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DownUndaCanuck last won the day on June 14 2012

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About DownUndaCanuck

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  1. Point per game in the SHL last season but he's 176 lbs. That line would get bullied out of North America. Dahlen and Pettersson really need a big body on their line to create space, protect the Swedes and form a decent net presence. Virtanen or Gadjovich would be nice if they pan out, otherwise just about any UFA at the time will fit.
  2. Gaudreau on that future Flyers roster is literally all it'd take them to become the next dynasty. Nolan, Konecny, Coutourier, Vecchione, Lehtera down the middle. Provorov, Gostisbehere, Sanheim, Morin, Bernhardt on defence. Lindblom, Leier (possibly Caites, Strome and Frost) on wing. Hart and Ustimenko in goal. They might have the best future center (Nolan), best future defenceman (Provorov) and best future winger (Lindblom) in the NHL. Gaudreau would be smart to jump ship in Calgary which will start sinking in 2-3 years and get on board the Philly dynasty.
  3. Watching how many of those 2011 goals came from Edler and Ehrhoff really makes you wonder why we haven't addressed this issue sooner. They were brilliant at driving the puck into the offensive zone, skating in, cross-crease passing and of course, heavy shots that were either tipped in, zipped straight in or caused a rebound. We never had a good net front presence, even in 2011, we never had any giant bodies up front, but because of the quality of the point shot we generated so much offence. Watching the Canucks since even 2013, we've never had that element to our offence. Too many shots go wide, and the D-men aren't skating the puck into the offensive zone anywhere nearly as confidently and quickly as they did in the Edler-Ehrhoff era. Let's hope Juolevi can start this trend again, but we're going to need another Juolevi or two to really get back to a good standard on the blueline. I hope we walk away from the 2018 first round with 2 D-men.
  4. After we lost to the Bruins, the Canucks went into a spiral of getting rid of skill and trying to beef up to contend with tough teams. 1) Traded Ehrhoff away/didn't re-sign him to NYI 2) Traded away Shirokov 3) Traded away Samuelsson for David Booth 4) Traded for Sammy Phalsson 5) Traded Hodgson for Kassian 6) Asked for big Matthias in the Luongo deal 7) Signed Jason Garrison for toughness on the blueline 8) Traded a 3rd pick for Dorsett 9) Traded Forsling for Clendening 10) Traded Kassian for an even tougher, less skilled Prust 11) Traded Jensen for Etem 12) Traded McCann and picks for Gudbranson 13) Drafted Virtanen over just about every skilled future superstar The list goes on and on. It started as soon as the Canucks were publically bullied in 2011 in Boston, but only now has JB realized this is not how you win cups anymore, and he's turning the page as of the last deadline deals, and even before that. Drafting Juolevi was the start of a move in the right direction by Benning and management, especially over Tkachuk. That moves tells me that JB knows he was wrong in the past, the Canucks were wrong to get away from their skilled 2011-selves and try and be something they're not. This team has an identity, and it's skilled Swedes and gritty Canadians. That's why I love the controversial statement. He's getting back to our successful identity, and it starts with a new Finnish all-round defenceman to replace one of this team's best in Salo. The next step - replacing the two best Swedish forwards this team has ever seen, and he's doing that with Dahlen, then Pettersson. That's why I love the Hansen and Burrows trades - he's moving away from grit and stone-hands and towards smaller, less physical but highly gifted forwards. You can see with those trades and moves up there that the Canucks were trying to get tough, and in doing so over the years our goals for and powerplay plummetted to where they are now - bottom of the league. Now JB is doing the right thing by getting us skill and speed back, and we just need to continue it. I love the new identity JB is forming for our team because it's essentially the old identity all over again. Now we just need a replacement for Ehrhoff and Edler and we're set again.
  5. Have to agree entirely with what you say there. The "perfect recipe" is hard to come by and really changes every single year. At the end of the day it's all about matchups and how one core matches up against another core, how one team's goalie matches up against another teams forwards etc. Last season Crosby and Malkin's offence was too good for the defence of the Nashville forwards, star defencemen and even Rinne. That's pretty much it. They're elite players who give their club a chance year in year out. The likelihood of us getting a generational player is slim. We can see what Karlsson is doing over in Ottawa so who knows, Dahlin may do the same here if we get lucky and pick him. Otherwise, we have Horvat who is far from generational, Boeser who may become elite, Juolevi who is far from a generational defenceman and Pettersson who is the real wild-card and might end up the next Backstrom/Datsyuk if we're lucky, or be too skinny to ever produce consistently in the NHL. Because of this, and because of the fact that we'll be having to go through Edmonton during the next decade to win a Cup, I think the Canucks need to focus particularly on depth and defence. We're not going to out-score the Oilers or future Leafs to win a Cup. If we can rely on good two-way forwards, offence from the D and a star goalie in Demko, we might have a chance. JB has to start thinking about what the rest of the league looks like and will look like when we want to contend. Las Vegas is going to be a power-house. Edmonton are sorted for the next decade. Calgary will be peaking in 2-3 years then fade pretty quickly. San Jose is toast. Las Angeles are done. The Ducks defence is set for years but their forwards are ageing. It's hard to predict how to beat these teams in the future, but if I were JB that's how I would be thinking. I'd follow the Canucks 2011 mould. That is, some nice skill up front, some very good two-way forwards who can try to shutdown the stars in the West and some skilled puck moving defencemen. Most importantly, if we're going to have any chance against the McDavids, Gaudreau's and Las Vegas, we need to score opportunistic goals on the powerplay. That's how the 2011 Canucks punished teams. They were far from perfect, but their special teams covered any holes they had. To summarize, I think we'll match up nicely against the future Western powerhouses if we have: 1) Skill and speed up front, scoring depth (done) 2) Good two-way forwards who can defend (done - Pettersson, Horvat, Sutter, Granlund, Baertschi) 3) Point producers on the blueline, ideally 3 x 40 point producers (depends how Hutton and Stecher go but I think we need more) 4) Star goalie (possibly in Demko) To be honest we're not that far off. Meanwhile the Oilers don't have much future forward depth but they do have very elite top end talent. They don't have great puck moving defencemen but do have some good shutdown guys (Larsson, Nurse etc.). They don't really have a star goalie, and they certainly lack good defensive forwards (although I think McDavid and Draisaitl will learn this on the fly the way Crosby and Malkin have).
  6. Hindsight is certainly 20/20, but that's why teams that draft well end up having the most success. It's one thing to use that as an excuse, it's another to have good foresight. As much as I love saying "I told you so" to everyone who wanted Virtanen over Nylander, we cannot judge this pick until the respective teams are making their respective playoff pushes. For the Leafs, that will still be a few years, and for the Canucks it'll be about 3-5 years. When that time comes for each team, judge how the players are doing. If Virtanen is playing physically, skating well, throwing hits and scoring the odd goal then fantastic, this is a successful pick. If he takes too long to develop or never really contributes consistently when the rest of the Canucks (ie. Horvat, Juolevi, Boeser) are in their prime then this is a wasted pick. The same can be said for Toronto, despite the fact that Nylander has already produced plenty and was arguably their best playoff performer last year. If he's not any good when Matthews/Marner/Reilly/Zaitsev are in their prime then it's a bad pick. At the end of the day the high picks should be core players who contribute to your team in the playoffs to try and win you a Cup. We can't judge Virtanen or Nylander or Ehlers or Ritchie fully yet. Of course, early returns aren't looking good and I take solace in the fact that JB has learned from his massive mistake of drafitng Virtanen over skilled players, and taken Pettersson this draft as a result, but still you never know until we're 3-5 years later. Also, they busted his development pretty bad which is in part management's fault, not the scouts. Nylander was developed PERFECTLY. Back to Sweden where he dominated, then moved him up to the AHL which he dominated, then straight into the NHL at a nice steady progression. That's how you develop a star. Of course Babcock knows how to do that, he's done it time and time again in Detroit. Meanwhile Vancouver gets giddy with their high pick, the media IMO plays a role in forcing Virtanen and McCann in too soon to try and "give the kids more time" (when hardly anyone else but the elite players from that draft class went straight into the NHL), they score a couple of early goals but like every rookie, they burn out, don't play consistently, end up on the bench or press box on a losing team, get their confidence shattered and lose their prime year of development. I just hope, and do believe, that Benning and these coaches have learned from their Virtanen/McCann mistakes, and we've seen it already with how Pettersson and Dahlen are being managed, and hopefully Juolevi too. They all belong back at junior and hopefully the two Swedes play together in the SHL which would be the smart move. The UFA signings are the first sign that JB knows what he's done in the past is wrong and the way to fix that is to keep the kids out until they're truly grown and ready.
  7. I've got a solid feeling we'll miss on Dahlin again, he'll go to some random team, but Merkley and Quinton Hughes will be sitting there in the top-5 and hopefully we get a stab at one of them. Both can pass well, shoot well, skate and defend well and gives us an instant top pairing defenceman. There's also a second wave of D-men going in this draft within the top-15, probably including Bouchard, Boqvist, Wilde and Woo. I'm interested to see how the Bouchards seasons go, but the Knights have generated some serious talent in the past and Evan would be a fantastic stable, big-framed top-4 defenceman. I think the Canucks should try really hard to get another top-20 pick in this draft and steal two defencemen. We've got plenty of wingers down the pipeline now. We've got some nice goalies. We're a bit thin at center compared to some stacked teams but are extremely thin on defence. This is the draft to load up on D-men, and the first round will probably see 10+ defencemen picked IMO. I'd be thinking of trading someone either at the end of or in their prime for a first round pick. I'd even be willing to give up someone like Baertschi (considering we have so many good wingers, especially if Burmistrov/Rodin/Goldobin have a good season) for a mid-round 1st pick. Ideally we trade Edler at the deadling for a 15-20th overall 1st round pick to a team going for it, of which there'll be plenty. Draft Hughes with our pick (likely 2nd-5th overall and I bet Dahlin will be gone, otherwise obviously we take him) and Bouchard or Boqvist with the later 15-20th overall pick. Hughes - Stecher (if we're worried about size we can swap Stecher and Bouchard) Juolevi - Bouchard Hutton - Gudbranson Tanev/Subban/Wiercioch That defence in it's prime will dominate games. The powerplay will also get a monster boost too with that solid top-4 at the points. Hughes, Juolevi, Bouchard and Gudbranson are all solid two-way D-men, Gudbranson and Bouchard can bring some physicaliy. Most importantly, every man can pass and skate well (except maybe Gudbranson), and Tanev/Subban as an injury-fill in says a lot for the quality of depth. Looking at the current Flames/Predators defences, this is what it takes now. Looking back at the 2011 Canucks defence of Edler/Ehrhoff/Salo/Bieksa/Hamhuis and Ballard/Rome, it's quite similar. Our former top-4/5 could all skate well and move the puck, but they also had solid defence and physicality on each pairing (Edler, Bieksa, Hamhuis, Ballard/Rome). That's what these picks give us.
  8. I agree, Edler only has a few years left really, but if Hansen and Burrows can get us B-grade forward prospects then I think Edler can get us a fair bit. I honestly think Edler is worth a 20th-30th overall pick. If we throw in a 2nd or 3rd round pick it certainly bumps it up a bit. If Ottawa want to play hard ball I'd be happy at the deadline to throw them Edler with some cap retained + a 2nd or 3rd round pick for their 1st, which will likely be 15-20th overall. There are some very good looking puck moving defencemen in that area.
  9. I think we need defenders coming back for wingers, not the other way around, but Edler would fit nicely with Karlsson in Ottawa. We either snag one in the coming draft (which will have plenty going in the top-15) or grab one of their young guys. TO OTT: Alex Edler + late pick TO VAN: 1st round pick (likely to be middle of the pack) in 2018 --> draft a defenceman with both our first round picks. or TO OTT: Alex Edler TO VAN: One of Jaros, Harpur, Claesson + 3rd round pick Jaros, Harpur and Claesson are all 20-something year old B to C grade defensive prospects, certainly nothing special but Jaros could be a decent physical presence on the blueline. Really depends in Wiercioch pans out or not. If he does, I wouldn't bother, would much rather the 1st round pick really. If we end up with a top-5 pick with our own pick and a 15-something pick with Ottawa's we have some serious chance to bolster this weak blueline internally. 1) Draft one of Dahlin, Hughes or Merkley with Vancouver's 1st round pick. Future top-pairing D-man right there, if it's Merkley he could play with Juolevi, the other's take the top left handed spot and Juolevi sits on our 2nd pairing. 2) Draft one of Ty Smith, Wilde, Woo, Bouchard or Boqvist. Future top-4 defencemen in that mix for sure. I honestly doubt we end up with Dahlin, the odds just aren't in our favour, even if Veleno or Schvenikov go 1st overall we're probably picking 3rd overall at the best. Realistically let's say we end up with Hughes on the left side and Boqvist or Bouchard with Ottawa's pick. Hughes - Stecher Juolevi - Bouchard Hutton - Gudbranson Tanev In 3-5 years time that defence can contend for the Cup along with our very decent forward group. 5 of those guys can skate, pass and shoot well. Juolevi, Hughes and Gudbranson are all decent all-round D-men who can defend well. Gudbranson obviously brings the physicality. A very fast-moving defence which is all the rage now. That's how you rebuild. No more of this pussy-footing around with 3rd and 5th round picks for defencemen who probably won't work out, let's make a big move to get some quality on this blueline. Juolevi is nice, but this 2018 draft is stacked with future top-4 D-men.
  10. Exactly. I love what he's done with the forwards. He's lucky he's got Demko developing nicely. What we've lacked since 2011 has really been Ehrhoff. He has IMO been the biggest, most important piece to the puzzle - a top pairing puck moving D-man for the powerplay. Watching Edler and Ehrhoff on the same pairing on the ice at the same time was fun to watch, and gave us plenty of options. Juolevi is nice, but we need more. We can't just plug Juolevi with some shutdown defenceman and leave them as our top pairing. We need more decent puck movers to give us that flexibility In 2011 we had Edler and Ehrhoff both scoring at a 50 point pace. We had Bieksa who could not only pass the puck but score clutch goals. We had Sami Salo come back from injury who was an absolute weapon from the blueline, not as fast but a heck of a shot. We had Hamhuis who could skate really well and pass but not shoot too well. Ballard was a pretty damn good skating defenceman too. Our current future looks like Juolevi, Hutton, Stecher, Tanev and Gudbranson for now. Chatfield, Brisebois, Subban and Pedan are in the pipeline but who knows if they'll be NHL regulars. Juolevi is a good passer, skater and has a decent shot. He can do it all. Hutton is a fantastic skater, good passer but can't really get that shot through and it isn't very hard. Stecher is a great skater, has a brilliant shot and can pass nicely. Like what he can bring but being undrafted, who knows what is potential is really. Tanev is getting slow, can't shoot, not a great passer. Gudbranson isn't a great skater, can't shoot or pass very well. Chatfield is a shutdown-first D-man, good skater but not a great passer or shooter and won't rack up many points. Brisebois has some passing potential but I have my doubts as to whether he'll be good enough for the NHL. Pedan is the same as Brisebois. Subban has some real top-level shooting and passing and skating ability but again, he might not be able to make the NHL due to his defence on a consistent basis. I really hope we give him a good crack purely because of his offensive abilities. So on the whole, we really need some quality on the blueline. Apart from Juolevi, our D-men are all 5th round picks or undrafted guys. Hutton, Stecher and Subban seem to have capped ceilings. We really need a Provorov/Werenski/Theodore-type player in this organization to complement Juolevi if we ever want that Edler/Ehrhoff/Salo 3-headed monster of offence from the blueline.
  11. I agree that the 2011 weren't a perfect team AT THAT TIME and that era, because unfortunately the playoffs were dominated by physical play. The 2010-2013 era was really dominated by strong physical play. The cups the Bruins, Kings and Blackhawks all won during that time were fueled through great two-way top centers, hot goalies and very big gritty forwards. The Kings were relentless physically. The Bruins were obviously all goons. Even when the Blackhawks won their first cups, they had loads of beef in their lineup with Byfuglien, Bickell etc. playing major roles. I think since then, the league has changed a lot. We saw it plenty last year. It's due to slight, subtle rule changes, the way the games are reffed and "controlled" and most importantly, the evolution of young players being more NHL-ready right out of junior. The league is becoming much faster and skill is dominating now for these reasons IMO. Whether that's fueled by the league management or what viewers wants is hard to say, but there's an undeniable trend towards skill and away from toughness. We saw that in the last two playoff years. Pittsburgh dominated just about every team and they barely have a tough guy in their lineup. Their skill really took over and their young speedy kids helped them win cups, not to mention two generational centers and a red-hot goalie. Meanwhile the gritty, slower teams really struggled to even make the playoffs. I'm adamant that the 2011 Canucks would have won a couple of cups if they were playing today, purely because of the trend in the league. It's a shame we've always been a year or two off, but this is what it is now. Who knows what the trend will be in another 3-5 years time, but one can only assume it'll be towards skill and speed even moreso. Kids are bigger these days, faster, and break into the league with more skill than previously. With that in mind, I think if we really focus again on the powerplay, speed and puck moving defencemen who can get heavy shots through traffic, we'll have a new powerhouse on our hands. If we're going to beat better teams like the Leafs, Oilers, Flyers and Jets etc., it'll be through the opportunistic powerplay just the way the 2011 Canucks did it. You don't see big hits or retribution fights anymore. You see dominant powerplays bury teams. This is what we need the most work on in the future, and for me it all starts with decent offensive defencemen who can skate, shoot and pass well. How do we get there? I'd make a trade if I were JB. Throw a 20-something year old winger to a team going to the playoffs for an A-grade defensive prospect. We need to make a Drouin-for-Sergachev like trade.
  12. Ever since the 2011 Finals loss to the Bruins, the media and management in Vancouver have always been about slightly retooling and rebuilding the Canucks to be a tougher breed of players. It has almost been a stigma or voodoo to try and emulate that dominant team for whatever reason. They were one of the best teams the league has seen in a while, most GF and GA, two of the best forwards in the league at the time, some very good defencemen, great depth, a monstrous powerplay and a great goalie. I doubt Vancouver will see a powerhouse like that again. Since the 2011 loss, there's been plenty of restructuring to try and make the team tougher, but my question is, why don't we try and emulate the 2011 success? In today's NHL, where speed and skill are trumping toughness big-time, that trend that we had in 2011 is coming back. I'm certain that the 2010-2011 and even 2011-2012 Canucks would have won a Cup if it had been 5 years later. Here is a video of every single goal scored in the 2011 season: Watching this, it's obvious what we had that were our main success points: 1) The Sedins - absolutely dominant every single game, amazing horizontal passing, they still had great speed and Daniel had a lethal shot. 2) Great two-way 2nd line center in Kesler 3) Amazing speedy depth. Watching Samuelsson, Raymond, Torres, Hansen and Burrows skate rings around the other teams in all these goals is pretty impressive 4) Gritty guys who can score. Burrows, Torres, Malhotra, Higgins and Lapierre. These bottom-6 guys who can score big goals is what it takes to win in the playoffs. 5) Great puck moving defencemen. We had Ehrhoff and Edler for most of the season. Bieksa and Salo contributed a fair bit and even Hamhuis could skate well at the time. 6) Booming point shots that got through. The number of point shots or tips in front from the blueline in these goals ins unreal. Ehrhoff was the best, Edler was pretty good, Hamhuis and Bieksa on their game could all do it and of course Salo was one of the best in the league in his prime. 7) Deadly powerplay. I suppose this really is a combination of the above points, in particular the Sedins' passing and the point shots. We never had a big body in front to screen goalies, but you can put anyone in front of the net and you're going to score goals with those point men and down-low passing. Recipe for success 8) One of the league's best goalies in Luongo, and a damn good backup in Schneider 9) A good playoff coach. Say what you want about AV but he got the most offensively and defensively out of every single player. One of the best coaches to coach in the NHL. Obviously, the Canucks of today are far from the 2010-2011 Canucks, but what would it take to get us back to this style of play? Let's have a look and see what we have in the pipeline, and most importantly, where they'll sit in 3-5 years time when they're in the prime and we're wanting to contend for the Cup again: 1) Pettersson and Dahlen: No, not the Sedins, but if we try hard enough we could emulate the Sedins' success through these two Swedes and really brew their chemistry in the SHL. I doubt either score 100 points ever, but in their prime if they can skate well, playmake well and score goals the way Daniel did, it'll be as good as it gets. 2) Two-way center in Horvat. I'm sure that in Horvat's prime, he'll be as good if not better than 40-goal, 70 point Kesler. 3) Speedy depth: We've already got this with Boeser, Granlund and Baertschi, not to mention Goldobin. Plenty of speed and skill there. 4) Gritty guys who can score: I don't see much of this in our future, but they can always be supplemented by UFAs. Virtanen and Gadjovich are in the pipeline but who knows how much they'll be able to score at the NHL level. 5) Puck moving defencemen: This is where we're in a bit of trouble. Yes, we have Juolevi who can maybe emulate 2011 Edler's success. We have Hutton and Stecher who are some nice skating D-men and hopefully can hit 40+ points in their prime. My concern is that we don't have a 2011 Ehrhoff. We don't have a 2011 Sami Salo. Gudbranson might replace 2011 Bieksa, but we need those top puck moving guys who can bomb shots from the point to generate offence that way. Watching the goals above, Ehrhoff was one of our MVPs and generated so much offence from the blueline out of absolutely nothing. I'm not sure if Juolevi is that guy, but when we had Edler and Ehrhoff in their prime as 50 point D-men, they were deadly. This is the biggest hole I think we need to address. 6) Point shots: Like I said before, we don't have anyone in our system with a decent point shot. Wiercioch has a bomb but he's a fringe NHLer right now. Let's hope Juolevi's been working on his, but we need at least a few deadly point shots. Stecher can really hammer it if he works on it and Hutton often shoots wide so I really hope we can generate shots through these guys. 7) Powerplay: I think with Pettersson, Dahlen, Boeser and Horvat in their primes we'll have some fantastic powerplay forwards. We really need some elite defencemen to round this out. Juolevi on the PP will be a nice touch but we're still missing that booming slapshot. 8) Goalie: I'm not too concerned by this. Demko is one of if not the best young goalie in the league. Nilsson and Markstrom are both wildcards who will serve as a good backup to Demko when he's in his prime in 5 years time. 9) Coach: This will really depend at the time, but hopefully we've struck gold with Green. Otherwise we can always sign a guy who gets canned later. TL;DR - I say we try and emulate the 2011 Canucks, and we're not far off really. We just need some good depth gritty guys who can score (role players like Higgins, Lapierre, Torres), and most importantly, defencemen who can shoot the puck well from the point, skate well and produce 40-50 points in their prime. Knock the 2011 taboo, they were the best team in the league for a reason, let's get back to playing that way and we'll win a Cup in 3-5 years time.
  13. They just hired him again. One of the best coaches in the league. Watch St. Louis go on the downslide now without him, and I expect he'll give a lot of good defensive structure to the Dallas forwards who desperately need some structure.
  14. Not necessarily next season but in the future 2-3 years. The cap crunch will hurt all of these teams relying on young kids badly, but at the end of the day all you really need is a decent young core to build around and that's what the Leafs and Oilers have. I'd say though that the Flyers have one of if not the best future cores in the league with Nolan, Lindlom and Provorov. They could be the best future center, winger and defenceman in the NHL right there. I don't think Patrick will be, but that Lindblom is something special and Provorov is looking like a future Norris winner.
  15. I'm intrigued to see how WD does with a skilled team. It's hard to evaluate his season in the AHL or NHL especially, because we put together a rubbish team. Sure he made questionable decisions but every coach does in the NHL, and of course they didn't pay off. I don't expect Green to take this team to the playoffs so a coaching change won't make too much of a difference, but I'd love to see what WD could do behind another team to get a proper feel for how he actually is. Funny how there was a big hype between Sullivan and WD coming into the NHL. Sullivan coaches two generational elite players and wins the Cup. WD coaches a trash team and gets fired. It's always hard to compare, but I honestly think with all the injuries in Pittsburgh, Sullivan did a lot more than people assume.