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jagori78

A team based on skill

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What do fans think of the Gillis & Vigneault approach to building this team? It appears they want 1 scoring line, 1 shut-down line, and the rest a variety of hard-working "all-around" guys.

At times it seems that Burrows, Higgins, Hansen, Lapierre, and such are all the same guy. It appears that to make it on this team as a forward; high-end skill is sacrificed for supposed "hustle" and a "jack-of-all-trades" approach. The same sort of logic applies to our defense, where we have six D that aren't great at any one thing; but just "all-around" average.

This approach only would work if the offensive and defensive units are elite. By that I mean, the Sedin line has a perfect line-mate, and the PP units are lethal. On the flip side, the shut-down unit would have to be dominant with a Malhotra-type shut-down group; and an excellent PK.

Once you have those two distinct elements in your team, you can fill up the rest of the roster with Hansens and Higgins and so forth. Players that all bring the same mediocre offensive creativity; that can play a variety of roles, but none to perfection.

The problem with this team at the moment is the lack of a PP catalyst and the loss of Malhotra. The method of which this team is built is flawed; because if either element loses a key member, the team isn't whole.

Gillis found Hodgson expendable because he didn't need another offensive center on this team. When everybody is healthy this is reasonable; yet without him, the Samuel Pahlssons of the world can't contribute anything meaningful when pressed into a top six role.

My point being is that the Hodgsons, Grabners, Shirokovs, etc. should have been kept on the team. The current "process" or "formula" this team uses to go about winning games is stale it seems. Get the first goal, grind out a win, etc. Nobody but the Sedins or Kesler has the skillset or permission it seems to create offense.

This approach also has killed the team in the shoot-out; which perhaps emphasizes my point. Who is a major threat? Kesler maybe? Burrows and his one backhand deke? Quite pathetic.

On the flip side, teams like Chicago are absolutely stacked with skill. Hossa. Kane. Toews. Sharp. Bolland, etc. But when another young player with great skill comes along, they add him to the line-up. They added Saad. Perhaps this is what Toews was thinking of when he wanted to expose the Canucks for what they are. A one-trick pony with a collection of average parts.

On the other hand, it does show that Vigneault is a talented coach by using this approach. He can make a decent team out of the parts he is given. Yet as long as Gillis and Vigneault are running this team, I don't see them ever going towards selecting high-risk/reward players on this team.

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Agreed, although Roy is one of those "high-end skilled" guys. Awkward situation, as he's a centerman playing on the LW, which makes the 3rd and 4th lines laughable. Put him on the 3rd, doesn't have anyone really to work with.

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In all honesty, you win Cups with tough guys who can score, mixed in with speedy guys and purely skilled guys. MG has done a fantastic job moulding this Canucks team around the Cup winners of the last 5 years to the best of his ability.

The Kings and Bruins eased their way to the Cups with power forwards, and MG has tried to mirror that by keeping guys like Booth, Hansen, Higgins, Lapierre, Burrows and Kesler. Those Cup-winning teams also had skilled guys like Williams, Peverley, Krejci, Kopitar, Gagne etc. The Canucks have the Sedins, Raymond and Roy in that aspect.

The only thing we lack right now is size (compared to the Cup winners), and especially solid defensive play on the back-end. Kassian, Alberts and Edler are our only real big guys in the lineup - Boston had Chara, Seidenberg, McQuaid, Lucic, Horton etc. while L.A had Kopitar, Penner, King, Nolan and Greene. Basically one giant per 5-man unit on the ice at any one time - we lack that still.

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Who cares that none of the lines have chemistry? In the Vigneault approach, all that matters is that the PP and PK units are effective. As long as the rest of the lines end up even on 5 on 5, thats all that matters.

Doesn't matter trying to find chemistry so that Kassian can be effective in certain situations. Who cares if Raymond has a center that can make use of his speed and shot. Just throw a bunch of lines together with Hansen, Weise, and Pinnizotto and company. All the lines have to try and play the same way. Cycle the puck along the boards and kill time waiting for the next PP. Then it's the Sedin's turn.

Canucks hockey. If I were a coach, I might have tried different things. It's all well and good having a strong cycle game that the Sedin's are good at. But why does the rest of the team have to play the same way? Why can't Raymond cheat slightly and have a true center in Roy? Have a line built around speed and odd-man rushes?

Why can't Kassian get equal time as Burrows with the Sedins? Have a true power-forward against certain lines or teams that it would be effective against?

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:picard: Shirokov? Seriously? get over it he couldn't even crack the Panther's roster how was he to fit on to this team?

Grabner only became effective after he was WAIVED, that's when he got a wake up call, and unfortunately the Canucks weren't in a position to claim him, so what can you do?

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In all honesty, you win Cups with tough guys who can score, mixed in with speedy guys and purely skilled guys. MG has done a fantastic job moulding this Canucks team around the Cup winners of the last 5 years to the best of his ability.

The Kings and Bruins eased their way to the Cups with power forwards, and MG has tried to mirror that by keeping guys like Booth, Hansen, Higgins, Lapierre, Burrows and Kesler. Those Cup-winning teams also had skilled guys like Williams, Peverley, Krejci, Kopitar, Gagne etc. The Canucks have the Sedins, Raymond and Roy in that aspect.

The only thing we lack right now is size (compared to the Cup winners), and especially solid defensive play on the back-end. Kassian, Alberts and Edler are our only real big guys in the lineup - Boston had Chara, Seidenberg, McQuaid, Lucic, Horton etc. while L.A had Kopitar, Penner, King, Nolan and Greene. Basically one giant per 5-man unit on the ice at any one time - we lack that still.

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Gillis has improved our skill dramatically during his time here.

Our Fenwick during Gillis era:

07-08: 22nd

08-09: 18th

09-10: 13th

10-11: 9th

11-12: 8th

12-13: 14th

The numbers are flawed because of Kesler's injury and the lack of a 3rd line center, but it would appear that we have peaked.

Why? Partially because of the abandonment of a few Gillis mantras.

1. "Moneyball." What happened to it?

2. "We need to get younger." Oh yeah? When is that going to start? Because most moves lately has done the opposite.

If we continue down this path of expensive contracts granted to bench-worthy project players and backup goaltenders, we will continue to trend downward, imho.

However, current analysis is unattainable because we still have no clue what this team is actually capable of, other than in it's current banged-up form, it is mediocre at best.

Perhaps this team, when healthy, IS the best it's ever been. 'When healthy.' But who cares if it's not EVER healthy?

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Gillis has improved our skill dramatically during his time here.

Our Fenwick during Gillis era:

07-08: 22nd

08-09: 18th

09-10: 13th

10-11: 9th

11-12: 8th

12-13: 14th

The numbers are flawed because of Kesler's injury and the lack of a 3rd line center, but it would appear that we have peaked.

Why? Partially because of the abandonment of a few Gillis mantras.

1. "Moneyball." What happened to it?

2. "We need to get younger." Oh yeah? When is that going to start? Because most moves lately has done the opposite.

If we continue down this path of expensive contracts granted to bench-worthy project players and backup goaltenders, we will continue to trend downward, imho.

However, current analysis is unattainable because we still have no clue what this team is actually capable of, other than in it's current banged-up form, it is mediocre at best.

Perhaps this team, when healthy, IS the best it's ever been. 'When healthy.' But who cares if it's not EVER healthy?

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This worked when our team was elite two years ago.

Now, not so much. The team has changed. Gillis and AV, however, have not.

I think Gillis has one "get out of jail free" card left, and that's to fire AV in the offseason. Will he play it? Or has he too much pride and honor?

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Well.. we are at the win the Stanley cup Mode right now. We are not at a point to bring in "younger" players.

We are at the point of trying to win a cup, so of course any smart gm will make adjustments based on how good his team is performing. At this stage we are a cup contender, not a team in rebuild mode, or building a team towards being a "good" team. We are after a Stanley cup.

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Then why did Gillis say that before the season began?

imho He knows that this team is going to start growing mold in a real hurry, but it's not like teams are willing to take on our bad contracts when the cap is heading down next season. He might've had a 'home run' plan, but it didn't go through. Now he looks stuck to me. This will only hurt his ability to re-tool down the road.

For now we have Roy as a rental. Yaaaaaaay...

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We're not keeping Roy. He's a centerman and some team will pay him a mountain of cash to operate on their top-6. That being said, our top-6 centermen are still here.

What we need is a decent solution on getting a legit 2-way capable 3rd line centerman. With a visor this time. (Would be really nice if that came from within in a real big hurry.)

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"Gillis found Hodgson expendable because he didn't need another offensive center on this team."

Your reality meter is failing you.

Btw - Derek Roy.

An offensive center.

Who can actually play hockey in his own end of the ice.

WOT.

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Hodgson, Shirkov, Grabner? What have they proven in the playoffs?

Sedins Bur

Booth Kes Roy

Is not an offensive top 6? Hardly a 1 trick pony.

The loss of Malhotra has been huge. This team would be loaded if he were healthy. Booth's injuries have hurt the team as well. Can't fault MG or AV for injuries.

Toews was shut down tighter than a drum by....Kes. His 1g 3a and -4 in 7games really helped his team eh?

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All GMs try to balance their roster.

Difficult to do when injuries keep making an appearance.

24-13-7. Playoff bound.

Health+goaltending=deep run.

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