December 8, 2015

steve laidlaw

2015-12-08

Vrbata hat-trick proves he still has relevance, Loui Eriksson stays hot, sticking with Eichel and more.

Hat-trick for Radim Vrbata! There’s the depth scoring the Canucks have desperately needed. This ends a four-game scoreless drought. Obviously there is no buying low after a hatty but I point out that I have maintained Vrbata’s relevance.

60 points? No. Not without skating with the Sedins full time. But 25-30 goals and 50 points? Definitely. He still skates on the top power-play unit so there are scoring chances to be had. Every time I watch the Canucks Vrbata is getting chances. Admittedly, I am not watching every game but the point stands.

Vrbata is ninth in the league in shots with 97, tied with Patrick Kane and has finally seen his shooting percentage climb to 9.0%, which is just about his career average. Vrbata is on pace for 27 goals and 45 points but he will pick it up a little more yet.

Our old friend Thomas Drance looks at some of the tough decisions the Canucks may be facing should they continue to fade.

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Every time I think about dropping Jack Eichel in my one-year leagues I make sure to watch him play and I am reminded that he is awesome. His situation kind of stinks especially with some of the veteran wing options not really working out as planned (looking at you, Matt Moulson.) But if you believe in the notion of a young team improving as the season wears on under a new head coach then you can envision Eichel having a big second-half run. Something akin to Steven Stamkos’ rookie season where he started dreadfully slow and finished with 32 points in his final 39 games.

A big part of the Stamkos rookie struggles was a minutes thing and that’s not the case with Eichel who is skating almost 19 minutes a night but I like the principle and am sticking with it.

Maybe that is all delusion and the only Sabre centerman really worth owning is Ryan O’Reilly who is on a five-game scoring streak.

By the way, Moulson skated a season low 11:07 last night and has been relegated to the third line. Hope