The Noon Numbers - 4, 5, 16, 41

4, 5, 16, 41.

This is where the collective heads on TSN got together and ranked the four obvious Vancouver Canucks among their Top 50 players. Daniel, and Henrik Sedin, respectively with top 10 nods, Ryan Kesler, and Roberto Luongo made the list, with perhaps an overlooked player or two.

The first two players put up by TSN are sort of expected. Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are up there because you can't put any other two in those spots. One of my issues with TSN is that they defer to conventional wisdom. Daniel Sedin wins the scoring race? Put him ahead of Henrik, for no reason in particular.

I can't think of what the system was for ranking, but they called it a "cumulative points system". It can't have any basis in reality since Phil Kessel, who has scored 98 goals in 3 seasons, was left off the list. Henrik Sedin has more points than any other player in the last two seasons but was fifth. Martin St. Louis, third to Henrik and Ovechkin, somehow ended up ninth below Corey Perry, who I'm sure will be able to re-create his 17.2% shooting over last season.

Daniel over Henrik is sort of funny. Henrik is much better on the puck, is the better passer and we know that he can succeed without Daniel. Kesler ranked at 16, below all of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik, Steven Stamkos, Olympic and Stanley Cup Champion Jonathan Toews™, Ryan Getzlaf and Henrik Zetterberg is laughable. It's not that Ryan Kesler is the best centre in the league, but I would rank him above Toews, Getzlaf and Zetterberg and maybe even Sedin in a heart-beat based on the premise that he plays a two-way game better than most.

I certainly don't need to remind this forum on how impressive Ryan Kesler's "adjusted Fenwick number" was last season. Despite not getting any extra starts in the offensive zone compared to the defensive zone and playing tough competition, Ryan Kesler managed to be on the ice three and a half more shots for per game than he allowed. That's an impressive number without adjusting for tough minutes. 16 is pretty good, but I think it is too low for Kesler and I can't really place why. It can't be the injury that has Kesler at #16, because TSN took Crosby at Number One. It can't be the expected regression of point scoring, because Perry is at Number Seven.

As for Roberto Luongo at #41, I'm sure this has absolutely more to do with his performance in Games Three, Four and Six in the Stanley Cup Finals than anything else. I'm befuddled at how low his Fantasy value has been in the couple of drafts I've done: since the lockout, only Tim Thomas and Tomas Vokoun have higher save percentages (min 200 GP). Last season, Luongo had a ridiculous .928 save percentage and was second in quality starts (at least a .913 save percentage or two-or-fewer goals allowed) to only Thomas, and yet was ranked sixth on the list among goaltenders.

TSN makes these lists for the purpose of having hockey bloggers ruthlessly complain. It's not really just Canucks. I'd love to see more love given league-wide to Patrice Bergeron and David Backes and defensive defensemen like Marc-Edouard Vlasic or Stephane Robidas, who get the job done in unspectacular ways. I alluded to Kessel above, but Mikhail Grabovski has quietly been Toronto's best forward for a couple of seasons with seemingly little recognition for it out of the Toronto blogosphere. There is a whole other aspect to hockey than from what we can "see" of guys who put the puck in the net and consequently get their names on the back of jerseys.

Thankfully, however, there was no Dany Heatley, and no Taylor Hall. That much can be said.

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