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NHL.com Canucks season preview - Sep 27/2019

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BrockBoester

NHL.com season preview?  

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https://www.nhl.com/news/vancouver-canucks-2019-20-season-preview/c-309495214

 

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Coach: Travis Green (third season)

Last season: 35-36-11; fifth place Pacific Division

 

5 KEYS

 

1. Better balance, more goals

After scoring 801 goals over the past four seasons, the fewest in the NHL not counting the Vegas Golden Knights, who began play in 2017-18, the Canucks are counting on their offseason additions to bolster a top-six forward group anchored by Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat. Micheal Ferland, who signed a four-year contract on July 10, is expected to play with Pettersson and Boeser, and J.T. Miller, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 22, is expected to play on the second line with Horvat and Tanner Pearson. That pushes Sven Baertschi, Josh Leivo and Loui Eriksson, who each played in the top-six last season, down the lineup as the Canucks shift toward a more balanced, top-nine philosophy. It's a change after a distinct split between the top six and bottom six last season that stressed shutdown defensive roles for the third and fourth lines to free up the top two offensively.

2. Pettersson stronger down stretch

Pettersson won the Calder Trophy voted NHL rookie of the year last season after scoring 66 points (28 goals, 38 assists) in 71 games. The center was held to 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his final 19 games and said he felt tired playing more than he had any season prior. Pettersson spent the offseason focusing on his conditioning to get more power in his legs and said he believes he is better prepared to play a full season at the level he showed early last season, when he had 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in his first 10 NHL games.

3. Revamped defensemen

The Canucks will have three new defensemen this season, with Tyler Myers and Jordie Benn each signing as a free agent on July 1, and Quinn Hughes penciled into a top-four role as a rookie. They will be counted on to not only to improve the defense, which allowed 248 goals last season, tied with the Washington Capitals for 17th in the NHL, but to drive scoring, something Vancouver's defensemen have struggled to do in each of the past four seasons.

4. Consistent Markstrom

After going 8-9-3 with a 3.31 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in his first 20 games last season, Jacob Markstrom was 20-14-6 with 2.49 GAA and .921 save percentage in his final 40 games, and the Canucks are counting on him to pick up where he left off. He should benefit from a second season with goaltending coach Ian Clark and an offseason refining changes they made to his technique, with a few new concepts he wasn't able to manage physically before.

 

5. Depth on power play

Vancouver's power play was tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for 22nd in the NHL at 17.1 percent last season after finishing tied for ninth in 2017-18 at 21.4 percent. The second power-play unit scored 11 of Vancouver's 53 goals last season, and three of those came after Hughes signed and played the point in the final five games. Hughes and Horvat, a fixture on the top unit last season, each played on the second unit in preseason.

 

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ROSTER RUNDOWN

 

Making the cut

There are six players battling for the four wing spots on the bottom two lines, with at least one destined for waivers before being sent to the American Hockey League. Tim Schaller, Jake Virtanen, Nikolay Goldobin, Tyler Motte, Baertschi and Eriksson are competing to play with centers Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle, with the ability to kill penalties giving Motte and Eriksson an advantage. Goldobin, who was seventh on the Canucks with 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in 63 games last season but was a healthy scratch for nine of the final 10 games, along with Schaller, who was scratched 35 times and had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 47 games last season, are the leading candidates to get cut. Center Adam Gaudette, who had 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 56 NHL games as a rookie last season, had a strong preseason with five points (four goals, one assist) in five games but appears destined for the AHL in part because he doesn't have to clear waivers like the other forwards mentioned.

 

Most intriguing addition

General manager Jim Benning talked about Myers playing a shutdown role, but the defenseman could make a bigger impact on offense. Myers had 67 points (15 goals, 52 assists) the past two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, one fewer than Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. After being mostly relegated to the third pair with the Jets, Myers will get more of an opportunity to contribute on the top pair with Edler.

Biggest potential surprise

Pearson, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline, scored seven goals in his final nine games playing with Horvat and is penciled into that spot on the second line with the addition of Miller on right wing.

 

Ready to break through

Hughes had three assists in five games at the end of last season after leading the University of Michigan with 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) in 32 games. Hughes, who will turn 20 on Oct. 14, is being counted on to make an impact like Pettersson did last season.

 

Fantasy sleeper

Markstrom (average draft position: 156.3) had 28 wins in 60 games last season and is obtainable in late rounds with a higher ceiling in his contract year (potential 2020 unrestricted free agent) after Vancouver's offseason improvements. -- Rob Reese

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PROJECTED LINEUP

 

Micheal Ferland -- Elias Pettersson -- Brock Boeser

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- J.T. Miller

Sven Baertschi -- Brandon Sutter -- Josh Leivo

Loui Eriksson -- Jay Beagle -- Jake Virtanen

Alexander Edler -- Tyler Myers

Quinn Hughes -- Christopher Tanev

Jordie Benn -- Troy Stecher

Jacob Markstrom

Thatcher Demko

 

Wow. No love for Gaudette in the projected line-up eh!

 

So there are quite a few good tidbits in here, even if some of them are fairly obvious.

 

Not a super long read either so I'm not doing a TL;DR but it's good to see that there's some potential being seen in our young and/or newly added talent.

 

What do you nuckleheads think? NHL.com pass or fail?

Edited by BrockBoester
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1. Something's gotta give - we have a glut of bottom 9 type guys still.

 

2. Depth contributions - we need guys like Beagle and Sutter to chip in some goals.

 

3. More point shots thru feet - don't care from where,or when our D and high F take them, you miss all the shots you don't take.

 

4. Some snarl - Roussel is coming back, him, Ferland, and maybe Zack MacEwen are going to annoy the $#!^ out of the league.

 

5. Consistent effort - I will be the first to call out lazy periods and players.

 

Making the cut - I want to see MacEwen Gaudette Virtanen line at some point this season. Waive Schaller,Motte, Goldy

 

Addition - Most looking forward to seeing how ROUSSEL backs up his best ever season from last year.

 

Surprise - A healthy Sutter on the fourth line would make me happy to cheer for the most expensive 4th line in the league. Loui Sutter Beags

 

Breakthrough - Jake needs to put up 40 points this season. Time is a tickin'...

 

My fantasy - the entire team dressed in chainmail uniforms and lots of explosions between whistles.

 

------------------------

Ferland Petey Boeser

Pearson Bo Miller

MacEwen Gaudette Jake

Loui Sutter Beagle

(Leivo)

-------------------------

Edler Myers

Hughes Tanev

Benn Stetcher

(Biega)

-------------------------

Marky (57)

Demko (25)

 

Trade Baertschi or Leivo, there's no room for either when Roussel returns anyhow.


Something's gotta give with the bottom 9 glut.

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I would like to see Adam G. make the big club and he will, being the first call up from Utica when we get our usual mass amounts of injuries.

He has worked hard in progressing his game and I said that we just don't trade HOBEY BAKER WINNERS.

This is why,because in order to win such awards you have to be talented and he is very young like most of our team and some players young or not just get it and begin to show honest hardworking hockey skills.

Good for Adam G. and for the benefit of the team,I hope he is not disappointed to go down for a short time because of the waiver and money stuff.

Either way I like Adams G. and the hardworking smart effort he brings as a very young guy,if he stays up I will not be too shaken.

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54 minutes ago, Pears said:

I would ideally like to see this

 

Ferland - Pettersson - Boeser

Pearson - Horvat - Miller

Baertschi - Gaudette - Sutter

Leivo - Beagle - Virtanen

 

Extras: Motte, Eriksson

 

To Utica: Schaller, Goldobin

 

IR: Roussel

I like it 5v5 but I don't think you have four forwards that kill penalties.

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There is no doubt about it this divisions third spot is ripe for the picking.   SJ is not a lock - Jones isn’t that good - average - EK needs to be EK old to offset Pavelski and depth leaving that team...

 

Hard to see our team not winning more of those one goal games - the flip side is teams will be playing their first stringers more against us they will definitely be taking us more seriously.   10-20 point leap isn’t out of the realm of reason, how healthy we are will depend on the amount.   Depth isn’t as much of an issue - Miller has helped us have two bona-fide scoring lines...

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1 hour ago, IBatch said:

There is no doubt about it this divisions third spot is ripe for the picking.   SJ is not a lock - Jones isn’t that good - average - EK needs to be EK old to offset Pavelski and depth leaving that team...

 

Hard to see our team not winning more of those one goal games - the flip side is teams will be playing their first stringers more against us they will definitely be taking us more seriously.   10-20 point leap isn’t out of the realm of reason, how healthy we are will depend on the amount.   Depth isn’t as much of an issue - Miller has helped us have two bona-fide scoring lines...

I agree that 3rd isnt out of the realm of possibility. There is no guarantee SJ makes it or even Calgary. Their goal tending could implode.

Our team has a chance to be much better, however i want to see more of the Quinn Hughes we saw late last season and not so much of the one in pre season.

Brock hopefully will be healthy

Myers, and Benn should help what was a weak D core last year especially after Edler and Tanev went down.

They probably will again this season but we wont have Hutton and Stecher as our next best options

Marky should be better this season behind a better D core.

If we get a good start to the year, we should be in the hunt last week of the season for a spot.

The power play looked very good in Pre season and i think that may be where we improve most. Having other options when some arent firing will help.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Pears said:

I would ideally like to see this

 

Ferland - Pettersson - Boeser

Pearson - Horvat - Miller

Baertschi - Gaudette - Sutter

Leivo - Beagle - Virtanen

 

Extras: Motte, Eriksson

 

To Utica: Schaller, Goldobin

 

IR: Roussel

This is the lineup I want.  

I like the following pairs that seem to have chemistry.  Seems to match what you have above.

 

Pettersson. Boeser

Horvat. Pearson

Gaudette  Baertschi

Beagle. Virtanen 

 

I think Ferland and Miller could flip flop.  And Sutter and Leivo could flip flop.

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, RetroCanuck said:

Or we may look like geniuses capitalizing on value while its still there.

 

Cant predict the future. As it is now Virt is a third/fourth line winger. May turn into a Bertuzzi or maybe just be a Skille type

Capitalize on value? 2nd rounder is garbage for a 23 year old 3rd liner that can score 15 goals (that's not even including the fact he still has some decent upside). Or are you that guy that thinks all the Duncan Keiths in the 2nd round are ripe for the picking? Lol. Yeah, great value with Jake there bud. Didn't even touch on the fact Sutter alone, with some cap retained, should be worth a 2nd rounder himself.

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6 hours ago, mikeyman109 said:

I agree that 3rd isnt out of the realm of possibility. There is no guarantee SJ makes it or even Calgary. Their goal tending could implode.

Our team has a chance to be much better, however i want to see more of the Quinn Hughes we saw late last season and not so much of the one in pre season.

Brock hopefully will be healthy

Myers, and Benn should help what was a weak D core last year especially after Edler and Tanev went down.

They probably will again this season but we wont have Hutton and Stecher as our next best options

Marky should be better this season behind a better D core.

If we get a good start to the year, we should be in the hunt last week of the season for a spot.

The power play looked very good in Pre season and i think that may be where we improve most. Having other options when some arent firing will help.

 

 

If Tanev and Edler go down we have Benn and Myers as our next best options which is kind of the point - both are better players then Hutton and Stetcher although they did admirably considering.   Hughes will take some time to get his game up to speed - literally and figuratively but at least he has the wheels already.   We are deeper this year both upfront and on defense then we have been for years - it should help when injuries do happen.    Elder is a horse for sure - but he doesn’t need to be whipped as much anymore and hopefully it will keep both him and Tanev healthy.   At the end of the day I hope we can make the playoffs - and think we have even odds of doing so - doubt CAL slips out of the top three even with their goaltending woes, they are three lines deep, something like 11 forwards with over 30 points last year.   If we make the playoffs high odds they’d be our first round opponent. 

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23 hours ago, xereau said:

Ferland Petey Boeser

Pearson Bo Miller

MacEwen Gaudette Jake

Loui Sutter Beagle

(Leivo)

-------------------------

Edler Myers

Hughes Tanev

Benn Stetcher

(Biega)

-------------------------

Marky (57)

Demko (25)

 

Trade Baertschi or Leivo, there's no room for either when Roussel returns anyhow.

Ferland Petterson Boeser

Pearson Horvat Miller

Baertschi Gaudette Sutter

Motte Beagle Leivo

 

Just a matter of time before Sutter gets injured and Leivo slides into his spot, 

 

Virtanen-

Press box, kid just doesn't get it, that's twice he's come into camp not in shape

 

IR:

Roussel

 

Waivers:

Eriksson

Schaller

 

 

 

Hughes Myers

Edler Tanev

Benn Stecher

 

Biega

(Rafferty Is better, but he needs to play top line minutes in AHL, and replaces whoever is Injured)

 

 

 

 

 

 

First two lines are solid

 

 

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6 hours ago, Pears said:

Horvat, Miller, Pearson, Sutter and Beagle are more than capable of killing penalties. 

you don't make the playoffs on a more capable pk.  Great teams have excellent pk's.

Edited by stawns
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On 9/29/2019 at 4:36 PM, IBatch said:

If Tanev and Edler go down we have Benn and Myers as our next best options which is kind of the point - both are better players then Hutton and Stetcher although they did admirably considering.   Hughes will take some time to get his game up to speed - literally and figuratively but at least he has the wheels already.   We are deeper this year both upfront and on defense then we have been for years - it should help when injuries do happen.    Elder is a horse for sure - but he doesn’t need to be whipped as much anymore and hopefully it will keep both him and Tanev healthy.   At the end of the day I hope we can make the playoffs - and think we have even odds of doing so - doubt CAL slips out of the top three even with their goaltending woes, they are three lines deep, something like 11 forwards with over 30 points last year.   If we make the playoffs high odds they’d be our first round opponent. 

I would take that match up in the playoffs. We play them tough

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