Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Face-off Concern.


zombieksa

Recommended Posts

My biggest concern in regards to the roster for the better part of the last decade has been wingers on their natural side. For the first time in a long time Vancouver has some of the best winger depth it has ever had and has the ability to roster 5 LH and 5 RH natural wingers if need be.

But I do have to bring up another point. We always discuss "who will be the last RHD" or "we have way to many LHD someone has to play their off side." But I want to look at another position. Center.

Sedin, Bonino, Matthais, Vey, Richardson (Horvat, Gaunce)... That is our current center depth... how many are natural right hand draws? One, and he has less than 20 NHL games to his name.

This is a huge blow in terms of deployment and faceoff ability. If you look back to the canucks 2011-2013 we consistently had Kesler and Lapierre as RH top and bottom 6 centers allowing for deployment strategies in both the offensive and defensive zone. The ability to draw to the boards in the defensive zone and the center in the offensive zone is huge and while I cant find the article anymore it showed that the ability to score within 20 seconds of a draw or the percentage of defensive draws that led to clearing the zone drops substantially when a player is drawing in the wrong circle for their handedness. This is before noting that several of our centers have poor a draw win % to begin with.

While I like a lot of the off-season moves that Benning has made this to me is one of the more glaring holes in the roster. It is a reason I really wanted Lapierre re-signed last year and Santorelli this year, one of my biggest concerns with Kesler being traded (I wanted Rakell, a RH center), and one of the reasons that even I can sometimes get drawn into the fantasy of Johansen coming home.

So what do you guys think? Is there a RHC that you think could be available? Do you think this will be detrimental to the team or will they succeed regardless? Just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are two RH Centers available in the upcoming draft and we should be ok ;)

But as for shopping for one. I'd much rather not as we've enough converted centers to wing that can capably field some of those draws. There is such a thing as to much marginal wealth at one position and another center of any kind is beyond redundant right now

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are two RH Centers available in the upcoming draft and we should be ok ;)

But as for shopping for one. I'd much rather not as we've enough converted centers to wing that can capably field some of those draws. There is such a thing as to much marginal wealth at one position and another center of any kind is beyond redundant right now

I understand we have a wealth of forwards right now, but I am just bringing a concern up.

I don't think it is a stretch to say that losing Santorelli to injury last season was a big blow to our team in terms of deployment. Everything began to go downhill from that point and while he may have started to go cold offensively by the time he was injured he was valuable to defensive zone face-offs. With him gone we no longer had that 2nd RH center and we began losing possession and allowing more shots on net.

Thanks for your input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand we have a wealth of forwards right now, but I am just bringing a concern up.

I don't think it is a stretch to say that losing Santorelli to injury last season was a big blow to our team in terms of deployment. Everything began to go downhill from that point and while he may have started to go cold offensively by the time he was injured he was valuable to defensive zone face-offs. With him gone we no longer had that 2nd RH center and we began losing possession and allowing more shots on net.

Thanks for your input.

I've been pretty vocal the last season and a half about our chances moving forward. honestly, I was shocked we made the playoffs in the lockout shortened season and had it been a full season i feel we would have missed the playoffs on that as well.

We're currently in that awesome spot between not good enough to compete and not bad enough to suck but 1 thing either way can make us contenders or basement dwellers.

Our 3rd coach in 3 years, 3rd system, new GM, new president, new high expectations first change towards a newer core in almost a decade a division that arguably got stronger (if possible), 2 Alberta teams finally about ready to start pushing out of the basement.

So many issues still to worry about on this team without mentioning no RHD, PMD, significant depth, questionable wingers, even more questionable 2nd line C and a basket case in net who is as likely to implode as explode for us.

I get the RH draw issue, though about that over the summer as well but we've a solid amount of RH players capable of winning those key draws, while not regularly enough to fake it for one more season.

Not entirely worried about that so much as I am about how bi-polar this board will be moving forward this season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a problem,

but even if we adress it, it won't secure a playoff a spot, nor will not adressing it will guarantee we won't make it.

This year is a retooling year, that will determine if either we go in full rebuild or take a step towards being contenders again in a few years. I don't think we should stop a every weaknesses of the team and try to find a quick fix for it. Let the kids play, set the bases for the new system and we'll cross that bridge once we ice a competitive team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been pretty vocal the last season and a half about our chances moving forward. honestly, I was shocked we made the playoffs in the lockout shortened season and had it been a full season i feel we would have missed the playoffs on that as well.

We're currently in that awesome spot between not good enough to compete and not bad enough to suck but 1 thing either way can make us contenders or basement dwellers.

Our 3rd coach in 3 years, 3rd system, new GM, new president, new high expectations first change towards a newer core in almost a decade a division that arguably got stronger (if possible), 2 Alberta teams finally about ready to start pushing out of the basement.

So many issues still to worry about on this team without mentioning no RHD, PMD, significant depth, questionable wingers, even more questionable 2nd line C and a basket case in net who is as likely to implode as explode for us.

I get the RH draw issue, though about that over the summer as well but we've a solid amount of RH players capable of winning those key draws, while not regularly enough to fake it for one more season.

Not entirely worried about that so much as I am about how bi-polar this board will be moving forward this season

What a garbage comment.

And this is based on exactly nothing I imagine?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a garbage comment.

And this is based on exactly nothing I imagine?

I got your garbage comment right here there pal.

Next time contribute before you get a dog byte or something worse.

Let us see here. his last actual stellar bit of play was the 2010 olympics, as NUMEROUS people have shown his playoff stats have gotten progressively worse and worse. He got run by Lucic and ever since the guys been Luongo esque in his big game showings. He is a basket case and nobody knows if he will shine and genuinely desire to play, or if he will just suck up $6 million a year to be closer to his wife.

But hey thanks for coming out and lending us such a depth of knowledge in such an insightful and detailed comment. REALLY addressed the OPs concerns

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My biggest concern in regards to the roster for the better part of the last decade has been wingers on their natural side. For the first time in a long time Vancouver has some of the best winger depth it has ever had and has the ability to roster 5 LH and 5 RH natural wingers if need be.

But I do have to bring up another point. We always discuss "who will be the last RHD" or "we have way to many LHD someone has to play their off side." But I want to look at another position. Center.

Sedin, Bonino, Matthais, Vey, Richardson (Horvat, Gaunce)... That is our current center depth... how many are natural right hand draws? One, and he has less than 20 NHL games to his name.

This is a huge blow in terms of deployment and faceoff ability. If you look back to the canucks 2011-2013 we consistently had Kesler and Lapierre as RH top and bottom 6 centers allowing for deployment strategies in both the offensive and defensive zone. The ability to draw to the boards in the defensive zone and the center in the offensive zone is huge and while I cant find the article anymore it showed that the ability to score within 20 seconds of a draw or the percentage of defensive draws that led to clearing the zone drops substantially when a player is drawing in the wrong circle for their handedness. This is before noting that several of our centers have poor a draw win % to begin with.

While I like a lot of the off-season moves that Benning has made this to me is one of the more glaring holes in the roster. It is a reason I really wanted Lapierre re-signed last year and Santorelli this year, one of my biggest concerns with Kesler being traded (I wanted Rakell, a RH center), and one of the reasons that even I can sometimes get drawn into the fantasy of Johansen coming home.

So what do you guys think? Is there a RHC that you think could be available? Do you think this will be detrimental to the team or will they succeed regardless? Just a thought.

IMO, the concern you have expressed about a lack of a RHC is valid. If you were to go down the entire depth chart of the Canucks, you'd find only Linden Vey and Cole Cassels as RHC. Unfortunately, there isn't a single UFA out there who can fulfill this role, so if this is something that needs to be addressed in the imminent future, it's going to have to come in the form of a trade.

Having said that, in the WC, there are only six teams that have 2 RHC/2 LHC mix as their top four on their depth charts (Anaheim, Arizona, Dallas, LA, St. Louis and Winnipeg). All the other teams are in the same boat as the Canucke (i.e., 1 RHC and 3 LHC). That's probably why JB hasn't deemed this "shortcoming" a big priority for the Canucks.

IMO, there are holes in the Canucks roster -- PMD/PPQB on the back end; a big bodied, nasty d-man who can physically manhandle opposing forwards in our zone; added size up front are three more glaring issues that I think needs to be addressed ahead of securing another RHC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Handedness on defence and as a center has validity, but wingers playing the same side as they shoot doesn't have and basis in fact as being a general rule. Passers may want to be on the same side as what they shoot, but shooters can and do like to play the opposite side.

At this point, I'm not as worried about handedness with our centers as much as I'm worried about having someone capable of winning draws period, whatever side they're on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO, the concern you have expressed about a lack of a RHC is valid. If you were to go down the entire depth chart of the Canucks, you'd find only Linden Vey and Cole Cassels as RHC. Unfortunately, there isn't a single UFA out there who can fulfill this role, so if this is something that needs to be addressed in the imminent future, it's going to have to come in the form of a trade.

Having said that, in the WC, there are only six teams that have 2 RHC/2 LHC mix as their top four on their depth charts (Anaheim, Arizona, Dallas, LA, St. Louis and Winnipeg). All the other teams are in the same boat as the Canucke (i.e., 1 RHC and 3 LHC). That's probably why JB hasn't deemed this "shortcoming" a big priority for the Canucks.

IMO, there are holes in the Canucks roster -- PMD/PPQB on the back end; a big bodied, nasty d-man who can physically manhandle opposing forwards in our zone; added size up front are three more glaring issues that I think needs to be addressed ahead of securing another RHC.

While I agree with the team having other holes and accept other teams have only one rh center, the fact remains IMO that we have one unestablished rh center. Kesler, santorelli, and lapierre all have hundreds of nhl games under their belts while vey has 18 and few playing center.

I also agree with Elvis that we need better face off numbers as well but regardless of winning a face off, winning the faceoff means less when the draw is going to the wrong spot on the ice. It all adds up in a way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I was curious so I did a check on faceoff stats for the 13'-14' season. Vancouver ranked 10th in the league overall. Obviously with Kesler (52.6) and Santo's (51.3) departures we should take a hit there for sure. However, I was surprised to see the teams ahead and around us in that category. Nashville(1), Carolina(4), Arizona(5), Ottawa(11), Detroit(14) are all non playoff teams. Now, obviously this isn't a determination of playoff teams, but I think we're maybe making a mountain out of a molehill as far as faceoffs go. Yes pick possession is hugely important, be it offensive or defensive. You can't score unless you have the puck. But I agree with an earlier poster, that we have far more pressing needs than centreman, right or left handed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've posted a lot in the past about centre balance and I put a pretty high value on having RH/LH options for faceoffs. However, in the grand scheme of things, faceoff ability ranks fairly low on the list of factors that help teams win games.

I've looked at the numbers in the past and there is a correlation between winning faceoffs and winning games, but it's extremely weak. There are plenty of teams that have posted strong records with poor overall faceoff ability.

Obviously, every little edge helps you win and no team is made "better" by being weak in any area. I'd never choose to be thin on one side for draws, but it's not nearly as big a problem as some of our other issues, like the lack of an offensively creative PMD or a strong, proven two-way centre who can handle tough minutes/matchups and shutdown opponents. It's not as big an issue as us having only one dependable defensive pairing (basically whoever plays with Hamhuis) and a bunch of question marks and Ds who "need" certain types of partners and/or who can only play effectively on one side of the ice.

But I do worry a little about our faceoff potential as it relates specifically to special teams. There's no better way to setup the PP or clear the zone on PK than winning the puck drop and starting with possession. And if we can't win our share of special teams draws, we're going to be working much harder to get the puck and in the process taxing our players more than needed, especially on the PK.

Like others have noted, if our centres can have strong overall numbers, it won't matter if we're weaker on one side. It takes away some chances to direct a clean win back for a set play, but most faceoffs aren't won cleanly. In that regard, it would go a long way if our forwards could perform better as a team on draws. I've felt for a couple years or so that we must be among the league's bottom teams in "winger wins" and scrambled draws. We need to work harder and want the puck more than the other guys. And the coaches can do a lot to improve the way this team competes for the puck on faceoffs.

Obviously, the ideal team has balance down the middle and strong options from one through four. But a well-coached and hardworking team can probably add five more points to the expected FO% of a group like ours (even with its weaknesses). Some of the other roster issues, however, are less easily fixed by coaching, practice, good systems, and strong effort/commitment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got your garbage comment right here there pal.

Next time contribute before you get a dog byte or something worse.

Let us see here. his last actual stellar bit of play was the 2010 olympics, as NUMEROUS people have shown his playoff stats have gotten progressively worse and worse. He got run by Lucic and ever since the guys been Luongo esque in his big game showings. He is a basket case and nobody knows if he will shine and genuinely desire to play, or if he will just suck up $6 million a year to be closer to his wife.

But hey thanks for coming out and lending us such a depth of knowledge in such an insightful and detailed comment. REALLY addressed the OPs concerns

To be fair, Miller hasn't had the occasion to play in too many big games since the 2010 Olympics...playoffs 2014 may be the only games that would qualify as big ones for Miller since being run over by Lucic. So perhaps the concern for Miller for the next three seasons should be his mental readiness for games that mean something, which is something that he hasn't played many of recently (no offence meant by the last sentence, SabresFan1, if you're in this thread).

And since you bring up the Lucic/Miller incident (Miller: "Lucic is a POS"), I wonder how long it's going to be before someone in the WC takes a hard run at Miller. Hopefully we will have some push back when something like that happens, rather than guys who should have stood up giving post game sound bites like: "We should have been there for him" (Gaustad).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I agree with the team having other holes and accept other teams have only one rh center, the fact remains IMO that we have one unestablished rh center. Kesler, santorelli, and lapierre all have hundreds of nhl games under their belts while vey has 18 and few playing center.

I also agree with Elvis that we need better face off numbers as well but regardless of winning a face off, winning the faceoff means less when the draw is going to the wrong spot on the ice. It all adds up in a way.

Totally agree with points made. Personally, I'd rather the team wins more face-offs, especially at crucial points in the game than loses them. Anything to help with puck possession is a good thing. Better to be chased than to be doing the chasing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I was curious so I did a check on faceoff stats for the 13'-14' season. Vancouver ranked 10th in the league overall. Obviously with Kesler (52.6) and Santo's (51.3) departures we should take a hit there for sure. However, I was surprised to see the teams ahead and around us in that category. Nashville(1), Carolina(4), Arizona(5), Ottawa(11), Detroit(14) are all non playoff teams. Now, obviously this isn't a determination of playoff teams, but I think we're maybe making a mountain out of a molehill as far as faceoffs go. Yes pick possession is hugely important, be it offensive or defensive. You can't score unless you have the puck. But I agree with an earlier poster, that we have far more pressing needs than centreman, right or left handed.

That's interesting bit of analysis; three of the top five face-off teams failing to make the playoffs. I guess this issue of having a balanced and strong winning pct. on the draws isn't a big concern for JB/WD and crew...we probably would have heard them talk about it in more detail if they were. Though, I'm sure everyone would agree that they would rather play with the puck than without.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teams like Detroit, Pittsburgh won the cup with all four centers being left handers.

Chicago has been successful with all left handed centers, especially even when Bolland a key cog was injured majority of each season.

It can be done, but it certainly does help having a few right handed centers to take draws on the right side. But this is where Vey becomes very coveted for this team.

Guys like Bonino, Matthias, Richardson, maybe Horvat/Gaunce will all need to help out and show they are competent to do the same. If Benning sees a huge deficiency during the season, he will spring for a RHC. But at the mean time, this team has yet to play a second so lets watch and observe before we do anymore tinkering to this team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...

Like others have noted, if our centres can have strong overall numbers, it won't matter if we're weaker on one side. It takes away some chances to direct a clean win back for a set play, but most faceoffs aren't won cleanly. In that regard, it would go a long way if our forwards could perform better as a team on draws. I've felt for a couple years or so that we must be among the league's bottom teams in "winger wins" and scrambled draws. We need to work harder and want the puck more than the other guys. And the coaches can do a lot to improve the way this team competes for the puck on faceoffs.

Obviously, the ideal team has balance down the middle and strong options from one through four. But a well-coached and hardworking team can probably add five more points to the expected FO% of a group like ours (even with its weaknesses). Some of the other roster issues, however, are less easily fixed by coaching, practice, good systems, and strong effort/commitment.

It'd be interesting to see that quantified somehow, but we've all seen key points where the other team's wingers assist on a faceoff win before our guys can get there, I'm sure.

Winning more draws in general will help avoid situations where the other team can either put the game out of reach or tie it up, and that's where it translates to points in the standings. Unless we're significantly better than I expect I don't see that as being a lot of points though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Winning faceoffs is an important aspect to the two-way game. They count as puck battles and every one of those determine a games' outcome. The best thing about winning them is that it helps take the pressure off our defense, who will be stretched this season as far as minutes-played is concerned. Every draw lost in our own zone makes our high-minutes #2 d's like Hamhuis, Bieksa and Edler more and more exhausted as the season wears on.

Our best teams featured excellent faceoff ability in the defensive end. This isn't a coincidence.

It's a good thing that Horvat, faceoff ace, is on the way. Gaunce is coming to the rescue as well. But for now, yup, we have a concern. Richardson was overworked last year in that role, and that's with Kesler available. And Matthias/Vey may not even be a center.

Bonino is a good stop-gap option while the team continues it's rebuilding effort. In the future it will be nice to have a decent amount of two-way centers available to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Dasein

It's definitely a concern that our supposed 4 centers are all LH (Henrik, Bonino, Richardson, Matthias).

If Vey does make the team as a center, that gives us one RH center but Vey apparently isn't very good on the dot.

The three younger center prospects gunning for a roster spot (Horvat, Gaunce and Lain) are also LH. Looking further down the line, McCann and LaBate are also LH, and Cassels is fortunately a RH.

Basically, only Vey and Cassels are RH out of our entire system, and Cassels is years from making the NHL.

I wonder if we are going to make some moves to obtain some RH centers for LH ones..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...