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Time to start line matching?


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First off, this is the first thread I've created so feel free to give me tips if I made a mistake/ could improve.

Line matching works in the NHL, and IMO we don't have the personnel to roll 4 lines atm. This is a possible temporary solution to lesson the disaster we are seeing iced every day. The players aren't reading off of each other very well (minus the top line,) and this needs to change. Part of this is due to having no defined roles on the team for individual lines, and the role players we do have are expected to do things they aren't used to. The defence would also benefit from cohesive groups with specialized plans of attack. 

New lineup:

Sedin Sedin Hansen (offence A)

Higgins Horvat Burrows (shutdown)

Baertschi Mccann Vrbata (offence B)

Kenins Prust Dorsett (Energy & havoc)

-keep these lines together so the players gain some FAMILIARITY with each other

-give high % ozone starts to offence B, as they would need to be sheltered a bit

-shutdown line has out best defensive centre with our two (arguably) best defensive wingers

-4th line centre should be prust, as he showed his passing ability with assists earlier on in the season



Edler Tanev

Hamhuis Sbisa

Hutton Bartkowski/Biega 


-Edler Tanev are decent together but Tanev may have been rushed back after being out

-Sbisa is most capable of playing in the last top four spot out of all of our defenders, but if Hamhuis wants/needs a righty put Biega there

-Hutton should have Biega to compliment his zone exits with toughness and defensive prowess but adding Bartkowski instead could make an incredibly fast and mobile pair 


Ok, now Discuss!

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Your problem is thinking that Higgins, Edler, and Hamhuis should even be on the ice period, let alone assigned any role on the team. Also. The line of Prust, McCann, and Dorsett was very good before Prust's ankle injury. Not sure why that line hasn't been reunited, but anything is better than what Prust has been doing since his return. Sorry to say it, but Horvat is NOT ready for second line center duties at this stage in his career. Continues to get schooled every night.

In reality though, the problem (per say) is not who you put out there on a nightly basis, but more so the mind set of who you put out there on a nightly basis. Willie D is coaching "scared" and as a result the players are tentative, unsure of their roles, and playing with ZERO skill and emotion. Threatening the kids with bench warming duties if they dare makes a mistake, all the while going with vets that seem to make nothing but mistakes these days, is NOT the way to instill confidence and teach the so called kids the ways of the NHL.

Things need to be very simple for the Canucks right now, and yes, it would be helpful if players did have a chance to find some chemistry with their respective line mates. Unfortunately, other than the Sedins and Hansen most lines have lasted a game if that of late.

A trained ape could have coached this team last year as everybody that toiled (and failed) under Torts had a HUGE chip on their shoulder and lots to prove to them selves, the fans, and the team as a whole. Willie simply rolled four lines for most of the year and the team responded in kind. Unfortunately Willie D got schooled big time in the playoffs by Hartley and a very aggressive, fast, Calgary team. Even more so when he tried to shorten the bench and preserve the lead. Instead of learning from that, he (Willie) came into this year thinking that teaching everybody not to loose is the same as teaching them to win.

Willie really needs to look in the mirror and see if he has something left to offer this team, because I fear he has met his match with this particular core as did Torts and AV before him. Not sure if firing Willie D or a wholesale change to the core is beneficial at this particular time, but it's my humble opinion that Willie D does not have what it takes to coach his way out of the mess that is currently the Vancouver Canucks.

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When they play at home, they should be line-matching so that the team can have a fair chance to win at home.  However, on the road, it's not possible to do this.   Too many teams is taking advantage of the match-ups even on the road, knowing how Willie deploys them and throw them out accordingly.

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I suggested the Baertschi - McCann - Vrbata line prior to the Boston game, again I will point out that Higgins played in LW spot instead, and went -3. Is that the type of defensive play, with a 0.14 PPG that has him playing instead of developing the prospect with the highest offensive ceiling on the team?

I hope to see Virtanen get sent to WJC, and Kenins getting sent down if he doesn't get Horvat going soon, and then allowing those lines to gel. Except with Prust - Cracknell -Dorsett as the 4th line instead.

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