Arrow 1983 Posted August 25, 2015 Share Posted August 25, 2015 Hello, I am a new member long time reader of this Canucks forum. Heads up this is going to be a slightly long read. It will be my opinion of where this team is headed this season and my explanation and reason of what I believe is the key to this season. (hint I believe it has nothing to do with any aspect of the game as a hole ie. offence, defence or goal tending neither does it have anything to do with special teams, advanced stats or coaching. However I do believe this season comes down to one player and his ability to rebound from a mediocre season). First, I would like to say that I believe in Benning and Lindens moves this past season. I believe the one thing most Canuck fans can agree on is that the Canucks achievements in the regular season blew most people expectations away. ( there will always be some fans that will say they knew the Canucks where going to have a great season). I am not here to argue this point. My point for stating this is in the past regime the MG era we would have seen very few changes in the off season and just replace the pieces we had lost. This is one of the biggest difference I have seen in the Benning- Linden era, they where not happy with what they saw in the playoffs. This brings me to the off season changes. The first change I will discuss is the Kassian trade. When Zack first got here many of us thought Hodgson was the better player in this trade. I myself thought that very same thing more and more as Hodgson first season went on in Buffalo. Then my opinion started to change and I plus many others started to see the potential in Zack. How many of us thought what if he was just given a chance. But the truth is even if Zack was playing on the forth line or first he never showed that big body presents. His skills where only showcased when he did get a chance to play with the Sedins. But that was the problem, Zack was never going to be a player who helped his line mates get better he was the player that got better with better line mates. That is the definition of inconsistency and lack of leadership and heart. As we all know Linden knows something about wearing your heart on your sleeve. Enter Prust, he is a guy who will throw the body, play any role he needs to and give it 100% ever game. Is it the best trade no but what a lot of fans have not realized is he will be a trade able asset if we are not in the playoff hunt. So this trade could still see more coming back to the Canucks. Second, the Sutter trade. To me this is a no brainer I pull the trigger ever day on this trade but not for the reasons we are given but for the bigger picture. I do believe Sutter is a better defensive player than Nick Bonino and Sutter in the long run will fit a third line better. In my opinion I believe there is two mini season with in the regular season and a lot of fans would agree before Christmas and after Christmas. Before Christmas we see open ice fast skating LA kings can't keep up crappy teams have fast starts call as many penalties as possible. After Christmas, Crunch time, Defensive 2-1 games LA loves it shove you in the corner Oilers going to suck put the whistles away hockey. Now tell me this who does better before Christmas and who does better after Christmas? What kind of hockey do we see in the playoffs? Part one the bigger picture is always the playoffs. Part 2 getting youth into the line up. So if Clendening has to be moved to get Sutter and allows us to open a spot for Jake Virtanen that just allows us to fill two parts of the bigger picture. That brings us to the Third off season move, Eddie Lack. The bigger picture. Trade Miller and next season you have Lack and Markstrom. I would be just fine with this except for the fact that Lack is a Ufa that would be looking for a long term big money contract after this season. The best thing the Canucks having going for them is that Miller is only signed for 2 more seasons and so is Markstrom. If Markstrom proves he can become a # 1 goalie we can try and trade Miller next season or split duties the season afterwards. But is that not to costly not really cause markstrom would be under payed for a starter. Once Miller leaves in two seasons we can still sign Markstrom to a 3 year deal and for lower money than lack would cost and still bring in Demko or another backup if Demko is not ready in 2 years. The Bigger picture here is that neither Miller, Lack or Markstrom will be are starting Goal tender in 3-5 years keeping Lack here would have made him are starter. It would have created another goalie controversy. Either between Lack and Markstrom or Lack and Demko. Now Markstrom can have 2 years behind Miller and Demko can have a few years behind Markstrom. If Markstrom fails to prove himself the canucks will have the cap space after two years to sign another starting Goal tender for 3 years for Demko to play behind. So lets quickly look at are goal tending situation, The biggest flaw here is if Miller suffers another injury we are stuck with Markstrom as are backup. While what happens if we kept Lack first we would have lost Markstrom for nothing there was very little chance he was going to clear waivers this up coming season like last season. Second Market wise there was probably no takers for him considering the low return we got for Lack that said there was no way he clears waivers some other team would have taken him for free. Second we trade Miller. We have 2 problems here, is Lack ready to play 55-60 games maybe. What if Lack gets Hurt. We would have Markstrom as backup. Kind of voids the issue with Miller. The truth is any goalie in any season can get Hurt. Just because Miller got hurt this season does not mean he will get hurt next season. Miller is not prone to injury he is not Sami Salo. I believe that there is a section of Canuck Nation that has a SAMI SALO COMPLEX. This Takes me to are offence. I think we are better situated than last season. First, the Sedins are getting older but there game is the same. The older argument works if your game means speed. Lets get real the Sedins do nothing fast except find each other. The season they had under Tortz is what we would call an outlier aka out of place. So we should expect about 70 points from them this season and many seasons to come with minor drops per season ( I would predict that in there final year of there currant contract they will average still 65 points give or take a few). More importantly is who plays with them, this touches on the balance of are line up and the bigger picture. Line up (call me crazy if u want). Sedin Sedin Virtanen ( if he is ready and only if he is NHL ready) Baertschi Sutter Burrows Higgins Horvat Vrbata Dorsett Vey Prust Hansen Kenins First you will notice the forth line has for guys. Vey still needs to prove he is an NHL centre if not he is a extra forward at best. You say the other 3 have no centre experience is a mute point to me. Horvat and Sutter win 50 plus % of all there face offs. Henrik wins close to 50% of his why would any one else need to take face offs. Vey is a right hand draw so is Sutter. Sutter makes us better at centre right there. We lacked all year in right hand draws mostly cause Vey could not win a draw and we had no one else. Second you ask why that second and third line and why Horvat and Vrbata on the third. One, they are not second or third lines they are balanced. Right hand Sutter passing to a left hand Baertschi but Sutter might be the better scorer and Baertschi the better passer. Remember Kesler and Mikael Samuelsson. Burrows for net presents and for checking Horvat a left hand passer to Vrbata right and shot. Again Horvat can score and Vrbata can pass (notice he does collect his assists). Higgins net presents and for checking. Funny both Higgins and Burrows collect there fair share of goals as well. The First Line. (Something I would really like to see). Benning-Linden have said you have to play your youth with good players it is the only why they will learn. Aka do not do it like EDM. I agree with this you do not blow your team apart to put in all youth it is not hockey I want to watch and there is a lot of fans that would agree. Trade the Sedins. They would go to a team that is Stanley cup contender what kind of draft picks do you think you are going to get? What kind of prospects do good teams have? What core player will they part with? They go to a playoff bound mid rank team and that team becomes Stanley cup contenders same problem. Why would they go anywhere else? My point use these guys to our advantage teach Jake Virtanen how to be a first liner. This goes with all are top prospects. We do this with goal tenders all the time. Mentor these prospects. This is part of the BIGGER PICTURE. My rant is over and now we talk defence and the guy that can make or break are season. lineup for defence Edler Tanev Hamhuis Weber or Corrado Sbisa Weber, Corrado or Bartkowski As you can see the only set Pairing is Edler and Tanev. Are defence goes if these guys go but these guys are not the key to the season. These two have found chemistry and I believe this pairing will only get stronger. Weber: even if he duplicates last season or scores more goals he will always be one dimensional. Not a bad thing if he can improve our power play he is probably not the guy you want on the ice in the last 5 mins of a game. This stays true even if he improves his puck moving skills. He just lacks the X-factor. Corrado: I expect him to improve his game even possibly become a top 4 defence man but if he does the rest of our defence would suck. Bartkowski: he is who he is he is going to give you what he gives you. Toughness around the net and has some upside. Sbise: I expect major improvements from him but really if he does worst this season he should not be in the NHL. However I believe he will surprise us this season. The Key to the season is the leadership and consistency Hammer can bring to the Canucks game. Prior to last season in which he still had 1 goal and 22 assists this guy could jump on the ice and bring the game back to the Canucks level. Back to the style of play the Canucks prefer, a possession game. If he can find his game and I do believe he can. Remember it is a contract year for him but that being said he is not a guy that that comes off as some one who get motived by his next contract but the fact he wants to win. We have to remember that this is the same guy who got picked to play for his Country not because he was the most skilled player but because of things that character players bring to the game. If Hammer can find his game this season it is my opinion that this Canucks team of 2015-16 can not only make the playoffs but also make a splash in the playoffs. If I am putting my money on Hammer it is the safest bet you can make. So I am preparing myself for a kick butt season. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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