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

How to address our lack of Offensive Depth/Secondary Scoring without Trades


Recommended Posts

Yes another lineup thread but bear with me here...its more about the logic behind what I am suggesting vs just saying switch the lines. Please read in entirety, opinions welcome. I think this would work and make us a much stronger, tougher team to deal with from all perspectives, scoring, size, speed, all without any crazy trade proposals.

Our weakness thus far, as many have noticed, has really been the second line, simply put, Bonino/Burr/Higgins are not a second line.

Bonino with the right wingers perhaps but his faceoffs are killing us and he doesn't have size. I guess we see the little things that Kes brought that are now missing. Not that Kes didnt have to go but point being we didn't replace those important facets of the game outside of scoring.

I really am at a loss as to why this coaching staff thinks a one line team will work (maybe they feel its too early for them to judge, but I am sure they are seeing the signs as we are). It didn't work last year (one line) and yes the triplets are playing great but we haven't even faced teams that know how to shut them down yet and they racked up their stats vs edmonton and calgary. Wait till we face LA/SJ/Chi and tonight STL all who know how to shut down a one line team very well.

Personally, I think we need to split the twins and spread the scoring. Daniel is not shooting anymore anyways, you don't need 2 playmakers on that line. I said this at the start of the year and think it works the best for this group.

Jensen Henrik Burrows

Daniel Bonino Vrbata

Vey Horvat Kassian

Higgins Richardson Hansen/Dorsett/Matthias

1. Line one. Showed last year (sure in a very short 5 game stint) that it has everything the old twins line had. One can argue Burr isn't a top 6 player but with Henrik he seems to play well and that line had incredible chemistry last year. Burr did the dirty work, Henrik was Henrik, and Jensen was sniping like the old Daniel, going to the dirty areas finding the soft spots and wiring shots as Hank fed him. Yes it splits up a great line, but it gives us real depth of scoring...not one line that can be shut down. And, If putting Jensen and Burr on a line w Henrik gets 20g out of Jensen and 20g out of Burr are we not better? Especiallly if Daniel will still get ~70pts on line 2 and Vrbata will still get 30g plus on line 2? The TEAM is now stronger (bc Jensen and Burr if NOT w Henrik will not combine for 40+ goals, but with him they should).It also helps develop Jensen into what we need him to be, a top 2 winger who snipes. Who better to play with than Henrik while he can still play. If we are transitioning, now is the time to start using our stars to tutor, not when they are too old and slow.

2. Line two. As mentioned Daniel seems to be more of a playmaker now anyways. He has chemistry with Vrbata. Bonino is strengthened by two elite players. Again the line as a whole is better, the team is better.

My argument on lines 1 and 2 is effectively a sum of the parts argument. Both lines are better (improving certain key players which helps the team) than they are separate. Ie Jensen and Burr won't produce the same if not on that line w Henrik, yet Daniel and Vrbata should produce pretty close and they stick together w Henrik on the PP. The combination of those two on Bonino's wings should also make him more effective and Vrbata is a great 2 way player, as we saw in Phx...he picks up a bit of the second line defensive hole left by Kesler. Henrik can carry a line (Bonino cannot and when partnered with Burr and Higgins we have a 3rd line).

3. Line 3. Terrific kid line. Bo centers, good in the circle, plays with 2 talented young players. Kassian gets to play with 2 guys who can actually finish. Bo is defensively responsible and plays a conservative game, and can make up for any 'perception' of Kass defensive deficiencies (which advanced stats say actually isnt bad, but i've gone there before so I will avoid it). Bo also gets real ice to develop, he gets 2 wingers than can pot some goals, nice size on that line, playmaking ability and finish all around, and they are sheltered minutes. Again, development here is key as well...all three players are playing with talent now...which helps them all.

4. Line 4 - Now at the level of the group we had during the stanley cup run. Higgy is where he should be. Richie is Richie, total stud, and sub in Dorsett/Matthias/Hansen as required.

Done and Done...team is now legitimate, balanced and tough to deal with on every line with real secondary scoring, and only flaw is Bonino in the circle and that can be trained...

Also, we start developing our players properly with talent around them. Kassian gets real linemates, Jensen gets a real set up man...we not only strengthen our team now, it benefits us incredibly for the future. Bo still develops his play at Center/in the circle, and has wingers that can finish..Vey has two linemates with size that offset his less phsyical manner, and can also put the puck in the net.

End of the day, that breeds confidence amongst our young players because when Jensen is open he will get the puck in a dangerous area and score, Kassian feeds a player that can pot it, Vey has some toughness around him and size that allows him to playmake, Bo has two players with some experience who can also finish.

Team sees youth excelling, finds the excitement, the energy from that...that's how good things start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Instead of splitting the Sedins, I'd split Vrbata.

Sedin-Sedin-Kassian/Jensen/Vey (Sedin proved that you don't need a sniper like Vrbata, they will often hand you an open net anyway)

Burrows-Bonino-Vrbata (Finally a finisher on that line instead of three two-way/grinder players)



Then reunite Vrbata with the Sedins on the PP or when we are trailing in the third.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow this has been beat to death but nothing besides better players and time can fix it.

The answer is play better defence and enhance systems play.

It's not like there is some genius combination out there that CDC knows of that the coaching staff hasn't thought of.

If this were MIT and we were math majors working on a puzzle with infinite solutions maybe, but now we're a hockey team missing dynamic scoring, we only have a couple options, it is not going to change anytime soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a transition year where we need to be somewhat competitive and continue to stock up on picks and free up capspace at the deadline. If burrows and his 4.5 million can be moved at the deadline for a second round pick then i think we can afford to go after a more qualified second line winger in the ufa market. Theae days thats a way to build a team by trading rentals and getting picks, then picking up free ufas. This lineup is sorely missing kesler imo and it will take some time to realize the benefits from that trade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd rather let Willie decide.

While we can always improve in every area of the game, I think we need to focus more on team defence. Of course we need to score goals too. For that I kinda like Vrbata with the Sedins. I'm not as worried about the fabled "secondary scoring" that everyone seems to be freaking out about. We have plenty of good forwards and there are limitless combinations possible. I do like rolling four lines though - we have to keep the twins fresh and there are enough good players to take up the slack. Offence will come naturally once we sort out the team defence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't the splitting the sedins thing not work at all last year? I think we need better defense more than anything to be honest.

It actually worked great ... for a game and got us rolling on a hot streak.

One of the bigger problems on our team is that we dedicate 14 mil towards two forwards but they can't play hockey apart which has really affected our ability to bring in top skill for that second line. If those guys could move around more and produce like $7 million dollar players on their own our team would be far better off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

this team is a 1 line team with three 3rd lines and a bunch of 3,4 d-men . the farm has some guys that might eventually fit the bill but

there is no way to get a second line that scores without trades.

the needs haven't changed over the past decade and its been the undoing of every gm to take this team on.

a real second line

a top d pairing.

and you can throw a center that can win a faceoff into that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone is still giving Bonino a pass, but the guy just can not skate well enough to be an NHL regular, never mind a 2nd line center.

He has skill, he has great hands, he can make things happen with the puck, but he just can"t skate.

Burrows & Higgins are stapled to Boninos wings because he needs wingers who can forecheck for him to get the puck & he needs wingers capable of getting back to cover for him.

The guy isn't a 2nd line center, he isn't a 3rd line center, he's a PP specialist that we aren't using on the PP & he's a boat anchor at even strength who will drag down any line he's on.

It's going to be interesting to see how long it takes for them to give up on trying to make Bonino work.

What I'd really like to see once Horvat gets back is.

Sedin Sedin Vrbata

Higgins Vey Kassian

Burrows Horvat Hansen

Richardson Matthias Dorsett

The 2nd line can be protected somewhat & will provide offence. That 3rd line can handle some tough defensive assignments & chip in some goals. We'd have to live with mistakes from Vey & Horvat while they grow into their jobs, but at least we'd have everyone playing roles they are suited to & having Bonino available as the 13th forward we can throw in when needed is solid depth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's take a look at how other teams do it:

In order of current league standings...






Looks like they don't load up the first. Instead it's the proven pair of players.

2nd line then has a vet pair and a decently skilled young player

3rd line has a couple kids on it and a bigger guy.

4th line has a prospect and a couple bigger guys.


Patches-Des-Gallagher - Offensive pairing and pseudo toughguy help

Galch-Pleks-Parenteau - Couple vets and and a blooming young star

Bourq-Eller-Weise - 2 big vet wingers, including a plumber, and skilled young center.

Moen-Malhotra-Prust - 2 aging plumbers and a banger


Fors-Ribs-Neal - two skilled vets, skilled young player

Wilson-Roy-Smith - two young skilled wingers, vet center

Jokinen-Jarnk-Stalberg - semi-retired guy, young center, vet winger

Bourque-Gaustad-Nystrom - two big vets and a skilled young player


Drouin-Filp-Stamkos - skilled rook, two skilled vets

Palat-Johnson-Conn - 3 skilled young players

Kuch-Namest-Brown - 2 skilled young players, 1 heavier young guy

Morrow-Boyle-Blunden - 2 big vets, plug


-Pairing up top vet scorers, not loading up on one line.

-A lot of young skilled players inserted

-Top 3 lines can score often

-4th line generally bigger, slower

Now ours:

Sedin-Sedin-Vrbata - top skill on one line

Higgins-Bonino-Burrows - two vet wingers and so-so center

Matthias-Richardson-Kassian - two so-so vets and a big young guy

Dorsett-Vey-Hansen - big slow vet, young small pseudo center, so-so fast 2-way winger

We could pair up our top vet scorers, but the problem may be that Daniel and Henrik need the third scoring element to be effective. And who's the third element if not Vrbata? Burrows seems to have lost something, Kassian is wildly inconsistent, Vey's not there, and not a lot of skill otherwise, and we tried a lot of combos last season. So perhaps the top line is stuck.

We obviously need more young players inserted. Problem is that none in the pipeline are ready. Horvat is the closest, but only as a 4th liner, and then I guess Vey will be the odd man out? Or we trade a vet. Or there's an injury. Or Horvat goes back to junior. We'll see.

We have 1 scoring line, not three. We knew this was going to be a problem heading into the season. You could say that we need a legit 2nd line and our third line should be the 4th, but to be a serious contender in this league it's more we need a legit 1st line. Problem is the Sedins are 7mil per for this year and the next three.

Our current 4th line doesn't look like much of a 4th line. But that's because our 3rd line is actually our 4th line. Whadayado?

Conclusion: There are no quick fixes to be had here. We need to accelerate the rebuild.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"One of the bigger problems on our team is that we dedicate 14 mil towards two forwards but they can't play hockey apart "

didn't one of them win an Art Ross while the other was injured? Or am I thinking of some alternate universe?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "Split the Sedins" thread came early this year

i do wish a coaching staff would give it a try in 5v5 situations , you still have 4v4,pp,end of pk's for them to play together. I truly believe atop six of Burrows/H.Sedin/Vrbata then D.Sedin/Bonino/Kassian would give us better 5v5 balance..and even possibly switch Vey with Boninjo to strengthen the third line even more. At this stage in there careers it dosn't really matter to play them apart for times...and maybe we create a bit of a rivalry between the brothers, as we all know they always want to outdo the other

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All three members of our first line are on pace to reach 100 points, or come damn close to it. If you think messing with that will help the Canucks offense, you are nuts.

That pace won't last man. I love how they are playing together but really, you think one line cant be shut down by LA/SJ/STL/Minne/Anaheim etc?

Point of the thread was to find a way to balance the lines , which makes it harder for teams to focus on one line..thus enabling us to score more and at the same time develop our young players.

I love the twins and vrbata but they aren't scoring 100pts and will be lucky to get above 80 once we start seeing the hard teams, they racked up their pts vs Edm/Cal bud...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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