Olympic power rankings of 30 Canadian NHL skaters: Week 5
Dallas Stars centre Tyler Seguin moves into the mix
In Week 5 of our Olympic hockey power rankings, CBC’s senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby ranks 30 Canadian skaters according to their performance over the past seven days. Each week, Wharnsby and Guillaume Lefrançois of Radio-Canada also debate one player in greater detail.
This week's player on the bubble: Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars.
Tim Wharnsby: I’ve been impressed with the way the 21-year-old centre Seguin has met the challenge after the Boston Bruins hastily shipped him out in the off-season after a dismal playoffs, on and off the ice. He is back playing his natural position of centre, skating well and producing. He’s scored six times and has checked in with 15 points in 14 games with Dallas. His point total would lead his old club at this point.
He hasn’t been strong in the faceoff circle, especially in Ottawa on Sunday when he won only one of 14 draws against the Senators. But the Canadian Olympic team will have plenty of good face-off men.
Guillaume Lefrançois: Seguin has indeed bounced back pretty nicely after the trade to Dallas. The Stars were willing to give him a clean slate, and he has taken full advantage of that, staying out of trouble and controversy since his infamous July tweet. For a 21-year-old player, he’s been through quite a lot so far in his career and certainly deserves a fresh start. But I don’t think he belongs on the Olympic team.
TW: Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall had an edge at the beginning of the season, but their slow starts with the Edmonton Oilers – plus Hall currently is out with a knee injury – have opened the door for youngsters Matt Duchene and Seguin. Duchene likely will make it based on his torrid start with the Colorado Avalanche. I don’t have a problem with Seguin making the team as an extra forward.
GL: The No. 2-overall pick from the 2010 draft will turn 22 just days before the opening ceremonies. Judging by Team Canada’s choices over the years, the Olympics are not the place for young men who can barely rent a car in the United States. Unless they’re really special.Sidney Crosby was that special. So was Jonathan Toews. Drew Doughty was quite the phenomenon when he was picked by Team Canada for the Vancouver games. As talented as Seguin is, I don’t think he has had the impact that those three have had in the careers.
Seguin’s time will come soon enough, but not this year, as he wouldn’t get to play his best position, centre. On a team loaded in the middle, I’d rather see a natural winger – and a seasoned veteran – like Martin St-Louis as an extra.
|1. Sidney Crosby
Key Stat: The kid has a 4-point game streak
Tim says: He has cooled since hot start, but still leads the NHL scoring race.
Previous ranking: 1
|2. Steven Stamkos
Key stat: Scored in 4-straight games
Tim says: The sniper will look good on a line with Crosby.
Previous ranking: 2
|↑||3. Shea Weber
Key stat: Three of four goals are on the power play
Tim says: He has made Seth Jones NHL transition seamless.
Previous ranking: 4
|↑||4. John Tavares
Key stat: Scored key goals in two wins
Tim says: The loss of long-time linemate Matt Moulson hasn't hurt Tavares.
Previous ranking: 5
|↓||5. John Toews
Key stat: Pointless in two games after hat trick last Tuesday
Tim says: Toews can do so much more than put up points.
Previous ranking: 3
|6. Corey Perry
Key stat: His 3 GWG has him tied for lead the NHL
Tim says: His goal scoring will be counted on in Sochi..
Previous ranking: 6
|↑||7. Matt Duchene
Key stat: Has also scored 3 GWG this season
Tim says: He could play on a line with his summer-training partner Crosby.
Previous ranking: 12
|8. Duncan Keith
Key stat: He has a 4-game point streak
Tim says: Offensively, he's getting it done this year.
Previous ranking: 8
|9. Patrice Bergeron
Key stat: Had a strong 1-goal, 1-assist game vs Pens
Tim says: Does this guy ever have a bad night in the faceoff circle?
Previous ranking: 9
|10. Drew Doughty
Key stat: He had a big 1-goal, 2-point game in OT win vs Sharks
Tim says: Doughty has his scoring touch back after an off 2013 season.
Previous ranking: 10
|↓||11. Ryan Getzlaf
Key stat: He's coming off a 3-point game vs hapless Sabres
Tim says:Getzlaf and Perry have a solid partnership.
Previous ranking: 10
|↓||12. P.K. Subban
Key stat: He had a rough -3 outing against Colorado on Saturday
Tim says: Norris Trophy winner needs consistency in game.
Previous ranking: 7
|↑||13. Alex Pietrangelo
Key stat: He's played 160 straight games with 20 or more minutes of ice time
Tim says: He keeps getting better and better.
Previous ranking: 14
|↓||14. Eric Staal
Key stat: Pointless in last 4 outings
Tim says: His slump is mainly due to a poor Hurricanes team this year.
Previous ranking: 13
|15. Brent Seabrook
Key stat: He hasn't scored since season opener
Tim says: He's lost some power-play time to hot teammate Leddy.
Previous ranking: 15
|↑||16. Marc Édouard-Vlasic
Key stat: Ranks first in plus-minus at +12
Tim says: He's so dependable on the penalty kill.
Previous ranking: 18
|17. Logan Couture
Key stat: Only Crosby and Stamkos have more points among Canadians
Tim says: Another solid power-play performer.
Previous ranking: 17
|↑||18. Martin St. Louis
Key stat: Ranks 14th among forwards in ice time at 21:10
Tim says: The ageless wonder continues to contribute.
Previous ranking: 19
|↓||19. Claude Giroux
Key stat: He has 1 assist in 3 games
Tim says: His plus-minus rating of -9 is concerning.
Previous ranking: 16
|20. Kris Letang
Key stat: Big game winner on Friday night
Tim says: He's comeback from his injury just fine.
Previous ranking: 20
|21. Jason Spezza
Key stat: He's scored 8 times in 13 games
Tim says: He needs to be more diligent defensively.
Previous ranking: 21
|22. Joe Thornton
Key stat: He only has 19 shots on goal in 14 games
Tim says: He became 30th player in NHL history to reach 800 assists.
Previous ranking: 22
|23. Mike Green
Key stat: He has assists in 4 games in a row
Tim says: He has yet to score a goal this season.
Previous ranking: 23
|↑||24. Mike Richards
Key stat: He had a goal and 3 points in last 2 games
Tim says: He's starting to pick it up offensively.
Previous ranking: 25
|↓||25. Joffrey Lupul
Key stat: He has 1 goal in 3 games since foot injury
Tim says: He looked horrible defensively in Vancouver on Saturday.
Previous ranking: 24
|↑||26. Jay Bouwmeester
Key stat: 4 assists in last 4 games
Tim says: Canadian Olympic brass likes his two-way game and skating.
Previous ranking: 27
|↑||27. Tyler Seguin
Key stat: Enjoyed a solid 5 points in 4 games last week
Tim says: He needs to improve in the faceoff circle.
Previous ranking: N/A
|↓||28. Milan Lucic
Key stat: No goals and only 5 shots in last three games
Tim says: He's on the radar because of strong start.
Previous ranking: 27
|29. Taylor Hall
Key stat: He has been out with a knee injury
Tim says: Hall has started to skate again.
Previous ranking: 29
|30. Rick Nash
Key stat: He has not played due to concussion
Tim says: Still not ready to give up on him even though he hasn't played in a month.
Previous ranking: 30