White Towel: Canucks report card: How can Kassian get a better grade? Bump him up the lineup, see how he responds

 

 
 
 
 
Mike Santorelli is one of just two Vancouver Canucks to make the ‘A’ grade.
 

Mike Santorelli is one of just two Vancouver Canucks to make the ‘A’ grade.

Photograph by: Harry How, Getty Images

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More than half the Canucks’ season is done, so it’s time to grade the players who have played enough games to get a sense of where they’re at this season.

Henrik Sedin: B

His goals are up. His shots are up. He’s killing penalties. He’s playing through a broken finger. But, sorry, no one on that miserable Canucks’ power play is getting more than a B.

Daniel Sedin: B-minus

He’s on pace for the most shots he’s had in five years (269), but also on pace for just 22 goals, which would be his lowest full-season total in eight years. The Canucks need him to be a 30-goal guy, but he may not be that guy anymore.

Ryan Kesler: B-minus

He’s the best penalty killer on what is one of the league’s best penalty-killing teams. He’s taking on tough competition. Shuts down top lines more often than not. Problem is his goal scoring has been way too streaky.

Chris Higgins: B-plus

He’s had this quietly good season. With just 42.5 per cent of his starts in the offensive zone, and little power-play opportunity, he’s on pace for 20 goals. Higgins is giving the team everything it could expect.

Jannik Hansen: C

I hated him with the twins in December and maybe so did John Tortorella, because his minutes are dwindling fast. He has one of the best Corsi ratings on the team (52.3 per cent) but is also the team’s most disappointing player. Crazy, right? He may not even hit 30 points this season.

Mike Santorelli: A

Sure, he’s trending the wrong way, but even if he doesn’t do a thing the rest of the season, his signing was a win for the Canucks. He’s led the team most of the year in even-strength points on a league minimum salary. That’s how you get top marks.

Zack Kassian: C

Big things were expected of the big guy in the summer, and then those plans all went away. No power play time. No opportunities with the Sedins. Coach loves him one game, but can’t find him the next. Story of Kassian’s pro career. I’m giving him a C, but I still think he’s stuck in the wrong class. My advice: Bump him up the lineup and see how he does.

David Booth: F

The Canucks need a big, fast winger who can score 30 goals. In other words, they need David Booth ... the 2008-09 version. The current edition has as many goals as he does healthy scratches. He’s flopped by any conceivable measure.

Brad Richardson: C-plus

He’s had his moments and has produced against decent competition, especially when you consider he only gets 27.5 per cent of his starts in the O-zone. He’s been better than Max Lapierre was, but a little out of his depth as a third-line centre, which is why the team is trying to upgrade.

Tom Sestito: B

Earning his way onto the power play was enough to get him a solid grade here. He also made headlines for punching out Jordan Nolan. The Canucks haven’t had many fourth-line wingers who have made an impact, and Sestito has managed that.

Dale Weise: C

The Canucks let it be known they’ve put Weise on the trade block this week. Whatever they expected from him, he’s not delivering.

Dan Hamhuis: A-minus

Matched against the toughest competition, Hamhuis earned his way on to Team Canada’s Olympic team. Sure, it was a shocker, but it’s also enough to get him one of the top grades.

Kevin Bieksa: B-minus

Remember all that early talk how Bieksa was going to thrive under the new coach? I haven’t really seen that. Instead, it’s the same Bieksa we always see. Some wonderful moments mixed in with plenty of “what the hell is he doing?” plays.

Jason Garrison: D

No blueliner has been more disappointing. He’s done squat on the power play and has been on a mudslide at even strength since December. He’s looked slow and his pairing with Bieksa was a disaster at times.

Chris Tanev: A-minus

It was love at first sight between Tanev and Tortorella. He’s been a machine at blocking shots and has proven himself a legit top-four defenceman this season. He still gets hit too much but is just 24 and improving rapidly.

Alex Edler: C-plus

Whatever progress Tortorella was making with Edler was lost when he was suspended for a hit on Tomas Hertl. That was way back in October. Since then, Edler has been typically inconsistent and then injured. He has just three power-play points, which blows my mind.

Ryan Stanton: A

During the first 35 games, the Canucks were creaming the competition in terms of puck possession. Then they fell off a cliff. What happened? Stanton was injured. He’s proven reliable and smart and is the perfect pairing partner for Bieksa.

Roberto Luongo: B-plus

He had the biggest transition to make this year in terms of getting used to Tortorella’s new defensive systems. He was as good as he’s ever been before the injuries tore a chunk out of his season.

jbotchford@theprovince.com

twitter.com/botchford

 
 
 
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Mike Santorelli is one of just two Vancouver Canucks to make the ‘A’ grade.
 

Mike Santorelli is one of just two Vancouver Canucks to make the ‘A’ grade.

Photograph by: Harry How, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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