Horseman, on 16 April 2012 - 12:33 PM, said:
You sound about as fed up as I did on Friday night... but I have since calmed down and accepted what appears to be an inevitable early exit. Sorry the team lost last night, though. They pressed hard and showed some grit. But, their inability to score goals is inexcusable.
The frustrating points were the D's inability to keep the puck in the attacking zone, and every single shot at Quick was aimed at his legs, straight into his gloves, or right at his body. It doesn't matter if a thousand shots are fired at the guy. If they are scrambling low quality shots, he's going to make the stop every time.
On goal tending, both Lu and Schneider are looking good. In fact, this playoff debacle has highlighted where the real issues lie. All of the team are loose and sloppy on the puck, at times showing terrible puck handling skills for supposed top-flight professional hockey players. More often than not, when they cough-up the puck, it leaves our goal tenders facing unstoppable shots. And, when you consider how many unstoppable shots both goal tenders have kept out, it shows how GOOD that BOTH of them really are. They are a true credit to the Canucks organization.
The "D" needs to be overhauled. Salo is too old. Edler too unpredictable. Hamhuis too small. I'd keep Bieksa, because he is an animal, and will continue to ramp up his game.
On the forward lines, there's a lot of talent that is going nowhere. About the only guy who has consistently shown any grit is Higgins. The Sedins have also ramped up their grit, but are mis-cast in the lineup. They should be used as a #2 clutch scoring line, supporting a #1 line of big, heavy hitting natural goal scoring forwards. Time to ditch the big-name, smaller forwards, who have a hard time staying upright on their skates whenever Vancouver faces a tough physical opponent.
Coaching: Obviously time for a change.
Suffice it to say, to all intents and purposes, this team, as it is, is shot as a legitimate playoff contender. Better to recognize it now and start a wholesale rebuild for the future.
However, the reality of what will happen in the off-season will be quite different. AV will keep his job, and MG will make a couple of low key trades in an attempt to paper-up the cracks. Which is unfortunate, because right now the Canucks have a high-enough profile to attract some solid talent for the future.
You'd get rid of Hamhuis? If he had better offense he'd be a Norris winner. Seriously I watch him under a microscope and I am actually willing to say with confidence that he is the best defensive defenseman in the league. Wins 95% of puck battles, has saved about 60 2 on 1's this season alone, has a great poke check and is physical enough. Dude is a stud and I order center ice and watch a crapload of teams play. You're insane if you'd let him go. I'd pay 6 mill easy for him. No questions asked. Watch him closely, only every so often does he make a bad pass and his shot is weak but his defensive side is as good as Lidstrom in his prime.