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Ugli Fruit

Okay, Something Needs to be Clarified

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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..

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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: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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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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