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Loui Eriksson Can't Be a Passenger (Article)


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While many might have expected Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser to lead the Vancouver Canucks offensively, that hasn’t been the case early in the season.

Instead, 19-year-old wunderkind Elias Pettersson has taken the offensive reins for the Canucks. Before he was diagnosed with a concussion, Pettersson ripped off five goals and eight points in his first five games. His three even-strength goals currently lead the Canucks. At the moment, no one else on the team has more than one even-strength marker.

 

Elias Pettersson

Elias Pettersson No. 40 of the Vancouver Canucks holds up a puck from his first NHL goal after their NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena Oct. 3, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

One of those players is Nikolay Goldobin, who earned his Golden Ticket to play alongside Pettersson during the preseason. The two showed some chemistry early in training camp, and that’s shown through the Canucks’ first five games. Goldobin’s effectiveness there was one of the reasons why Sam Gagner was waived prior to the season.

The other winner of the Golden Ticket was Loui Eriksson. While Goldobin earned his spot there, the same can’t be said about Eriksson.

 

Eriksson’s Early Points Are Deceiving

If you glanced at Eriksson’s 2018-19 stats, you might think that he’s gotten off to a decent start. He registered three assists in his first two games playing alongside Pettersson, including the primary one on his first career NHL goal.

Those three points certainly don’t tell the whole story. The truth is that Eriksson has been mediocre, even downright disappointing, during his opportunity with Pettersson and Goldobin.

 

Eriksson’s main problem is that he hasn’t been creating chances, getting open, or capitalizing on his chance while playing with Vancouver’s most talented player. During those five games he spent with Pettersson prior to the concussion, Eriksson had but three shots on net.

Three shots. In five games.

Ladies and gentleman, you can call that squandering an opportunity. It’s a small sample size, but it’s troubling that Eriksson hasn’t threatened with Pettersson at all.

 

Loui Eriksson

Loui Eriksson was gifted an opportunity to rejuvenate his career, but he hasn’t looked good early this season. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Pettersson and Goldobin, in comparison, have 13 and 11 shots on net respectively during that time frame. They at least looked threatening, whereas you can’t pinpoint much that Eriksson has contributed. He wasn’t heavily involved in the play with his two secondary assists. Eriksson did make a good play to get the puck to Pettersson on his lone primary assist when he fed a backhand pass that sprang the rookie on a 2-on-1. Still, Eriksson needs to find a way to threaten in the offensive zone if he wants to keep his Golden Ticket.

My THW colleague Matt Lawson predicted 20 to 25 goals for Eriksson, and it’s easy to see why. The opportunity was there for Eriksson to grasp, and many envisioned the “King of Garbage Goals” cleaning up Pettersson’s rebounds. It hasn’t materialized so far, and it’s fair to wonder if Eriksson will get another shot there once Pettersson returns from injury.

 

When Will Green’s Patience Run Out?

Head coach Travis Green has shown a tendency to be trigger-happy with his line combinations, and that doesn’t bode well for Eriksson moving forward.

Even early on this season, Green hasn’t utilized Eriksson in a role that he’s used to. This is a player who’s averaged more than 18 minutes per game throughout his career. Early on in this season, he’s averaging just a shade over 11 minutes per game.

Head coach Travis Green

Travis Green has already shown a propensity to bench veterans, and you have to wonder if Loui Eriksson is next. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Green did use Eriksson less than his predecessor, Willie Desjardins. Under the former Canucks coach, Eriksson averaged 18:41 in ice time per game, which was third-highest among Canucks forwards.

Last year under Green, Eriksson’s average ice time dropped to 16:16 per game. His 1:26 in average ice time with the man-advantage in 2017-18 was also Eriksson’s lowest total throughout his career.

Green has already shown a history of limiting Eriksson’s ice time in different aspects of the game, and there could be a further drop coming. When Pettersson comes back, there will be a short leash on Eriksson, and chances are the leash will tighten before then if Eriksson continues to be a passenger.

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This article fails to point out what kind of role Eriksson is playing. He's a criminally underrated two-way player, who provides much needed depth up and down the wing.

 

Yes, he is arguably overpaid for the type of role that he is in, but one cannot say that he is ineffective at his job.

 

The offensive mindset he possesses is still there, though his numbers very well might not reflect that. He is certainly the better signing compared to Lucic. I think his role was an important one in helping Petterson and Goldobin play better.

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3 minutes ago, Dazzle said:

This article fails to point out what kind of role Eriksson is playing. He's a criminally underrated two-way player, who provides much needed depth up and down the wing.

 

Yes, he is arguably overpaid for the type of role that he is in, but one cannot say that he is ineffective at his job.

 

The offensive mindset he possesses is still there, though his numbers very well might not reflect that. He is certainly the better signing compared to Lucic. I think his role was an important one in helping Petterson and Goldobin play better.

it also ignores all of the other good stats he's putting up. 4th in on ice save % on the team, and possession. Also very low ice time being in the sheltered role. Also being the defensive partner for the kids. Sure a goal would be nice but he has 14 shot attempts, Baertschi has 16. Its early. 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Dazzle said:

He's a criminally underrated two-way player,

Two-way player implies he is strong both offensively and defensively, he is not strong offensively. 

 

27 minutes ago, Dazzle said:

Yes, he is arguably overpaid

Lol, just a tad.

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I wonder if the dumb*** that wrote this article has watched a second of Loui's game this year?

 

Probably missed him on the backcheck too last night absolutely robbing the pens of a GWG ...

 

So silly.

 

What a dumb article. Absolutely dumb.

 

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That article is ridiculously inaccurate and so full of bias that it's spilling over the sides. Loui has been doing his job this year. 

 

Not saying pettersson is a complete defensive waste, but I'm pretty sure Loui has something to do with that line only being on the ice for 1 even strength goal against this year as far as I can remember. 

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the canuck roster is far from ideal 

which is why it is not a cup contending roster

yet too many wish to focus on a lower priority issue

the loui saga

 

how about that gets tabled

unit the team sorts out its defensive weaknesses

finds longer term consistent goal tending

and gets a couple more prospects elevated to the nhl

(perhaps one could challenge loui for his spot)

 

when those 3 issues are solved

we can look at loui's longer term role with the club

who knows, by then, loui could be well established on the line with goldy and ep40

and this will all be water under the bridge

 

5 games in - he was playing on the canucks best offensive line

that might be all due to ep40

but we really do not know all the intimate dynamics of the players on this line

 

the team is doing pretty well early on

could all be smoke and mirrors

as we all should now know the real season does not start till after christmas

so i'd prefer to just enjoy this current success while it is happening

(and for as long as it might last)

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20 minutes ago, 4thLineGrinder said:

 

louie is the b-mo of the petterson cost express

 

he is more defensive minded as bert and nazzy (goldy petey) are 100% offensive mind

 

Thats a bit insulting to what Brendan Morrison did for that line.

 

Loui might be better on the defensive side of things.

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1 hour ago, Dazzle said:

This article fails to point out what kind of role Eriksson is playing. He's a criminally underrated two-way player, who provides much needed depth up and down the wing.

 

Yes, he is arguably overpaid for the type of role that he is in, but one cannot say that he is ineffective at his job.

 

The offensive mindset he possesses is still there, though his numbers very well might not reflect that. He is certainly the better signing compared to Lucic. I think his role was an important one in helping Petterson and Goldobin play better.

This required getting points.

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What the article fails to acknowledge is that Loui actually helps establish puck possession for that line.  Tied for 3rd of the forwards with most take aways.  Something that is criminally underrated about Loui's game is his puck retrieval.  He is really good at getting on the forecheck and using his stick to get loose pucks and allow Goldy and Petts to make their plays.


What he needs to be wayyy better at is the small skills such as passing and getting his shot off quicker.  That is where he looks extremely sluggish in and often kills the play once he is in that position.

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36 minutes ago, Samgagner'sface said:

That article is ridiculously inaccurate and so full of bias that it's spilling over the sides. Loui has been doing his job this year. 

 

Not saying pettersson is a complete defensive waste, but I'm pretty sure Loui has something to do with that line only being on the ice for 1 even strength goal against this year as far as I can remember. 

Pettersson is already showing his totalsuperiority over Louis “defensive” play.

 

way more hustle

 

way more tenacity 

 

elias is making loui look better than he is.  If loui wasn’t in the contract he has he’d be in Utica or traded.

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3 minutes ago, riffraff said:

Pettersson is already showing his totalsuperiority over Louis “defensive” play.

 

way more hustle

 

way more tenacity 

 

elias is making loui look better than he is.  If loui wasn’t in the contract he has he’d be in Utica or traded.

I'm thinking Loui is just too slow for the current NHL.  This has nothing to do with his contract either.  He just can no longer keep up, and is getting stuck in the neutral zone, or just behind the play in general.  It looks like he's standing still, and not trying, but I'm sure he's trying as hard as he can. He just can't skate well enough.  Maybe he could fill a role as a bottom line checker?

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Awful article. It doesn't matter what kind of season Eriksson has as the writer, and many others here, have already pre-determined he will have a bad season and drag down Pettersson and Goldobin with his so called poor play.

When do you ever see an article ripping a player for his "poor quality" points as this article does? Why not rip Virtanen with the same number of points but two of them came with an empty net? He praises Goldobin for his play though he has exactly the same number of points as Eriksson but for some reason he has to examine how Eriksson managed his 3 points. This is just a writer jumping on the "bash Eriksson" bandwagon without actually watching his play.

 

Eriksson, Sutter. Edler type of players always get harsh treatment from fans and writers because they are not "flashy" players that get them excited. They simply go out and do their jobs well while relying on the recognition they get from their teammates and coaches as opposed to these idiot writers.

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22 minutes ago, Alflives said:

I'm thinking Loui is just too slow for the current NHL.  This has nothing to do with his contract either.  He just can no longer keep up, and is getting stuck in the neutral zone, or just behind the play in general.  It looks like he's standing still, and not trying, but I'm sure he's trying as hard as he can. He just can't skate well enough.  Maybe he could fill a role as a bottom line checker?

Shame that contract is unmoveable 

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