Vancouver Canucks Quarter Mark Reviews: Chris Higgins
The Vancouver Canucks’ hockey season is about a quarter of the way through and that means it is the perfect time to do player reviews. It has often been said that the twenty game mark is when General Managers and coaches begin looking at the roster for possible moves and improvements. For bloggers, like myself, it is no different. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working my way through the Canucks roster giving a review for each player. Next up is Chris Higgins.
When you take a look at GM Mike Gillis’ boldest acquisitions as manager of the Canucks, names like Ballard, Booth and Sundin come to mind. Out of those three guys, Mats Sundin is the only one who really had any impact on the team and it wasn’t on the stat sheet. Throughout his tenure as GM, it’s been the “smaller” moves that have established Gillis’ identity.
Enter Chris Higgins. He was a player who had bounced around the league after a few solid years in Montreal. When he was brought in at last year’s deadline, fans didn’t really know where he fit in. It was obvious that even the coaching staff couldn’t figure it out as he was put on the fourth line in his first game action as a Canuck. From that first shift, Higgins quickly established himself as one of the hardest working players on the team; this season has been no different.
Higgins started the season red hot with offensive totals that were through the roof. Despite cooling off in recent weeks, he is still on pace to score 27 goals this season. Not too shabby for a guy who was just begging for a chance to play hockey. It’s pretty fair to say that Vancouver has helped him just as much as he’s helped Vancouver.
What sets Higgins apart from your typical 20+ goal man is his gritty play. He is the kind of guy that a coach can insert anywhere into the line-up. He can play first line minutes or third line minutes and not look out of place. He has the skills and finesse to go with the grit. In essence, he is the perfect player for today’s NHL in that all of this comes at a relatively affordable price. Fans always hear coaches and management figures talk about “intangibles,” well, Higgins has them all.
Of course, nobody really expected Higgins to score at a point per game pace this year. Sure he’s talented but that just seemed a little bit unrealistic. If you ask me, that’s not what the team is looking for from Chris Higgins. Now, it’s not that the team doesn’t want him to score or put up assists, but it would seem that Higgins is on that line with Kesler to open up space. He creates opportunities along the boards with his hardnosed style and top notch work ethic.
At the end of the year, the Vancouver Canuck will hand out their team awards. Not that my opinion counts for anything, but Chris Higgins, you have my vote for Unsung Hero.
Thanks for reading and enjoy tonight’s game.
Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93