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DownUndaCanuck

When Kesler Returns

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Something I've noticed about the Canucks forward lines play with and without Kesler is very intriguing, and can be used to our advantage in the playoffs.

With Kesler in the lineup, it's no secret the Sedins were scoring a lot more due to opposing team's matchups focusing on both our two big centers. They were well over a point per game and dominating bottom defence pairs. However, with Kesler in the #2 center spot, Raymond, Hansen and Schroeder all struggled and went through lengthy droughts.

With Kesler out of the lineup (both occasions) the Sedins struggled to score at a point-per-game, but our new second line of Raymond, Schroeder and Hansen have carried this team. They've been on the ice for around 15-18 minutes a game and are not only playing great defence but scoring BIG game winning goals. Without Kesler, Schroeder is scoring around 0.5 points per game, and Raymond and Hansen are well over that - actually around 0.7 PPG.

My proposal is - when Kesler returns, slot him in at the 3rd line center position to play a more defensive role with Higgins and Kassian. That line would primarily play solid physical defence and chip in on scoring as well, but would see more specialised ice time than our current 2nd line, who deserves much more even strength ice time. This way, the Sedins should be scoring at a high pace due to the lesser ability of teams to match them, and our 2nd line should be scoring at a same pace as they get just as much even strength ice time. Kesler's reduction in ice time would benefit the rest of the team immensely. For an average game (3/4 powerplays for and against):

Henrik - 16 minutes EV, 2 minutes PP

Schroeder - 14 minutes EV, 1 minute PP

Kesler - 12 minutes EV, 2 minutes PP, 2 minutes PK

Lapierre - 9 minutes EV, 2 minutes PK

Hockey is not just about playing your best players as much as possible, it's much more intricate than that. A good coach will notice this change and adjust his player's ice time to all lines are firing on all cylinders.

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Pass.

What's so great about Kesler, which is what people are forgetting, he can shut down the opposition's top players AND still score. (Game 7 vs Chicago..) Kesler pretty much shut down Toews by himself, and he also set up the Canucks lone regulation goal. Kesler's only good and productive when you play him a lot. He needs minutes to succeed.

Yes, his best attributes are best suited for the 3rd line, but that doesn't work cause you're not gonna be getting the production you need from him offensively then. And no, i'm sorry, i don't trust Schroeder to carry out the secondary scoring we'll need in the Playoffs.

EDIT: Don't forget, Raymond - Kesler - Burrows dominated the Hawks.

EDIT2: Yes, every comparison has to be with the Hawks too because they're pretty much unstoppable. Better than every team in the west by far. (Ducks won't make it that deep in the playoffs imo..)

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Seriously? How many threads do we need suggesting Kesler go to the 3rd line? He'll be on our 2nd line for all intents and purposes when he returns.

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I said this once and I'll say it again, the idea of moving Kesler to the 3rd line is absolutely ridiculous. Kesler would be a first line center on some teams...

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I said this once and I'll say it again, the idea of moving Kesler to the 3rd line is absolutely ridiculous. Kesler would be a first line center on some teams...

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True, but he'd only be a #1 center on a really bad team that doesn't have a #1 center.. So it's not exactly a compliment really

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I would like to keep raymond schroeder hansen together for the remainder of the season barring injuries keep there minuets up , play keslers line with higgins and kassian bout the same amount with kes taking lots of PP and PK time to grind out the opposing teams. Kesler should be around 16 mins even strength 4-6 mins Special teams.

If I'm taking anything away from this thread its that the Mayson Jordan Jannik line should stay together... At least till we see how JS fairs in the playoffs as an undersized guy, when the rules change of course. What would the playoffs be without that?

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It's not just as simple as "demoting Kesler". That's not what I'm saying at all.

It's about ice time management and how it affects the rest of the players on this team. We all saw Kesler play 20-22 minutes against Nashville in the playoffs and he was burned out by the end of it. He plays best when he's just under 20 minutes a game. But that's not even what this thread is about.

I'm basically saying - give Kesler more specialised ice time, and give Schroeder more even strength ice time. Schroeder, Hansen and Raymond's speed is killing teams 5-on-5, and their speed doesn't count as a factor on the powerplay at all.

With what I proposed above, here are the final ice times:

Henrik - 18 minutes

Kesler - 16 minutes

Schroeder - 15 minutes

Lapierre - 11 minutes

Of course, a game with more powerplays and penalties will warrant more ice time for Kesler and less for Schroeder.

As for matchups, Kesler will be playing his 12 even strength minutes against the opposing teams top line, who might see around 18-20 minutes a game. Henrik has shown this entire season that he is more than capable of going head-to-head against the best centers in the league and absolutely dominating them, so he can take up another 4-6 of those minutes.

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Kesler would be a 1C on a few teams

Columbus

Florida

Phoenix

Edmonton

Winnipeg

Toronto

Buffalo

Nashville

Maybe one or two more

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It's not just as simple as "demoting Kesler". That's not what I'm saying at all.

It's about ice time management and how it affects the rest of the players on this team. We all saw Kesler play 20-22 minutes against Nashville in the playoffs and he was burned out by the end of it. He plays best when he's just under 20 minutes a game. But that's not even what this thread is about.

I'm basically saying - give Kesler more specialised ice time, and give Schroeder more even strength ice time. Schroeder, Hansen and Raymond's speed is killing teams 5-on-5, and their speed doesn't count as a factor on the powerplay at all.

With what I proposed above, here are the final ice times:

Henrik - 18 minutes

Kesler - 16 minutes

Schroeder - 15 minutes

Lapierre - 11 minutes

Of course, a game with more powerplays and penalties will warrant more ice time for Kesler and less for Schroeder.

As for matchups, Kesler will be playing his 12 even strength minutes against the opposing teams top line, who might see around 18-20 minutes a game. Henrik has shown this entire season that he is more than capable of going head-to-head against the best centers in the league and absolutely dominating them, so he can take up another 4-6 of those minutes.

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Come playoffs, Kesler will be the guy shutting down the opposition's top line. Calling him a #2 C or #3 C has no bearing on anything; he's going to get the most minutes of any forward no matter what because he's our most versatile one.

He'll be out there shutting down the top line, will push the play into the other zone, will get shifts in the O-zone when the other top 9 lines have already gone, and will be getting time on the #1 PP and PK. He's too much of a go-to guy for all situations; reducing his ice time is impossible, no matter what # you label him.

Why CDC has this strange obsession with line numbers, I'll never know.

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Until the playoffs don't play Kesler in front of the net on the PP and don't give him lots of PK time. We should be doing everything we can to limit the risk of injuries for him right now because we NEED him healthy in the playoffs. Something like 15 mins a game for now should be good we better not just rush him in with like 20 mins a game.

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Do you really think a team that has Jordan Schroeder as their second line center is even going to make it out of the first round? Pittsburgh has Geno. Boston has Bergeron. LA has M. Richards. And we have... Jordan Schoeder?

I would refuse to support a coach who puts a 70+ point, Selke-winning 1B/2A center on the third line, playing 12 minutes a game, in favour of a 22 year old rookie who has 8 points.

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Kesler needs to be on the first 2 lines. If anything he should be moved up to the Sedin line and hopefully Kesler would let Doughty know he cant beat up our captain unopposed.

Actually Kesler on the first line would be amazing but would never work in the playoffs so there is no real point in doing it except to steal a regular season game or two.

Notice how Crosby plays on the second line in Pittsburgh? Its because he is the best player in the NHL both on offensive and defense so he goes on the second line to shut down the oppositions defense with 2 monster lines. Thats what we need from Kesler. I know he is no Crosby, but the idea is the same.

I don't know about you DUC. Sometimes you make smart, well thought out posts, but then the rest of the time its the complete opposite. Its almost like you type faster then you can think.

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Have we tried Kes with the twins?

Burrows is struggling to find his mojo, even with the twins.

Put him on the 3rd with Higgins and Kassian. (or a new 3rd line faceoff centre and put Kassian on the 4th........and lucky not to be back in Chicago)

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Kesler needs to be on the first 2 lines. If anything he should be moved up to the Sedin line and hopefully Kesler would let Doughty know he cant beat up our captain unopposed.

Actually Kesler on the first line would be amazing but would never work in the playoffs so there is no real point in doing it except to steal a regular season game or two.

Notice how Crosby plays on the second line in Pittsburgh? Its because he is the best player in the NHL both on offensive and defense so he goes on the second line to shut down the oppositions defense with 2 monster lines. Thats what we need from Kesler. I know he is no Crosby, but the idea is the same.

I don't know about you DUC. Sometimes you make smart, well thought out posts, but then the rest of the time its the complete opposite. Its almost like you type faster then you can think.

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My proposal is - when Kesler returns, slot him in at the 3rd line center position to play a more defensive role with Higgins and Kassian.

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I always thought the successful seasons with the roster intact was of absolute design by management and coaches. Built on speed and skill all thru the lines.

The Canucks have really only been a 3 line team, with stretches of being able to roll 4 lines. Its very frustrating because we have the players for rolling 4 lines , but the key ones are injured, and one has been asked to relinquish his spot.

Nonis/Burkie teams were built from the net out. And they left MG with that foundation.

MGs teams are about the centermen (and defencemen with the freedom to move the puck as a 4th forward). The ability to win face offs and possess the puck and forecheck like madmen was a hallmark.

What im getting at is that it doesnt matter how you pencil in Kes' line. 1st,2nd,3rd, or 4th...it doesnt matter. Its the design of the team in which Kes' line was versatile. They can grind, if asked. They can match up against the top lines and be used to shut down. Or against lesser talents (which iis great for AV as far as assigning duties for Kes' line) go in and generate offense.

I get what you were saying. But Kes was already primed to play defensively, if the game or preperation dictated it, or be another offensive threat when the Twins rested.

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I believe that says put him on the 3rd line. But hey you wrote it not me.

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