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About DownUndaCanuck

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  1. Not a great game. Not poorly coached, just poorly played by the Canucks. 1) Sedins looked alright out there, but really couldn't click with Sutter tonight for whatever reason. That's going to happen during the season, but what a stupid move to play the twins with Megna of all people. Bad move by WD wasted half the 3rd period there. Good move to try Eriksson because it paid off. I'd also like to see him try Horvat with the Sedins at some point because that really is a match made in heaven. 2) Horvat, Burrows and Baertschi looked good again, generated chances but no finish tonight. Can't expect them to score every night but Baertschi's defence is very underated and as a trio they're a fantastic 2b/3a type line. 3) Eriksson and Granlund didn't have the chances they usually do, Eriksson was good with the twins and Chaput really played well. This guy is a fantastic playmaker, big body and good passer. He racked up assists in the AHL and now he's playing like a nice playmaking center in the NHL which is what the Canucks desperately needed on any line. Keep him with a decent shooter and a big body who can clear some space and we've got a good line. 4) Fourth line looked good tonight and earned their ice time but again, they're never going to score considering they're a bunch of fringe AHLers and PTOs. Good game by Gaunce and Skille. 5) Defence costs us the game at the end of the day. Stecher played well, nice shots and great skating but a classic rookie mistakes seals the game. He was beaten 1-on-1 only once but apart from that played well against the big Anaheim forwards. A real tough challenge, he played pretty average but still good for a rookie and it's unfortunate that the mistake he makes costs us the entire game. Sbisa had a very good game for once, no stupid mistakes, held pucks in the offensive zone really well, had some shots and shut down the Ducks top-2 lines well. Hutton looks like a mess out there at times. He's a real wild-card every single game and tonight he was dangerously bad spinning and turning pucks over. This kid doesn't get enough criticism for when he has a bad game because he's such a fan favourite. Granted he played against the Ducks top line and stoned Getzlaf and Perry, he looked downright awful on our powerplay, couldn't get anything going offensively and really struggled there. Defensively he didn't make any massive mistakes that cost us tonight though. Gudbranson had an up and down game too. Nothing offensively, some good keep ins and great physical play along the boards but that was a terrible 2-0 goal he let in, it seems as though a lot of pucks are going in our net off Gudbranson lately which may be unlucky or poor timing and positioning. Traymkin had a rough game tonight. Played the first goal very poorly spacing-wise, he should have been much closer to Fowler, and he got spun around and embarassed on the 2-0 goal along with Gudbranson. Had a few good box-outs and played great physically but it's those big mistakes that came not against size, but against speed, that we need to eliminate. Larsen looked very bad out there too, primary guy to blame for the 2-0 goal because he left his man Silverberg completely open. Apart from that he wasn't great physically, lost a few board battles, and didn't generate any offence or shots through at all. Miller was pretty up and down, didn't have to make any massive saves but really let in some softies. The 1-0 goal is hard to blame him for, the 2-0 goal was another defensive mess but that 3-1 goal is, to be fair, 50% his fault. Sure, Stecher tipped it, but from so far out along the boards any goalie should still be able to stop it. The tip didn't even change the direction of the puck, it just made it flutter. No traffic, clutch moment, he lets in a bad goal. Brutal, but then the defence is to blame for the other goals and he is not getting ANY help. Another game, another poor defensive effort where Edler and Tanev are desperately missed. On the plus-side, when they return we have Stecher as our best D-man arguably on our bottom pairing. Good reason to be optimistic, the defence will be better and learn from these terrible mistakes but hopefully they just don't cost us too many points in the standings. TL;DR - Bad game all around from everyone top to bottom.
  2. That's alright, Gudbranson can just sit and play good hockey and do nothing. Send Tryamkin after Kadri and lets have him break another bone or two.
  3. ? Sbisa wiffs on a cross-ice pass, then gets caught flat footed and beaten on the rebound...what are the Sedins supposed to do about that? Gudbranson's shot gets blocked and leaves up a clean cut breakaway from the defensive blueline. No one to blame there. Gudbranson on the tying goal screens his own goalie with some stupid kick move. Edler is still our best D-man, face it. No one else can log those minutes without faultering.
  4. Canucks offence is on fire but our defence is going to get shelled by Anaheim. 4-3 Canucks though
  5. Ladies and gentlemen get ready for 4-6 weeks of this. Edler = this team's most underated player and arguably MVP along with Horvat. Take a Sedin away, we have 2 other lines clicking. Take away Horvat, we're in trouble but still have 2-3 other scoring lines. Take away Tanev, we were alright with Stecher popping up to the top pairing. But take away Edler and suddenly you've got a 4 goal against gong-show. This is going to continue, will get a bit better when Tanev returns but will not be solved. Hutton, Sbisa and Tryamkin are all middle-of-the-pack defencemen and cannot handle top pairing minutes. Edler is the one guy on this team who can. Hopefully some CDCers start eating their words because he's this team's best defenceman, has been for almost a decade and his injury last season was a turning point in the season, lets hope WD can figure out a way to stop the same thing from happening this year.
  6. You've got to be joking if you think the Sbisa play leading to the 1-0 goal against, the Gudbranson blocked shot and breakaway for the 4-3 goal and the terrible box out leading to the 4-4 goal are acceptable. We're going to get slaughtered if we trade away Edler. Tonight's game against Minnesota was a sampling of what could be. We got lucky we won this game, credit Stecher for getting pucks through and our forwards for creating chaos in the crease. Tonight's game was won by the forwards and Stecher, and nearly lost by 1 weak goal by Miller but 3 terrible goals due to our shoddy defence. Edler is this team's MVP on defence and probably top-5 players including Horvat, the twins and maybe a goalie. You don't trade him away, he is simply not expendable but lets just wait 4-6 more weeks to see how bad this defence can really get without our best player.
  7. Hope everyone watched the solid defensive performances of Sbisa, Hutton and Gudbranson tonight. 1 month of pizzas for everyone.
  8. Called the score. The Sedins and Sutter were absolutely buzzing tonight and started the show. Sutter really understands the twins now with some of his passing to open areas, lets keep that line as long as possible. They're generating tonnes of chances every game now. Brilliant PP movement and goals too, and hopefully Henrik will now realise that when you take the puck to the net and get greasy you get goals. Far more goals scored tonight and we did it with dirty rebounds and crease-presences. That's unfortunately how you score nowadays. Eriksson and Granlund looked great again, another nice goal but plenty of nice chances against some very good defenders one-on-one. Chaput looked nice out there two, some good chances and could have had 2 goals easily but has AHL finish. He deserves the chances he's getting. As for Eriksson, he was always bound to start heating up and now he is finally contributing. Burrows, Horvat and Baertschi were brilliant again tonight. Obviously with the goals they scored from nice tips and net presences, but they generated chances on the rush as well against some very good Wild defenders. Fourth line was essentially invisible. Fair enough that WD doesn't want to play them in such a tight 3rd period but we can't rely on our top-3 lines this much in today's NHL. They certainly didn't get enough ice-time and Gaunce and Skille had a solid, safe game again tonight anyway. On defence, what a mess. Ladies and gentlemen who want to trade Edler, this is what you'd have to deal with for the rest of the season. We're immediately seeing the effects of this team before and after Edler, we saw it at the end of last year when we got shredded and it's going to happen every single game for the next 4-6 weeks. Sbisa, Tryamkin and Hutton are all terrible defencemen compared to what we need and quite frankly our defence was flat-out embarassed tonight. Dispicable game on defence defensively from everyone except Larsen, Stecher and Tryamkin. We'll start from the top. Sbisa starts the game with an absolute pizza. Call it nerves,call it rust, call it what you want but that was a stupid play and not the safe play to try and stop the cross-ice pass, then he doesn't even clear the rebound. Two mistakes one after the other and we're down 1-0 instantly thanks to Sbisa. He is good at 18 minutes a night, average at 20 minutes a night but CANNOT be asked to be our top left handed defenceman for 1 month. Apart from the early pizza he played pretty well, didn't get too many shots through and it's pretty scary to see him try and make any play at the blueline but there's obviously a MASSIVE drop off in talent from Edler to Sbisa and we're going to see if first hand on a nightly basis now. Sbisa was average tonight. Definitely not our worst, but far from what he needs to be. Stecher on the "top pairing" on the other hand played brilliantly. Hate to say it but he's BY FAR our best defenceman, both on the defensive and offensive sides of things. Most importantly, when he makes defensive mistakes, they're either recoverable or he covers up them himself, they're not leading to goals against. He's quick on his feet, but its his great passing in all zones that helps him out the most. Then offensively he's an absolute dynamite. We haven't had a defenceman like Stecher in a long time who can get pucks through to the net and it directly resulted in the GWG and another goal. This is the difference between the Canucks last year and this year - his ability to sift pucks through and shoot hard. Absolutely brilliant game by the kid who is probably going to be our MVP with Edler out. Looks like he might be able to play a few more minutes too because he certainly wasn't cracking. More than anything, his game got better as the game got along and with another monster shot in the final minutes, that's a few pretty damn clutch goals he's lead to. Stecher is an absolute gem, he plays well and safe defensively, skates well, and is our best offensive defenceman, and more importantly is coming up clutch and playing top pairing minutes as a rookie, despite being paired with Sbisa of all players. Cannot sing this kid's praises enough. Pay the kid, lock him down, he's looking like a foundational defenceman if he keeps this up. Then there was our 2nd pairing. Hutton was for the most part BRUTAL tonight. Nice goal, sure, but he didn't do much else. Some terrible zone entries on the PP, terribly risky plays at the line and got caught on the rush badly. He was flailing defensively all night long and I think Hutton is one of the more overated Canucks for sure. He's good at 20 minutes again, like Sbisa, and is being asked to do a lot right now, and the more we lean on him the more he bends. The kid needs to learn how to play defence, he's such a wild-card out there and doesn't have the best strength or stability defensively. His partner really isn't helping out. Gudbranson was terrible tonight too. No really good plays, could barely keep the puck in offensively and defensively he struggled and was often caught. Then there was that turning point of a 4-3 goal that he really muffed up, and he was responsible for the 4-4 goal too. We know he's not a perfect shutdown defenceman but he HAS to be better, especially with Edler out, as a sort of leader on the blueline right now. As for Tryamkin, he was very solid and should definitely be given more minutes because he can shoulder them and never seems to get tired or make massive mistakes. He played solid physically, zero offence but didn't have a problem with board fights defensively or getting the puck out, and he cleared the crease better than anyone on this team - there was rarely a crowd in front of Miller when Tryamkin was on the ice. Get this kid more ice-time. He's a lefty, we can't overload Hutton and Sbisa, so we should almost go with a 22 (Hutton) - 20 (Sbisa) - 18 (Tryamkin) split for minutes and creep Tryamkin closer to 20 minutes and see how he goes because he can probably handle it better than the other shaky 2 defencemen on the left. Larsen had a pretty solid game, didn't play much, didn't do much offensively or defensively but didn't make mistakes which is all you can really ask. Ryan Miller had a really up and down game too. Made a game-saver right at the end but let in some soft goals and to be fair didn't get much defensive help, which is why it's hard to evaluate his play today. TL;DR - The defence is a mess. Stecher is saving this team right now, Tryamkin needs more minutes to shelter Sbisa and Hutton who are hopeless when they play too much, Gudbranson needs to emerge as a leader but offensively we've got some nice partnerships developing and we're really clicking offensively.
  9. Defence is going to get shattered over the next month without Edler, but hopefully our offence has finally arrived now that Eriksson and Horvat and Burrows are all really starting to click on their respective lines. 5-4 Canucks
  10. Exactly. Strome has had 1 bad full season last year after a decent 50 point campaign, now another terrible start to the year. His ceiling has dropped a LOT, whereas Virtanen still has a chance to turn his development around. I'd give up far less for a stab at Strome.
  11. We're about to see how much of an MVP Edler is to this Canucks defence and team now that he's injured. Get ready to eat your words when you see how bad this team is without him...
  12. He did pretty well with the kids last year in Florida and the Canucks have a similar style of play as well as personel, albeit worse kids and worse veterans. Could be a seamless transition for him...
  13. There aren't too many things going for Edler at the moment, people need to cut him some slack. Look at what's going on around him: 1) He's well past his prime (2011 season) and been on the down-swing for a long time. Had his confidence shot dead during the Torts era, came back a bit last season but was over-worked a lot and still had a dreadful season. On the whole, he doesn't have many years of top pairing hockey left if at all, but he'll still be a great 2nd pairing defenceman this/next season for another 2 years 2) Tanev has been injured, Edler is playing with a damn rookie. Say what you want about Stecher and how good he's been but that's Edler who has to cover for him and teach him at the same time. Not an easy job to do, you certainly wouldn't play Stecher with Sbisa or Hutton for obvious reasons. This guy is huge in Stecher's development right now and it's not easy for a veteran to finally have a stable partner in Tanev and now have to teach and look after a new rookie in Stecher. 3) Edler's getting overworked, I've mentioned this before but will say it again - he's playing 25-27 minutes a night when he should be down at 22-23 minutes. Pull your head in Jarvis and WD, this isn't how you deal with this sort of defenceman and this sort of pack-mentality defence. 4) Our systems and defensive structure this year doesn't lead itself to offence from defencemen. We're not having guys jump into the rush defensively any more. Edler sneaks in from the point every now and then on the PP and Henrik often misses him nowadays, but that's it. None of our defence are racking up assists like on other teams because we're simply not playing that style anymore. Don't expect any of our defencemen to hit 50 points, maybe not even 40 this year with this solid structure of play. Say what you want about Alex but he's still our best defenceman and if we trade him, oh boy this team will really start to suck. We've seen how bad Hutton can be last year when Edler was injured and he was our first pairing D-man - he is simply nowhere near ready to face top offensive lines of the West. Edler goes up against the Kanes and Seguins of the West on a nightly basis and somehow our defence this year hasn't been one of the league's worst but instead pretty respectable. Only recently since Tanev has been injured and Edler has been overworked has our defence fallen through a little bit. Fix the other intangeables, not Edler because he's FAR to difficult to replace.
  14. JB is certainly putting the pieces together. There are several key players you need as part of a successful young core, and JB has almost all of them. In my books, and comparing them to cores of 7 across the league, a successful core has the following: 1) Top flight #1 offensive center - we don't have this yet 2) Two-way defensive center who can score - Bo Horvat 3) Top-10 scorer in the NHL - Brock Boeser 4) Top-30 scorer in the NHL with decent defence - the argument could be made for Granlund or Baertschi in the future but at a stretch OR Top-4 defenceman 5) Norris-trophy candidate defenceman, top-3 in the NHL - Hutton unlikely, sky's the limit for Stecher and Juolevi (Liljegren may be here too) 6) A decent top-4 defenceman - Hutton, Stecher and Juolevi along with Gudbranson are more than capable of this role 7) A top-5, at least top-10 NHL goalie - Markstrom looks good, Demko's struggling in the AHL but will get there With that in mind, we have a few pieces down pat and a few big holes, namely the first line center. We've got a great goalie now (Miller), better goalie in the near future (Markstrom) and potentially one of the best young goalies in the game (Demko) so lets forget about that. JB and TL have done well there. On defence we've really fixed up the top-4 with Tanev, Gudbranson, Stecher, Tryamkin, Juolevi and Hutton. The question will be whether we can turn Juolevi into a league-wide top-5 defender. I think he'll end up a decent two-way top-4 defenceman, similar to Edler in his prime if not a bit better. If we draft Liljegren next season we've suddenly got that Karlsson-esque Norris Trophy winner and put this case to rest. Pretty damn good defence in the making, not the best but I'd say a top-10 young defence in the league going forward thanks to Juolevi. Up front we're thin. Horvat is the only guy who is good enough to be compared around the league to other players in his position. That leaves a star scoring forward (Boeser may be one of the best of his age), a good two-way scoring winger/powerforward (this hopefully would have been Virtanen if he fills out but now may have to be Granlund or Baertschi which is a step back in potential) and of course, that top-flight center. If we can pull off a big deal to nab that future first line scoring center and somehow match all our young players primes (which will be the real issue), we'll be a contender in 2-3 years. Horvat's closing in on his prime, as is Gudbranson, and Granlund/Baertschi/Hutton/Stecher may only be 1 or 2 years off. Demko is still 2 years from the NHL I'd say and 5 years off his prime, leaving us with Markstrom for now. Boeser may be NHL ready next year and scoring at a decent pace in 2-3 years. With the addition of a likely top-5 or top-10 pick this Draft, I think in 2 years time we make the playoffs again and in 3 we're a contender provided we hold together the core of Horvat, Granlund, Baertschi, Boeser, Virtanen, Hutton, Gudbranson, Stecher, Juolevi, Markstrom and Demko. Ideally we add that top center though.
  15. Not a bad logo but obviously terrible name. Vegas Vikings would have been pretty cool. Ah well. Lets protect Henrik, Daniel, Sutter, Horvat, Granlund, Baertschi OR Edler, Gudbranson, Tanev, Markstrom. With the quality of forwards around the league, it's unlikely we lose Hansen AND Baertschi so might as well protect Edler over Baertschi. Sbisa may be lost but again they get their shot at far deeper defences that will only protect 2-3 defencemen, so unlikely we lose many players considering we have one of the worst lineups in the league. This draft will hopefully bring the good teams back down to Earth and give the worse teams more of a shot like us. Hansen may be lost but it's unlikely we lose Baertschi as well.