Searching For A Play-off Hero
The regular season is quickly drawing to a close for the Vancouver Canucks and its faithful fans. When the playoffs begin in just over a week’s time each player will take part in the ultimate battle for Stanley Cup supremacy. Certain members of the team will unfortunately be unnoticed and in years gone by their exploits may even be forgotten, while a chosen few might be responsible for creating a piece of history.
Every team needs its heroes, who could be talented and skilled enough to help the Canucks during the teams hunt for the cherished silverware? Lets take a look at a few possible candidates.
Henrik Sedin: In previous years Henrik has been one half a very successful duo along side his brother Daniel. When his twin was injured in October, Henrik established himself as being one of the best centers/players in the league. He currently leads the league in points with 106, his closest rival being Alex Ovechkin who has 104. If that wasn’t enough Sedin has the most assists with 77. Canucks fans hope they can have their wish granted and see him awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the leagues most valuable player. This year he has most certainly been one of the most valuable players for his team and truly deserves to be named league MVP. There is even a Facebook page called Hank for the Hart 2009/2010.
Alex Burrows: Last season Burrows had the best year of his NHL career. During the 09/10 campaign he has gone one better and broken his own record by scoring 35 goals, with just three games left can he inch closer to his first 40 goal season? With his current goal total he has lit the lamp more times than stars like Iginla, Kopitar and even Patrick Kane. Burrows is proving to be a short-handed goal specialist with his league best 5 goals. The Quebec native has matured into one of the best members of his organization, two years ago the most goals he had scored for Vancouver was 12.
Ryan Kesler: Like Burrows, Kesler has made excellent progress in the last few years. He was formally known as a shut down centre, he is now considered to be one of the best two-way players in the NHL. He was a huge factor throughout team USA’s Olympic outing and instrumental in bringing home a Silver medal for his country. He has 24 goals and 50 assists to date for his team. The perfect mix of offense and defensive skill he provides could prove invaluable when facing a tough playoff opponent.
Mikael Samuelsson: Samuelsson is another forward who is having a wonderful year for Vancouver. Apart from his excellent play this season Samuelsson has a Stanley Cup ring, so his playoff experience will be an added bonus on and off the ice. He has taken part in 69 playoff games and won the Cup with Detroit. He currently is second in goals scored for the Canucks with 30.
Roberto Luongo: Recently his performance in net has been less than stellar, his struggles have been discussed by the media, and caused sleepless nights for countless fans. The clock is ticking for this Gold medal-winning goalie. He will be relied on to perform at his best when his team needs him to make that spectacular glove save or to provide a veritable wall in front of the Vancouver net. Luongo could be the difference between winning and loosing.
Christian Ehrhoff: Ehrhoff has been quite possibly the best defenseman for the Canucks this season he leads his team in goals for his position with 14. He has helped to carry the defense core while other d-men have been injured. He really has been one of the better off-season acquisitions by Mike Gillis. That’s the good news the bad news is he suffered a knee injury on Sunday 4th April. This blow to his team could keep him out of the line up for at least a week.
Other worthy mentions go to Mason Raymond and D Sedin, who are 2 of the 6 Canucks forwards to have scored 20 or more goals for the club. During the battle for the cup some players will become heroes others unsung heroes, if Vancouver are victorious in their quest for the Cup those who were responsible may become the stuff of legends.