Vancouver Canucks: Potent Offense Somehow Finishes In Bottom Half In Scoring
A Vancouver Canucks team that has more than a handful of star forwards somehow finished 19th in the league in goals per game and 22nd in power play percentage during the 2013 season, and that needs to change next season. Scoring continued to a be a problem in the playoffs, as the Canucks managed only eight goals while being swept by the Los Angeles Kings. With Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin leading the way up front, the lack of goals being scored is puzzling and may require some offseason changes.
Six Canucks players scored 10 goals or more this season, but Alex Burrows’ 13 was the most of any player on the team. A balanced offense is nice, but the Canucks could really stand to see one or two players step up and average a goal every other game. A healthy Ryan Kesler may be the biggest key to 2013-14 success, as the forward had four goals and 13 points in the 17 regular season games he was able to play in.
Secondary scoring is also an area that needs to improve for the Canucks. Zack Kassian got off to a great start to the season, but faded away after January. Jordan Schroeder managed only three goals in 31 games, and Andrew Ebbett scored just once in 28 games. The Canucks may be forced to test-run a few more of their AHL prospects next season and see if there isn’t someone out there that can provide a scoring spark.
A bigger contribution from their defensemen isn’t going to hurt things either, as Alex Edler’s eight goals were the most of any blueliner. Kevin Bieksa chipped in six goals and Dan Hamhuis added four, but that’s pretty much where it ends. Look for the Canucks to try and get their defensemen more active in the offense next year, especially on the power play. After all, a talented team like this should never find itself in the bottom half of the league in scoring categories.