Naslunds season in review, is it still his team?

It was a solid, if unspectacular season for the Vancouver captain, but a surprisingly gritty playoff performance could signal a sign of changes to come.

As one of the NHL’s top producers in the past few years, numbers of 24 goals and 60 points were not impressing many. But there were definite contributing factors to this that were arguably out of his control. First off, from the Sedins to AHL callup’s Moran and Reid, Naslund seemed to play with the entire team. Giving him less of a chance to gel and create scoring chances. He was also mainly on the third line, behind the breakout Sedins and whoever Morrison was playing with on the second line. They just never found a guy for him, even the late aquisitiion of Smolinski did nothing to help Nazzy out of his slumps. With fewer minutes already affecting his productivity, he now found himself the captain of a defense-first hockey club whos most talented player was in net. But through it all, Markus put his head down and grinded his problem season out, to gain a fresh start where it really counted, the playoffs.

The Canucks clawed their way through Dallas, and eventually fell to the Cup-bound Ducks. Once again Luongo was the star. But Naslund’s leadership contributions could not be ignored. He seemed to be doing everything but scoring, and the Canucks as a team weren’t doing that much of that either. He was very physical and looked like Kris Draper at times coming back on defense. He once again played with everyone on the team, but this time was able to get the most out of each combination. Especially when he and the Sedins formed the Canucks most dangerous line of the playoffs.

Naslund has commented that he would like to finish his career in Vancouver, and with a no-trade-clause, he most likely won’t be going anywhere but Sweden after the Canucks.


5 Responses to Naslunds season in review, is it still his team?

  1. Mr_Canuck says:

    I still wish we'd take the 'C' off him and let him only worry about Scoring. Give the 'C' to Trevor, or even Willie.

  2. Sjostrom says:

    Yeah, let's write him off after one bad year.  These articles are tired guys.  If this was some has been Canuck, or some other Canadian clown that had been riding the "C" the past three years, most wouldn't even raise a finger.  The fact is that there is some animosity towards the Swedes of the league.  It's tired.  Alfredsson answered every question this year, and took his team farther than anyone predicted.  Naslund slumped, then woke back up.  Crap, Joe Sakic once had a similar slump that went through the first round, and no one said anything.  Probablly because Adam Foote was already the team's real captain.  Maybe the Canucks should look to Luongo about poor playoff performances.  Or have we already forgotten, "Hey Luongo, LOOK UP!"

    Naslund is one of the best players in today's NHL, bottom line.  We have no idea what goes on inside the Canucks locker room.  He may be the guy that motivates them everytime they need it.  Obviously if he's the captain over Trevor Linden, the team knows something we don't.  Just leave it and move on.  I can think of many captains that should change before we look at Naslund.  Ala Dallas Stars should give it back to Modano; is Jagr the real captain of the Blue Shirts; has Jarome Iginla really been that great as the Flames captain; Olli Jokinen in Florida has led them to what exactly; in case you were wondering, Dallas Drake actually IS the captain of the St. Louis Blues; also in case you were wondering, the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning is actually Tim Taylor.

    Don't worry about the good ones.

  3. getzlaf15 says:

    You have no friends…

  4. Falvai says:

    read articles twice before posting and youll realize that you agreed with me

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