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Jake Virtanen | #18 | RW

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Provost said:

.... or Green knows more about coaching and how the players were prepared

and performing in camp than we do?

 

The other bottom six playing terribly does not mean Virtanen would have been, or is a better option.   The alternative narrative of him just being worse than them is equally if not more plausible, and the coaches picked the team with the greatest chance of winning.

 

I have said all along that Virtanen probably gets into the lineup for game 1 (though I had pretty much counted Ferrand out in that calculation) just that he would have a short leash.

 

We have 5 games, and we don’t have the long runway of training camp,  exhibition games, and the first month or so of the season  it took for Virtanen to finally catch up and start performing last season. 

 

I guess I just trust the coaching staff who got career years out of a bunch of the guys on the team more than you do.

Sutter was absolute trash last game, can't even keep up and the player that shows up and pulls his groin every training camp because he shows up out of shape. 

MacEwen is going to be good but he's not quite there yet and Sutter was trash last night so Virtanen is by far the best option. It's a no brainer. 

 

Edited by Timbermen

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

Who flew off the handle?  

 

And many who rioted cared little about the game and had pre-planned it.  Had nothing to do with "handling a loss" or not so please stay on topic.

Ditto, this has been settled already. I was referring to the people stalking me and calling me names for a week on here.

 

Excited to see Jake. 

Edited by Moose Nuckle

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Running out of chances Jake...

 

This guy may be one of the more physically gifted players on this team / NHL but lacks the maturity and dedication to becoming an everyday NHL player. It's too bad that he is wasting his talent away.

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Very discouraging Jake was benched. Makes you wonder if some things happened behind the scenes you don't know about. 

Honestly though, Sutter doesn't look like himself. I would sit him and play Jake. That's not knowing what Green does.

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43 minutes ago, NaveJoseph said:

Very discouraging Jake was benched. Makes you wonder if some things happened behind the scenes you don't know about. 

Honestly though, Sutter doesn't look like himself. I would sit him and play Jake. That's not knowing what Green does.

I think they need to play Jake and yes, Sutter might be the obvious to sit. I really hope that sitting in the only exhibition game, might be a wake up call for Jake. He really needs to buckle down and focus on hockey, even when they aren't playing hockey.

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47 minutes ago, VegasCanuck said:

I think they need to play Jake and yes, Sutter might be the obvious to sit. I really hope that sitting in the only exhibition game, might be a wake up call for Jake. He really needs to buckle down and focus on hockey, even when they aren't playing hockey.

I didn't get to see the whole game but if Sutter is truly looking like he lost a step, then that might indeed be how Jake returns to the line-up.  As much as I like MacEwen, I personally think it will be hard for Green to play him over Jake if they end up sitting Sutter, particularly against the Wild.  The Wild are a big strong team but with good speed as well.  MacEwen has decent speed for a big guy but Jake has great speed and, despite having defensive lapses, has been pointed out as a player who can be very effectively defensively using his speed and body 5 on 5.  If both Beagle and Sutter have slowed down, then between the two I would expect Beagle to stay in the line-up and we could see a 4th line of Motte-Beagle-Virtanen.  The main problem for Jake is that he has not been trusted for PK, but if that's the main issue for inserting him rather than MacEwen if Sutter sits, then I don't see why MacEwen would be trusted much more than Jake in that role.

 

Jake scored 18 goals this year and was having a solid season.  He's frustrating to watch because he has all the tools to be a great player but just hasn't put it all together for long stretches.  This was the first season where we saw very good play from him for a decent stretch of time, and when he's on his game, he's perfect for the playoffs.

 

If coaching staff ends up going with Sutter or MacEwen then, to me at least, that seems a bit harsh to Jake.  I get why they may feel the need to do that and Jake should not be taking anything for granted.  Hopefully this fires him up in practice and gets him playing time because if Jake is fired up and on his game, I honestly think he will be the best option to help the team win between Sutter or MacEwen (at least right now).

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11 minutes ago, EternalCanuckFan said:

I didn't get to see the whole game but if Sutter is truly looking like he lost a step, then that might indeed be how Jake returns to the line-up.  As much as I like MacEwen, I personally think it will be hard for Green to play him over Jake if they end up sitting Sutter, particularly against the Wild.  The Wild are a big strong team but with good speed as well.  MacEwen has decent speed for a big guy but Jake has great speed and, despite having defensive lapses, has been pointed out as a player who can be very effectively defensively using his speed and body 5 on 5.  If both Beagle and Sutter have slowed down, then between the two I would expect Beagle to stay in the line-up and we could see a 4th line of Motte-Beagle-Virtanen.  The main problem for Jake is that he has not been trusted for PK, but if that's the main issue for inserting him rather than MacEwen if Sutter sits, then I don't see why MacEwen would be trusted much more than Jake in that role.

 

Jake scored 18 goals this year and was having a solid season.  He's frustrating to watch because he has all the tools to be a great player but just hasn't put it all together for long stretches.  This was the first season where we saw very good play from him for a decent stretch of time, and when he's on his game, he's perfect for the playoffs.

 

If coaching staff ends up going with Sutter or MacEwen then, to me at least, that seems a bit harsh to Jake.  I get why they may feel the need to do that and Jake should not be taking anything for granted.  Hopefully this fires him up in practice and gets him playing time because if Jake is fired up and on his game, I honestly think he will be the best option to help the team win between Sutter or MacEwen (at least right now).

They're not leaving Jake out of the lineup, I think that was pretty clear last night.  Sutter looks like he might be injured, Roussel, aside from a goal, was completely ineffective, Mac isn't a full time NHL player yet and Motte was pretty much onvisible.  In the bottom 6, the only noticeable players were Beagle, Ferland and Gaud and Gaud needs to be sheltered defensively.

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26 minutes ago, EternalCanuckFan said:

I didn't get to see the whole game but if Sutter is truly looking like he lost a step, then that might indeed be how Jake returns to the line-up.  As much as I like MacEwen, I personally think it will be hard for Green to play him over Jake if they end up sitting Sutter, particularly against the Wild.  The Wild are a big strong team but with good speed as well.  MacEwen has decent speed for a big guy but Jake has great speed and, despite having defensive lapses, has been pointed out as a player who can be very effectively defensively using his speed and body 5 on 5.  If both Beagle and Sutter have slowed down, then between the two I would expect Beagle to stay in the line-up and we could see a 4th line of Motte-Beagle-Virtanen.  The main problem for Jake is that he has not been trusted for PK, but if that's the main issue for inserting him rather than MacEwen if Sutter sits, then I don't see why MacEwen would be trusted much more than Jake in that role.

 

Jake scored 18 goals this year and was having a solid season.  He's frustrating to watch because he has all the tools to be a great player but just hasn't put it all together for long stretches.  This was the first season where we saw very good play from him for a decent stretch of time, and when he's on his game, he's perfect for the playoffs.

 

If coaching staff ends up going with Sutter or MacEwen then, to me at least, that seems a bit harsh to Jake.  I get why they may feel the need to do that and Jake should not be taking anything for granted.  Hopefully this fires him up in practice and gets him playing time because if Jake is fired up and on his game, I honestly think he will be the best option to help the team win between Sutter or MacEwen (at least right now).

I'm not sure that Sutter has lost a step, or if its just shaking off the rust. I agree that if there's an opportunity to move him in the off season, its time to, but I'm not sure how movable he is right now with the flat cap.

 

I love Jake's game when he's actually playing his game. He's fast and effective on the fore check and the back check, but I think he really needs a kick in the ass to try and get him to be more consistent in bringing his game every night. If he can be consistent, he's a very effective player for us, I'm not sure what's holding him back, I keep hoping to see him start driving the game, no matter what line he's on, he has that potential to elevate the players around him with his speed. I'm not sure if a change of scenery wouldn't be a good thing for Jake as a player and if it might shake him a little. Is it possible that he feels a overly comfortable and maybe sheltered playing in Vancouver with family around him? Maybe. I see a little of Evander Kane in Jake, a player who really needs to make that mental decision that he's going to do whatever is necessary, EVERY day, to be as ready as he possibly can for the coming game and making sure that guys above him in Top 6 positions, are looking over their shoulder at him.

 

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Maybe he made a big stink about being replaced after the season he had and the coach is sticking it to him a la pissing contest.

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7 hours ago, Provost said:

I think just using the overall season totals hides a lot of the reality as far as Jake’s progression goes.  It hasn’t been slow and steady, it has been a roller coaster.

 

He has improved point totals year over year, but he has also been wildly inconsistent within each of those years.  None more so than this past season.

 

For the first third of the season he was no better than he has been in past years.  Basically a .25-.33 PPG player... which is a 20-30 point pace over a season.  Not like great for a guy who gets PP time.

 

The middle third he played amazingly and gave a taste of what he has the potential to be.  He was almost a PPG player over about 6 weeks which is by far his longest stretch of solid play in his career.  It coincided with Roussel coming back onto his line, and they kind of hit a groove.  Jake played exactly like the coach has been publicly imploring him to for years.  He used his size and speed to rush the puck into the zone and drove to the net.  A simple and effective formula.  More often than not, this resulted in him or one of his line mates popping in a greasy goal off a rebound.  He even made some passes and showed some playmaking that had never been part of his arsenal.

 

The final third of the season he was on an atrociously bad pace that was below his career average.  He went back to his old habits of rushing up the ice and either over skating the puck, or letting the opposing D angle him off where he ended up just circling behind their net and then coughing up the puck with a bad pass.  

 

So it is a real conundrum.  Is there a chance he can regularly be that Jake we saw for 6 weeks?  Or is he the Jake we have seen for the other 4 years of his career?

 

Some folks still hope for the best, more seem to be betting that he just is what he is.  Him sitting in the press box last night while we were able to even dress an extra forward doesn’t instill any confidence, even if it ends up just being a motivational ploy by Green and Jake will really be in the lineup for the Minnesota series.  In his 5th year he shouldn’t have to be taught those lessons still.

 

Just like you talked about Goldobin being pushed out of the lineup because of the team getting better, that seems to be the trajectory for Virtanen as well.  He is fighting with Ferland, and MacEwan for a bottom 6 winger spot, and a couple months into next season when the KHL is done, he will be fighting Podkolzin as well... with Hoglander also in the mix (several of the guys play both sides so they are all fighting for 2-3 open winger spots).  
 

If we sign Toffoli, I don’t see any way Virtanen is on our team next year.  There is neither the roster spot or cap space to carry him.  If Toffoli doesn’t sign here, then I still see Virtanen swapped next season for a D that a team would otherwise lose in the expansion draft.  There are just too many bodies fighting for his spot in the lineup and most of them will be at a much cheaper cap hit.

 

If Jake doesn’t play in these playoffs... I despair about what any potential trade value he would have.

 

 

I'd like to also add that its not hard to improve your totals year after year when the bar was set low to begin with.

 

I like Jake and hope that he eventually succeeds.  But the hope that he becomes a 35 to 40 goal and 80 point per season player is fading fast.

 

 

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Jake is (will be) a 20-25 goal scorer, who plays with speed and lays out punishing hits. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, he's a real nice asset to have. Maybe we Canucks fans have been a little spoiled with the Saint-like Sedin twins for all those years. Sharing their wealth, time, energy, their lives to helping others - all while breaking Canucks records. Legendary.

 

A lot of teams have guys like Jake though. Good players, but maybe like to party and have a good time. Patrick Kane was like this when he was young. Evander Kane was like this not long ago. What is it with the Kanes?

 

I guess as long as he shows up every game and gives his all, produces, then we can't really complain. Well, I suppose we could, but why? Jake will eventually grow out of that lifestyle (he needs a good woman IMO, not some dancer named Candi).

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13 minutes ago, NUCKER67 said:

Jake is (will be) a 20-25 goal scorer, who plays with speed and lays out punishing hits. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, he's a real nice asset to have. Maybe we Canucks fans have been a little spoiled with the Saint-like Sedin twins for all those years. Sharing their wealth, time, energy, their lives to helping others - all while breaking Canucks records. Legendary.

 

A lot of teams have guys like Jake though. Good players, but maybe like to party and have a good time. Patrick Kane was like this when he was young. Evander Kane was like this not long ago. What is it with the Kanes?

 

I guess as long as he shows up every game and gives his all, produces, then we can't really complain. Well, I suppose we could, but why? Jake will eventually grow out of that lifestyle (he needs a good woman IMO, not some dancer named Candi).

Jake needs to grow up fast or else he's probably gone at least that's what Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor have been saying.

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6 hours ago, Timbermen said:

Sutter was absolute trash last game

I think you are missing the point.

 

Sutter has been bad for quite some time there is zero surprise, but he still outplayed Jake to earn a roster spot last night.  That isn’t a mitigating circumstance for Virtanen, it is an aggravating one.

 

We have an objectify bad and hugely overpaid bottom six.

 

... and Virtanen can’t crack that lineup.  He isn’t going head to head with Stamkos for a job... he is competing against guys who are barely NHLers and he is losing out.


Green has been coaching him since 2014 and knows exactly what Jake can and can’t provide on the ice more than anyone else.... and it ain’t like Green just doesn’t like him and isn’t giving him chances.

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19 minutes ago, Provost said:

I think you are missing the point.

 

Sutter has been bad for quite some time there is zero surprise, but he still outplayed Jake to earn a roster spot last night.  That isn’t a mitigating circumstance for Virtanen, it is an aggravating one.

 

We have an objectify bad and hugely overpaid bottom six.

 

... and Virtanen can’t crack that lineup.  He isn’t going head to head with Stamkos for a job... he is competing against guys who are barely NHLers and he is losing out.


Green has been coaching him since 2014 and knows exactly what Jake can and can’t provide on the ice more than anyone else.... and it ain’t like Green just doesn’t like him and isn’t giving him chances.

Yep 20 goals and 40 points with 13:00 average icetime, 4th in hits, one of the best Takeaway/giveaway ratio's. No PP time, yep he's sure a bad player but he had more points than Sutter, Ericksson and McEwen/Ferland combined this season. The players he can't compete with all of the sudden. Green still has to prove he can win, didn't look like he had them ready last night, maybe he should focus on getting EVERYBODY ready, not just Jake.

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45 minutes ago, warrchief said:

Jake needs to grow up fast or else he's probably gone at least that's what Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor have been saying

Sadly, it is their job to speculate. So much "reporting" now is trying to start gossip and rumours. Sports Journalism is about soundbites and click bait now. Where have all the cowboys gone?

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The conversation seems to be stuck on whether or not Virtanen should make the lineup as a 4th line right winger. Why not consider him on the left side in Roussel's spot? I don't see Roussel as being much better or more disciplined than Virtanen, and Virtanen has had success when cutting down the left side. I suspect part of it is because Green hasn't seen enough (in fact, any) of Virtanen on left wing. If so, is that not more of an indictment of Green? In any case, Green's handling of Virtanen has been really questionable.

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53 minutes ago, warrchief said:

Jake needs to grow up fast or else he's probably gone at least that's what Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor have been saying.

It was my understanding Dhaliwal was called out for "fake news" recently. And he was apart of that stupid Boeser rumor thing too right? At this point his word means less than Eklund's in my books. Don Taylor, as much as I like him, is another radio personality. I figured we'd learned our lesson and would take what radio folks say with a silo of salt.

 

I will say Jake needs to take hockey more seriously, but he scored 18 goals and averaged a point every other game in a 3rd line role. We aren't exactly swimming in bottom 6 scoring talent. Unless you want all your hopes and dreams laying on Gaudette to perform that bottom 6 scoring role solo. 

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2 minutes ago, N7Nucks said:

It was my understanding Dhaliwal was called out for "fake news" recently. And he was apart of that stupid Boeser rumor thing too right? At this point his word means less than Eklund's in my books. Don Taylor, as much as I like him, is another radio personality. I figured we'd learned our lesson and would take what radio folks say with a silo of salt.

 

I will say Jake needs to take hockey more seriously, but he scored 18 goals and averaged a point every other game in a 3rd line role. We aren't exactly swimming in bottom 6 scoring talent. Unless you want all your hopes and dreams laying on Gaudette to perform that bottom 6 scoring role solo. 

He got called out for "fake news" by a KHL team which doesn't mean a whole lot since that team IS having a covid-19 outbreak in their camp and so are a bunch of other KHL teams. As far as I am concerned, he's one of the better journalists despite a few shortcomings. I wouldn't compare him to Eklund.

Is Jake really worth the 3m or 4m he might get from arbitration? Scoring wise, yes but Canucks brass are going to walk in it and say his professional image isn't up to par.

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3 hours ago, Timbermen said:

Yep 20 goals and 40 points with 13:00 average icetime, 4th in hits, one of the best Takeaway/giveaway ratio's. No PP time, yep he's sure a bad player but he had more points than Sutter, Ericksson and McEwen/Ferland combined this season. The players he can't compete with all of the sudden. Green still has to prove he can win, didn't look like he had them ready last night, maybe he should focus on getting EVERYBODY ready, not just Jake.

18 goals, 36 points and 9 points on the powerplay while anchoring that 2nd PP unit, Jake's takeaway/giveaway ratio was at best...average, there are 8 forwards who have a better ratio than him.  https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/v/virtaja01.html  Sure was on pace for 20 goals and more than 40 points but im sorry unless he has actually done it, you can't actually use that argument that he may have gotten there statistically.  Its just like when everyone kept saying Baertschi was on pace for 50 + points if he stayed healthy the past few seasons.  But that is besides the point.

 

A stat line doesn't matter if he comes not ready to compete for a spot during camp for the post season.  

 

Considering the constant narrative surrounding him that he comes unprepared or his commitment level to the process of being a professional hockey player is lacking, it was up to him to silence this doubters and questions surrounding him.  He didn't do that.  His actions have consequences and he sits plain as simple.  

 

Don't you think its even more evident that Jake had a poor camp that Sutter, Ferland, MacEwen, Motte etc made the lineup before he did, despite he is the more superior player than them?  In a play in series where it could literally end within a weeks time, Green is going to put the players who are ready to go.  Jake simply wasn't ready to start camp and really didn't give anyone a reason why he should be back in.  

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MacIntyre on the Virtanen scratch.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/canucks-notebook-virtanens-omission-lineup-not-surprising/

 

Quote

EDMONTON – Things could be worse for Jake Virtanen. Had Travis Green been able to dress 14 forwards for the Vancouver Canucks’ only exhibition game ahead of the National Hockey League playoffs, Virtanen might have discovered he is 15th on the depth chart – behind even Loui Eriksson.

 

As it was, 13 forwards dressed ahead of Virtanen for the Canucks’ 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, and eight of them scored fewer than the 18 goals the 23-year-old managed this season despite modest ice time and little power-play duty.

 

General manager Jim Benning’s plea for people not to “read too much into it” was destroyed by coach Travis Green’s post-game answer to the question – the second one of his press conference – about why no Virtanen: “I just went with the lineup that I thought gave us the best chance to win. Plain and simple.”

 

So, tell us how you really feel, coach.

 

The furor over Virtanen’s omission isn’t surprising considering the winger’s numbers and the market’s history of reacting strongly to decisions at the bottom of the lineup. Aaron Rome over Keith Ballard!?

 

What is surprising is that Virtanen’s many advocates seemed to not have been paying attention to training camp when he was outplayed first by Zack MacEwen and then by Micheal Ferland, and so was punted out of the top four lines by Green. Nothing has changed since then except the Canucks’ shrinking window to get ready for Game 1 of their Stanley Cup qualifier against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

 

“People are looking at this like it’s a negative because Jake’s not playing and I look at it like it’s a strength,” Benning said Thursday as the Canucks took a day off in the bubble. “Other than Josh Leivo, our whole team is healthy now and it’s not easy to make the lineup. It’s hard. We have depth.

 

“Loui Eriksson’s not playing either, and he had a good camp and looked good in the scrimmages if you were watching. When it came time to making the lineup, (coaches) just felt those other guys had better camps than Jake did. It doesn’t mean he’s not a good player; he was on pace to score 20 goals this season. Who’s to say he’s not back in the lineup next game?”

 

Looking just at talent level, it would be absurd to argue that Virtanen is not one of the 12 best Canucks forwards. Green would argue that he’s building a team, not a rankings list, and there has to be the right fit for Virtanen.

 

With Ferland apparently recovered from the concussion-related issues that restricted him to four NHL periods since October, more physical than Virtanen, and more accomplished so far in his career, Green logically went with the better player from camp to partner Antoine Roussel and Adam Gaudette on the Canucks’ third line.

 

But why not play Virtanen on the fourth line?

 

The simple answer is because he doesn’t kill penalties. But is two or three minutes of nightly PK enough to justify keeping Brandon Sutter on the fourth line ahead of Virtanen? Green prefers to compartmentalize his special teams, but offensive forwards Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller can also kill penalties, and probably Antoine Roussel could, too, if asked.

 

Virtanen has shown at times he is a liability defensively, and isn’t nearly as physical as he could be. But he is a fast, powerful player who backs up defenders and needs little help scoring goals. A player like that should make the bottom of your lineup better, especially in a looming playoff series where one of the Wild’s biggest advantages is their superior forward depth.

 

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