which finally brings us to the point of this post: Nick Bonino.
Bonino was a -3 in against the Stars, his worst game out of the week, but he bounced back two nights later when he notched a goal and an assist against the Blues. His goal came after a glorious save from Miller on one end which created a turnover (no, not of the apple kind), and Bonino went the other way for his second goal of the season.
Two nights later against the Avs appeared promising when Henrik Sedin opened the scoring only 10 seconds into the game. But that was probably the highlight of the game, at least for Canucks fans, as the Avs scored a touchdown and Nick Bonino somehow notched an assist. He also had a +/- of 0, which is pretty impressive in a 7 goals against kind of game. Moral victory: Bonino.
And, lastly, his best game of all — and the most surprising to me, actually — came the victory against the Washington Capitals on Sunday night. I’d mentally prepared myself for a loss in this game. Not because I don’t believe in the Canucks – I do – but after a win against Calgary I wrongfully assumed their winning streak would carry through Vancouver. I’m glad I was proved wrong, and Nick Bonino and friends had a solid night: Bonino with a goal another goal and an assist to his name, and some solid linemate chemistry between him, Burrows and Higgins.
It’s nice to see the new guys like Vey, Vrbata and, of course, Bonino, fitting in and blending well with the team early on — it gives me hope for the season, despite my reservations here and there. But it’s a drastic change from former new additions who had high hopes with the team (do I even need to mention David Booth?) and didn’t perform up to the standards a lot of us were hoping for. It solidifies my approval on the Kesler trade for a younger, less injury-prone guy, who can also score, in Bonino.