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Canucks: most improved team next year?

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I think that last year, we should have been a playoff team. Not a cup contender, but at least make the playoffs. But alas, everything went wrong.

 

But with the improvements, I not only see us as a playoff team but a division leader.

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On 7/28/2021 at 3:15 PM, Duodenum said:

Well Hughes is bad defensively, Rathbone is a rookie, Myers is a #4-5, Poolman is a #6 dman, OEL hasn't performed well the last couple years and is a total wildcard, Schenn is a #6-7.

 

Myers is not gonna stay at home, that's not the player he is or ever has been.

 

We have no shutdown pairing and will bleed goals against. Our top 2 defensively sound defenders from last year are gone in Edler and Schmidt (Edler also our top pker). 

 

We'll be in the bottom 10 in goals against again unless Demko has a Vezina calibre season.

 

The stars all have to align to make this even an average dcorps. 

 

I will make you a bet, I will bet you $1000 to Canuck place and the loser has to post receipt to CDC as prove.

My Bet the Canucks will finish top 10 in PP, PK, fewest goals allowed, most goals for.

 

Do you take my Bet. I feel you won't. 

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On paper the Canucks look better than they have for a while.  The forward group is top notch.  They are a hard working high skill group that should be able to compete with any team in the league.  On paper the defence has some good offensive potential but lacks significantly on the defensive side.  Goal tending looks pretty solid.  Over all, this should be a significant improvement over last year, but of course this is only 'on paper'.  I'd say 2nd-5th in the division are the likely range, though first and 6th-8th are possible.  You just never know for sure.

 

There are some other changes that I think should make a difference as well.  New D-coach should help individual players improve and meet their potential.  Having a stronger and harder working forward group should also help in the d-zone.  Hopefully we can work at pressuring the puck more and creating turnovers as a unit instead of merely passively keeping the other team more to the outside like last year.  Defence as a 5 man unit and not get so many shot blocking injuries.

 

In the end though, there are some risks to this season.  Injuries are always the elephant in the room - they can happen to anyone any time like Pettersson last year.  At least this year we have a few guys on the bubble that have a bit more NHL experience and should be more ready to fill in - guys like Gadjovich for example.  I've played enough sports to have learned that you never know how a group of guys is going to gel until you see them in action for a while.  As Forest Gump's mom used to say.....

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Biggest wildcard:  Juolevi

Most to prove:  OEL

Largest chip on shoulder:  Miller

Most to gain from success:  Hughes/Pettersson

 

I'd say we stand to see ourselves in the playoffs without question.  There's to many players right now with something to prove.

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3 hours ago, Arrow 1983 said:

I will make you a bet, I will bet you $1000 to Canuck place and the loser has to post receipt to CDC as prove.

My Bet the Canucks will finish top 10 in PP, PK, fewest goals allowed, most goals for.

 

Do you take my Bet. I feel you won't. 

I'd be a fool not to take that bet.

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19 minutes ago, Duodenum said:

I'd be a fool not to take that bet.

So you except

 

You made me do it because your comment was so negative.

 

Why so negative the?

 

Don't you want to see them win. Or are you one of those that just want to keep complaining.

I have followed the Canucks since 1992 I can say with confidence that this is one of the deepest teams they are about to ice. It will just be a matter of how quick they come together. I can see them going deep into the playoffs this season and next season this team will be the same and doing even far better.

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On 7/28/2021 at 3:42 PM, Kootenay Gold said:

As much as Schmidt is very skilled player his dressing room personality probably was not appreciated by a number of his team mates. Looks like a quieter and more focused group for the coming season.

 

I was willing to give Schmidt a bit of a bye for last year's performance as most of the team struggled. My biggest concern over his play was the unforced turnovers he made. I often wondered how he was thinking the game. All that aside he did improve somewhat as the season played out. 

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2 minutes ago, Boudrias said:

I was willing to give Schmidt a bit of a bye for last year's performance as most of the team struggled. My biggest concern over his play was the unforced turnovers he made. I often wondered how he was thinking the game. All that aside he did improve somewhat as the season played out. 

I found it very hard to evaluate any of the players from last year and for both Schmidt and Hamonic, especially so. I'm not sure that Schmidt was a fit both on the ice and in the locker room for the Canucks. I hope things work out for him in Winnipeg.

 

Lets hope that in this coming season everything gets back to normal and we get to enjoy watching hockey with fans in the stands cheering the team on. GCG!

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I don't remember ever seeing a team unload 20+M in cap space in one off-season. JB could have gone a more conservative approach next season, just let the old guys play one more year and then let them all walk, but I like this more aggressive approach and yes, it cost us a 9th overall pick, but we got Garland and OEL out of it too.

 

As for most improved it's hard to say, NJD and LAK both got much better with some big acquisitions too. 

 

Personnel-wise we've always been good, now it really matters what the coaches and players do and how they execute and perform (or not).

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Nobody will know until the team hits the ice. We are a wildcard at this point. 

Will Podkolzin make an impact out of the gate? Will our defense be good enough defensively? Will we continue to play a collapse in our own end? Will Garland fit with the team the way we anticipate he will? Will Travis Green make more simple 4-word signs so that our boys can understand hockey at practice?! 

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14 hours ago, Arrow 1983 said:

So you except

 

You made me do it because your comment was so negative.

 

Why so negative the?

 

Don't you want to see them win. Or are you one of those that just want to keep complaining.

I have followed the Canucks since 1992 I can say with confidence that this is one of the deepest teams they are about to ice. It will just be a matter of how quick they come together. I can see them going deep into the playoffs this season and next season this team will be the same and doing even far better.

*Accept

I've been following the Canucks and hockey for just as long, I'm not negative...just not overly positive unless I have a reason to be. The defense as it is looks bad, no need to get hurt by that. If they surprise, great. 

I want them to win and complaints are made when moves are made that reduce the likelihood of that happening.

 

Me waiving pompoms isn't going to help their odds of winning at all.

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31 minutes ago, Duodenum said:

*Accept

I've been following the Canucks and hockey for just as long, I'm not negative...just not overly positive unless I have a reason to be. The defense as it is looks bad, no need to get hurt by that. If they surprise, great. 

I want them to win and complaints are made when moves are made that reduce the likelihood of that happening.

 

Me waiving pompoms isn't going to help their odds of winning at all.

Actually waving pompoms led to the 2011 miracle cup run by this team! Without the power of the pompom they were first round exits easily! 

 

/s

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On 7/28/2021 at 2:04 PM, steviewonder20 said:

Of course there is room for improvement, and some of our recent signings are short-term as they are placeholders. I would not be surprised if the Canucks improve in the standings, next season, more than any other team in the NHL. GCG and good job, JB.

Given the fact that we underachieved last year due to reasons that have been beaten to death, and combined with our roster overhaul: Yes, we will be in the running to be the most improved team along with Devils. 

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Considering where the Canucks ended up at the end of the last season, I believe they will be a complete turn-around. Schmidt is an okay Dman, but he didn't gel well with his team mates, or the coaches. I see everyone buying in this year and VAN playing like a real team. That's the team that was in the bubble, they played for each other.

 

OEL has a lot to prove, but he's excited about it. So is Halak. Garland and Dickinson seem like great character guys, good team mates. Podkolzin also wants to make a statement. I think they win the Pacific.

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I don't know if I'd consider their improvement - assuming they improve - to be as much a result of changes in players as much as returning to more 'normal' conditions and youth upticking from within.

 

OEL will hopefully be better than Edler - a very good player, but so was Edler (who took way too much crap in this city imo and had an understandably difficult season last year....I'd expect Edler to 'improve' as well....).

Hamonic - is obviously a lateral re-signing - he 'should be' better - we'll see (I'd bet on him being better but think this was an area the team 'would have' ideally improved more).   Sutter is also an obvious lateral move. 

Dickinson will give us more speed, secondary scoring - but Beagle was a helluva pker and faceoff guy...overall this part of the change might give us more secondary scoring while moving away from as much bottom 6 'foundation' as the team matures....

Hopefully Halak will perform better than Holtby did.

I like Schenn - he's a better fit than Benn imo, but not sure he's a better player overall.  Still I'll take that change in a heartbeat (and at a better cap hit/value).

 

Garland will improve the scoring depth beyond the top line - that should really help - perhaps the biggest potential improvement.

And Poolman will improve their depth on the right side - although Schmidt was a versatile guy that won't be easy to replace.

 

Overall - there should be some improvement there - but the one place I'd hoped they'd improve the most - we returned Hamonic....

Continued emergence of youth could/should help - Podkolzin is another exciting possibility - and guys like Highmore, Lockwood, Gadjovich, et al bring youth depth....

 

Juolevi and Rathbone will be welcome young defense emergences imo - they could add some more young quality as well.

 

Where I think the more significant improvement will come - is in a young team actually having training camp, a young team not having to deal with a covid schedule/outbreak etc (hopefully, unless we walk into a 4th wave in N.A. - which looks like a  distinct possibility)....

I think a lot of things contributed to them underperforming last season - an unchanged roster 'should' have 'improved' - but I do think they made some moves to improve their balance and depth this offseason...hopefully it turns out to warrant the cost (ie dealing the 9OA...)

 

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1 hour ago, VancouverHabitant said:

Given the fact that we underachieved last year due to reasons that have been beaten to death, and combined with our roster overhaul: Yes, we will be in the running to be the most improved team along with Devils. 

My two favourite teams. Next season will be fun to watch.

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On 8/2/2021 at 6:21 PM, Arrow 1983 said:

I will make you a bet, I will bet you $1000 to Canuck place and the loser has to post receipt to CDC as prove.

My Bet the Canucks will finish top 10 in PP, PK, fewest goals allowed, most goals for.

 

Do you take my Bet. I feel you won't. 

As much as I love your optimism, I would've probably taken that bet too.  I would be hesitant if I were you, on the Top 10 PK and Top 10 Fewest Goals allowed.  Top 10 PP and GF is very doable.

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2 hours ago, Viper007 said:

As much as I love your optimism, I would've probably taken that bet too.  I would be hesitant if I were you, on the Top 10 PK and Top 10 Fewest Goals allowed.  Top 10 PP and GF is very doable.

I have greater belief that this team will be better defensively than they will be on the power play. Yes, the 2nd unit will be better with OEL and Garland and even Dickenson to center it, but the one thing I know about hockey is, it is a possession game and with this new top 9 forward group and Motto and Sutter where they belong (on the 4th line) this team will have one of the best possession numbers in the league and as it goes if a team has the puck more than the opposition that's the best defense.

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