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Okay, Something Needs to be Clarified


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#1 Ugli Fruit

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:37 PM

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I don't know how many of you were expecting Gillis to execute or attempt a major overhaul this off season, but I can say with confidence that a fair few did as we severely underperfomed in the playoffs.

A first round exit, though at the hands of the Cup Winners, is not what anyone, even our rivals, expected.

It's becoming more and more clear that our problem in the playoffs is NOT goaltending, or lack of size, or experience. It's becoming clear that the only legitimate problem is our lack of playoff offense. Even if we don't score as much in the playoffs (since we play a tighter defensive game come April), we don't even pressure the opposition and don't even create many chances in the post-season.

If we can play a game where the puck is most often in the opponent's side of the rink, then there are zero questions to be raised about the defense or the goaltending. The lack of offensive productivity is what causes these so-called "defensive and goaltending gaffes". We pretty much play like October Canucks in the playoffs - no offense, the defense has no chemistry, Luongo and Schneider hung out to dry.

So, now we ask the question: "did we improve enough, if at all". Well, the problem we have is not something you improve by just going and buying some player. This is a chemistry issue. Our forwards are not bad players at all. We have a strong offense that can go head-to-head with any other team in the league. How do we fix the problem then, if it's not through FA or trading?

The players need to become more dynamic. We can't just play the same game over and over again, because the way the Canucks' forwards play can be shut down if we play predictably. Why?

The Canucks play based on teamwork, NOT skill. Teams like the Pens have Crosby and Malkin. They're two players who can produce points no matter who is assigned to deal with them. The Sedins? Well, the only reason that they still produce is because they just can't be consistently shut down. However, our 2nd and 3rd lines can. These lines lack superstar quality and lack chemistry. So then, how in God's name are they supposed to do anything?

You might say this is a good time to go for FA, but the only way we can fix secondary scoring issues is by overpaying. By a lot. And then we lose cap space for other aspects of the team.

Our situation is weird because our team isn't built to win if our opponents know what we're going to do, because our game is planned out and practiced, it's not based on individual skill.

A possible solution at this point is to either get AV to stop being stubborn in his stratagems or maybe even change coaches. I don't think AV is the reason for any of this, but the coach is the root of how a team plays, and if that must change, the coach must either adapt or he must be replaced.

MG built the team with multiple good players but nobody with elite individual skill. If that is the case, we have no choice but to play a passing game, with offensive and defensive support. It's an ideologically sound tactic, but only if the opposition defends reactively, not preemptively (eg. how the Kings stood up at their blue line during our incredbly predictable PPS). If they know what we're about to do, they can stop us because our strategy isn't based off of elite skill, which they can't stop.

Bottom line: Fix how we play. Our team is cup-calibre, but not how we play.

Edited by LordofBrussels, 29 August 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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Formerly known as LordofBrussels

There we have it folks, we have literally blamed everyone for everything at this point


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#2 Nino

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:46 PM

I think our biggest problem is our second line (Lou as well). Just about any team can shut down a line in the playoffs. The twins would have much more time and space if we had a second line that could score.

Edit: if we get Doan or a player like him I hope they don't put him on the first line.

Edited by Nino, 29 August 2012 - 06:48 PM.

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#3 vancanfan

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:01 PM

We need killer instinct every game in the playoffs.
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#4 CanucksFanMike

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:01 PM

The Canucks are pretty well set as their roster stands now, with the exception of the lui deal that has yet to happen
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#5 Jester13

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:09 PM

2nd line scoring, Lou in net for sure, and AV not adapting to playoff hockey like other successful coaches.
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#6 ButterBean

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:15 PM

Saying size isn't an issue is debatable. The past 3 Stanley Cup winners had size throughout their entire lineup. I agree that we lack skill, and we mostly need it on the 2nd line. A legit playmaker is needed who can make smart passes off the rush where we just looked terrible. I honestly think Burrows isn't the solution for the Sedins in the playoffs either. He lacks the size to win battles against the better defensemen in the league and he doesn't hit on a consistent basis nor have the ability to scrap when needed to. Hopefully Booth and Kesler can gain some chemistry and adjust their game to benenfit eachother rather than wristing it on net every chance they get.
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#7 SamJamIam

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:36 PM

I honestly think Burrows isn't the solution for the Sedins in the playoffs either. He lacks the size to win battles against the better defensemen in the league and he doesn't hit on a consistent basis nor have the ability to scrap when needed to.


How quickly they forget 2010-11...

I suspect Kesler is actually our lynchpin. I don't know if it's direct or indirect but usually when the team looks like crap, Kesler does and if the team is clicking, so is Kes' line. Let's not forget everyone, literally every single person on the 2nd line was injured for much of the year. Of course a line isn't going to get going when rehab, playing through injuries, and taking it easy after coming back are all factors. Even with 2 people playing in decent health on the line made for some quality play. Mayray looked good in the playoffs and fore-checked the hell out of the Kings (say what you like about the Kopitar goal, the d was way out of position). Booth looked good whenever he was healthy, and Kes looked good before he hurt his labrum.

Basically, if these guys are playing half decent, we're going to kick as much ass as we did the season before last.
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#8 Ugli Fruit

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:45 PM

How quickly they forget 2010-11...

I suspect Kesler is actually our lynchpin. I don't know if it's direct or indirect but usually when the team looks like crap, Kesler does and if the team is clicking, so is Kes' line. Let's not forget everyone, literally every single person on the 2nd line was injured for much of the year. Of course a line isn't going to get going when rehab, playing through injuries, and taking it easy after coming back are all factors. Even with 2 people playing in decent health on the line made for some quality play. Mayray looked good in the playoffs and fore-checked the hell out of the Kings (say what you like about the Kopitar goal, the d was way out of position). Booth looked good whenever he was healthy, and Kes looked good before he hurt his labrum.

Basically, if these guys are playing half decent, we're going to kick as much ass as we did the season before last.


We didn't do much scoring in the 10-11 playoffs either. At least the 2nd line didn't.
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Formerly known as LordofBrussels

There we have it folks, we have literally blamed everyone for everything at this point


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#9 ba;;isticsports

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:48 PM

Saying size isn't an issue is debatable. The past 3 Stanley Cup winners had size throughout their entire lineup. I agree that we lack skill, and we mostly need it on the 2nd line. A legit playmaker is needed who can make smart passes off the rush where we just looked terrible..


So what do You suggest ? I suggested early November that Kesler should not be the Centre on the 2nd line, that Coho semed a better fit and distributor of the puck and that Booth and Kesler should be his wingers,where they both like to shoot and are strong on the Puck as well as being fast, and thought that line would have been better than it was with Coho on the wing. I even suggested Kesler could have taken some of the faceoffs and shared the position somewhat, but AV necer tried it once,so we will never know
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Playmaking is the Centres job, not the wingers. The centre can dish off to anyone on the ice, and is also responsible for being the 3rd man defensively.
I dont understand when (a few) people say Kesler needs a Playmaker ?
I remember experts criticising Kesler in his early years as lacking vision for making plays.
He had a career year 2 yrs ago, playing with the Twins and on the 2nd line (while the Twins got all the top players and checkers)
He plays more like a winger than a Centre, so if we get a playmaking Centre again,let him use his speed and wanting to shoot and try him on the wing
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#10 TotesMagotes

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:54 PM

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Canucks need a coaching change. A new voice in the locker room would do wonders IMO. I think the message is getting a bit stale.
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#11 Gage

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:57 PM

There is alot of skill on this team. Blaming AV is not the solution either. back to back presidents trophies say the team isnt doing that bad, a tweak here and there and they are good to go, some guys just need to start producing. Booth had his transition year now its time to start scoring, kesler needs a bounce back year, hansen is still improving, Kassian is improving, garrison will fill in ehrhoff's missing offense from the back end. If it wasnt for the strike this was looking to be a good year imo.
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#12 Kumquats

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:59 PM

In the last two playoff rounds the other team has outplayed us at just about every turn. When we have puck possession the other team was forcing a quick pass or shot by double and even triple teaming the puck carrier making it impossible to set up a play. But when they got the puck we backed off them and let them get the shots or passes they wanted.

I'm not saying our goaltending was excellent but it's impossible to win games by only scoring 16 goals in 12 games.
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#13 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:07 PM

Sort of hard to win the first round, when your #1 winger is recovering from a concussion, and your coach did nothing to either bring someone up from the farm or try and make adjustments for that. Not to mention your #2 centre is not 100% either.

Edited by Ghostsof1915, 29 August 2012 - 08:09 PM.

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#14 Dildo Faggins

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:33 PM

There's a number of factors: inconsistent goaltending by Luo, AV's mediocre coaching and lack of effective counter strategies, predicatble playing styles ie Sedins cycling, not enough size and toughness, not enough urgency and desire to win, not enough players who can elevate their game in the play-offs - too many play-off no shows, and yes lack of scoring depth too.

Edited by Heli_Kopitar, 29 August 2012 - 08:43 PM.

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#15 ButterBean

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:36 PM

How quickly they forget 2010-11...

I suspect Kesler is actually our lynchpin. I don't know if it's direct or indirect but usually when the team looks like crap, Kesler does and if the team is clicking, so is Kes' line. Let's not forget everyone, literally every single person on the 2nd line was injured for much of the year. Of course a line isn't going to get going when rehab, playing through injuries, and taking it easy after coming back are all factors. Even with 2 people playing in decent health on the line made for some quality play. Mayray looked good in the playoffs and fore-checked the hell out of the Kings (say what you like about the Kopitar goal, the d was way out of position). Booth looked good whenever he was healthy, and Kes looked good before he hurt his labrum.

Basically, if these guys are playing half decent, we're going to kick as much ass as we did the season before last.

Injuries can only be an excuse for so long. We don't know what to expect from Raymond as it seems he's only at the top of his game like 10% of the time. While I'm confident in Booth, he doesn't necessarily have great vision or passing skills.

So what do You suggest ? I suggested early November that Kesler should not be the Centre on the 2nd line, that Coho semed a better fit and distributor of the puck and that Booth and Kesler should be his wingers,where they both like to shoot and are strong on the Puck as well as being fast, and thought that line would have been better than it was with Coho on the wing. I even suggested Kesler could have taken some of the faceoffs and shared the position somewhat, but AV necer tried it once,so we will never know
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Playmaking is the Centres job, not the wingers. The centre can dish off to anyone on the ice, and is also responsible for being the 3rd man defensively.
I dont understand when (a few) people say Kesler needs a Playmaker ?
I remember experts criticising Kesler in his early years as lacking vision for making plays.
He had a career year 2 yrs ago, playing with the Twins and on the 2nd line (while the Twins got all the top players and checkers)
He plays more like a winger than a Centre, so if we get a playmaking Centre again,let him use his speed and wanting to shoot and try him on the wing

A centre or winger would be good, it doesn't make much a difference. And keep in mind when I say "playmaking" winger that doesn't mean a pure passer. Just someone who makes everyone around him better whether he's passing or getting passes. Booth and Kesler are both players who excel by using their speed, athleticism, and hard work. Now I'm not saying they aren't skilled by any means, but what our 2nd line truly lacks is someone who relies on pure skill to create offense. Someone who has great offensive awareness, vision, puck handling, knows when to pass, and can finish plays a decent amount of times. One of our main problems in my mind is that 1. Our offense is to predictable and 2. We struggle to take advantage of our oppurtunities on the rush. The 2nd problem is mainly directed at the 2nd line. All Kes and Booth do is just try wrist shots and hope for a rebound most of the time. A playmaker who knows what to do with the puck would make both of them better.
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#16 knucklebones

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:41 PM

how can the nucks beat any team in the playoffs when the top line doesn't finish their plays with a solid hit ?
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#17 knucklebones

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:41 PM

how can the nucks beat any team in the playoffs when the top line doesn't finish their plays with a solid hit ?
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#18 honey badger36

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:46 PM

:frantic: :frantic: :frantic: :frantic: :frantic: :frantic: :frantic: :frantic:
its the coach no its the lack of stars, no it was the injuries, wait must have been the reg season travel, hmmm the refs? No definitely the coho trade. Wait i know its gotta be the fans.

we are a good team all this is silly we got beat by the last 2 stanley cup champs who were with out a doubt just plain better when it counted. Our time will come though.
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#19 honey badger36

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:47 PM

how can the nucks beat any team in the playoffs when the top line doesn't finish their plays with a solid hit ?


i seem to remember the blackhawks doing it seemed to work for the wings too
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#20 knucklebones

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:00 PM

it seems like the rules changed in the 010/011 final, since then the skilled players have less advantage than the bruisers and concussions went up. the nucks should stick with the "speedy" line-up it might help next year if there is hockey
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#21 bluesman60

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:05 PM

An Art Ross trophy for each Sedin pretty clearly states that they are superstar players. That said, what they lack is that they don't play a physical game which is why I am in favor of splitting them up. Jensen is a young prospect with great hands and is defensively responsible....put him out with Henrik and Booth. Daniel can set a guy up just about as well as Henrik so put him with Kesler and Burrows on the 2nd line.
I think that both of these lines would have scoring, grit and size. If Jensen doesn't make the team then play Kassian on the 2nd line and move Burrows back up to the 1st line.
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#22 canuck_face54

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

Canucks need a coaching change. A new voice in the locker room would do wonders IMO. I think the message is getting a bit stale.


AV gets one more season. One more chance to win it all. He knows it, and so do we.
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#23 Pyrene

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:17 PM

Thank you, I've been wondering the same thing.
Looking at our lineup and caliber of players, I just don't understand how offense is an issue in the playoffs. Though it's hard to argue against a 2 time finalist, one time winner of the Jack Adams, I just don't think his style of coaching is suited towards our system. In my opinion, his system proves more successful for less talented, better grinding teams. I don't know what coach can make the best out of our extremely talented core, but I believe one should exist. Alain Vigneault's system isn't faulty; it's just not suited towards how our team is built.

Edited by Pyrene, 29 August 2012 - 09:17 PM.

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#24 knucklebones

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:18 PM

I agree, spread them out to intensify their threat with some grit put them back together for the powerplay, burrows could turn their third line into most teams first line, he started on the third line playing defesive gritty hockey and now he can score. why not have three solid lines.
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#25 knucklebones

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:21 PM

The last two cup winners won by playing AV's style better than us
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#26 Nino

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:25 PM

So what do You suggest ? I suggested early November that Kesler should not be the Centre on the 2nd line, that Coho semed a better fit and distributor of the puck and that Booth and Kesler should be his wingers,where they both like to shoot and are strong on the Puck as well as being fast, and thought that line would have been better than it was with Coho on the wing. I even suggested Kesler could have taken some of the faceoffs and shared the position somewhat, but AV necer tried it once,so we will never know
.
Playmaking is the Centres job, not the wingers. The centre can dish off to anyone on the ice, and is also responsible for being the 3rd man defensively.
I dont understand when (a few) people say Kesler needs a Playmaker ?
I remember experts criticising Kesler in his early years as lacking vision for making plays.
He had a career year 2 yrs ago, playing with the Twins and on the 2nd line (while the Twins got all the top players and checkers)
He plays more like a winger than a Centre, so if we get a playmaking Centre again,let him use his speed and wanting to shoot and try him on the wing


I have said the same thing before, I agree with everything you said. I would love to see kesler on the second line wing, or put him on the third line as a checking center. He just kills his wingers chances to contribute when he is at center and will not pass as he is trying to go through the whole team. It's not that I don't like kesler I think the wing would be a better fit.
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#27 papagrizz

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:33 PM

kesler on the line would be good, but then who would replace him. or is this all just hypothetical if we still had hodgson
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#28 samurai

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:39 PM

I don't know how many of you were expecting Gillis to execute or attempt a major overhaul this off season, but I can say with confidence that a fair few did as we severely underperfomed in the playoffs.

A first round exit, though at the hands of the Cup Winners, is not what anyone, even our rivals, expected.

It's becoming more and more clear that our problem in the playoffs is NOT goaltending, or lack of size, or experience. It's becoming clear that the only legitimate problem is our lack of playoff offense. Even if we don't score as much in the playoffs (since we play a tighter defensive game come April), we don't even pressure the opposition and don't even create many chances in the post-season.

If we can play a game where the puck is most often in the opponent's side of the rink, then there are zero questions to be raised about the defense or the goaltending. The lack of offensive productivity is what causes these so-called "defensive and goaltending gaffes". We pretty much play like October Canucks in the playoffs - no offense, the defense has no chemistry, Luongo and Schneider hung out to dry.

So, now we ask the question: "did we improve enough, if at all". Well, the problem we have is not something you improve by just going and buying some player. This is a chemistry issue. Our forwards are not bad players at all. We have a strong offense that can go head-to-head with any other team in the league. How do we fix the problem then, if it's not through FA or trading?

The players need to become more dynamic. We can't just play the same game over and over again, because the way the Canucks' forwards play can be shut down if we play predictably. Why?

The Canucks play based on teamwork, NOT skill. Teams like the Pens have Crosby and Malkin. They're two players who can produce points no matter who is assigned to deal with them. The Sedins? Well, the only reason that they still produce is because they just can't be consistently shut down. However, our 2nd and 3rd lines can. These lines lack superstar quality and lack chemistry. So then, how in God's name are they supposed to do anything?

You might say this is a good time to go for FA, but the only way we can fix secondary scoring issues is by overpaying. By a lot. And then we lose cap space for other aspects of the team.

Our situation is weird because our team isn't built to win if our opponents know what we're going to do, because our game is planned out and practiced, it's not based on individual skill.

A possible solution at this point is to either get AV to stop being stubborn in his stratagems or maybe even change coaches. I don't think AV is the reason for any of this, but the coach is the root of how a team plays, and if that must change, the coach must either adapt or he must be replaced.

MG built the team with multiple good players but nobody with elite individual skill. If that is the case, we have no choice but to play a passing game, with offensive and defensive support. It's an ideologically sound tactic, but only if the opposition defends reactively, not preemptively (eg. how the Kings stood up at their blue line during our incredbly predictable PPS). If they know what we're about to do, they can stop us because our strategy isn't based off of elite skill, which they can't stop.

Bottom line: Fix how we play. Our team is cup-calibre, but not how we play.


YAWN
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#29 1nf1n1ty

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

Time to turn Kes into a sniper instead of a 2 way forward. He is risking injuries by killing penalties and standing infront of the net on the power play. Find someone that is a pure passer to help set up Kes so he doesnt have to carry the puck so much. Let him set up on the powerplay like Stamkos does. If a 60 goal scorer is allowed to do the same thing over and over again then no one will be watching Kes at that position.
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After the Islanders' regular season dominance and playoff disappointment in 79', Arbour decided that he would no longer concern himself too greatly with his team's finish in the regular season. He focused his team on how they would perform in the playoffs. The Islanders dropped below the 100-point mark for the first time in five years, but they finally broke through and won 4 Stanley Cups.


#30 Nino

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:46 PM

kesler on the line would be good, but then who would replace him. or is this all just hypothetical if we still had hodgson


Hodgson is not an option but we could trade Lou for a second line center. I'm sure his value would fetch us one.
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