alex biega

Alex Biega Is Early Favorite For Best Alex On Canucks

He hits, he shoots, and his sticks don’t break. Alex Biega has already shown he is an important piece to the Canucks gameplan right now. Injuries to both Alex Edler and Troy Stecher have created an opening for Biega, one that he has earned. His intensity is contagious and after an otherwise boring game against the Devils on Wednesday night, Biega kept challenging for the tying goal. Looking at the season thus far, it’s safe to say Alex Biega is the best Alex on the team right now. Of course, just saying that doesn’t automatically hand him the title.

Even though Biega has only played in five games this season, he’s already 4th on the Canucks in hits with 14, one ahead of Jake Virtanen who has played 11 games. It’s a bit of a reach as well with such a small sample size but his CF% at fives is 64.15, good for tops on the team. Biega has coach Green’s attention and to a greater degree, the fan’s as well.

‘Bulldog’ as he’s known to teammates and fans is a workhorse. He’s not a top four pairing guy but he’s versatile enough to be one when he’s asked. He seems to know when to pinch in the offensive zone and he’s creating chances.

Whatever is happening is making people take notice of the Bulldog and if he continues his pressing pace, it might be tough to pull him out of the lineup when the injuries are all healed.

How does Biega stack up against his competition? Let’s take a look:

Alex Burmistrov – He had a good game with Brock Boeser awhile back but has gone back into oblivion. Nothing really stands out in Burmy’s game in a good way, same can be said for the bad stuff. He has 10 shots on the season which is essentially last on the Canucks. Edler has four shots and is still averaging more per game. Not the best Alex, not by a mile.

Alex Edler – The Eagle is noticeable when he’s gone but he hasn’t exactly been a threat when he’s in the lineup. His sticks break more than those flat toothpicks you get a restaurant you know is about to go out of business. The hits aren’t there and neither are the goals. With Alex Burrows gone, Edler isn’t even the best Alex.

Alex Mogilny – If he was available for even one shift, he’d be the best Alex. He’s retired so this is not possible. Still, could be in the running.

Alex Biega – This guy doesn’t quit. He’s the defensive version of Jannik Hansen minus the breakaways failed breakaways “best practice player” moniker. If the Devils game was any indication, Biega will be involved in the Canucks offense a lot more than the rest of the defense seems to be. Everyone has said if the Canucks put in the effort and make it exciting but still lose, it’s ok. Alex is doing all of those things and it’s safe to say Canucks nation is alright with this.

Winner by default, basically, is Alex Biega.

 

But seriously, how great would Mogilny be?

 

Photo – Hockeysfuture

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Canucks Are Past The Future, It’s Here

Going into the trade deadline as well as the final push to finish the season in the top 16 is an exciting time. Is making a trade going to help the Canucks go deep into the playoffs or is it false hope and a meaningless dump of talent yet again? Jim Benning has played his cards pretty cool this year and even though Ryan Miller hasn’t been entirely as advertised, or really as we fantasized; its been a very productive year.

Thankfully the rest of the NHL is making moves right now that don’t really involve the Canucks and some of them are trading for LTIR spots (while still paying said players). That’s just fine by me. In past years, former GM’s have traded for Keith Carney, Eric Weinrich, Sami Pahlsson (post mono), Derek Roy, Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre. Oh I forgot, one of those GM’s dealt Luongo too!

The actual market that exists still isnt exactly enticing this spring and the best thing Vancouver’s Jim Benning can do is take a nap; well unless Ryan Miller can be moved. It’s not that Miller hasn’t been a good goalie, its that its ALL he’s been. It doesn’t really make sense why they went after him in the first place but I can buy the theory that they wanted to groom the kids under his tutelage. 

Did that happen sooner than management thought? It looks that way. It was a pricey teaching assignment but who really cares, its not my money. So now what does Benning do in net? The cheap option and quite frankly the best option IMO is to move Miller as the Leafs did David Clarkson (Ok ok ok, not the same but it sorta is) to a team that can take the hit OR decide who gets you the most between the IKEA boys and milk it for all its worth as the market is paying great this season. Keeping Eddie Lack and/or Jacob Markstrom keeps the seat warm for Thatcher Demko in about 5 years or less.

What does the rest of the team hold though? Up on line numero uno, the Sedins are still proving their worth but the time is coming soon where they start sliding back down the rankings. Everything else has options; Alex Burrows despite his injuries has had a nice bounce back season. Moving him isn’t neccesarily a smart move. A finisher and clutch playoff performer, he may not put up big regular season numbers anymore but I like Burr when it counts.

Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Chris Higgins all strike me as trade bait this year. Bonino and Sbisa just aren’t Canucks. Sounds stupid to say what a Canuck is but there isn’t a “fit” there. Higgins is halfway through his 4 year deal but his role as the worker bee seems to be done. On the flip sided, Ronny Kenins, Shawn Matthias and upon his safe return, Brad Richardson, have fulfilled that role in spades and they all seem to be producing on top of many other talents.

Move a piece, get a younger piece.

Bo Horvat was the piece we didn’t reallllly know we needed until he got healthy and started being all faceoff winny and goal scorey. I thought Hunter Shinkaruk would have come up at the same time but that hasn’t panned out yet. Horvat took a shortcut and could really make a difference sooner than later; he’s not going anywhere.

This season was billed as a retool and as they played we would see what the team needed to do. Well, if any of us thought they would do this well, Benning and Trevor Linden probably would have made a few moves sooner. We all talk about the future and when prospects turn into valuable roster players and the results were different than we thought and actually better. 

Kenins has been a find and a half, Matthias has basically been the Tiger Woods 2015 putt preview for Zack Kassian this year and the diamonds in the rough keep coming. The answers always seem to come when the right questions are asked. Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Chris Tanev and newbie Frankie Corrado all signed up for injury camp and a few new guys stepped up. Enter Adam Clendening and Alex Biega

A Chicago cast off and a timely call up have turned the sting into a boost. This Canucks team should not be doing as well as they have been and they are far from the team that started in October. Clendening and Biega aren’t stealing anyones jobs right now but the ridiculous depth they have given the Canucks is stunning. They are a few key forwards and maybe a dman short of a poor mans 2011.

AGAIN, the cavalry isn’t here but the services of Kevin Bieksa start to become expendable. Just another salary cut the Canucks can afford to move. The injuries don’t help right now but hey Evander Kane got traded and he’s a mess. Every move towards the future seems to have taken a big step forward. Speaking of forwards…

Then there’s the young amazing young winger version of the career killer Bryan Allen: Jake Virtanen. He might get a shot as soon as next season; I bet Horvat is ok with that.

The future of the Canucks is basically here. So Jimbo, sell the old parts for picks or heck troll the Kelowna Rockets and make a move for Flyers prospect Tyrell Goulbourne, Caps future star blueliner Madison Bowey or somehow parlay the first pick you make this year into a better one for stud forward Nick Merkley. Now about those NTCs.

You are shooting out the lights Benning and the cresendo is about to be occur.

Playoffs or not this year, the Canucks are on the verge and you should be happy.

PS: This is not a public service announcement for the Rockets, but it isn’t hard to do.

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