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[Discussion] Examining how good this team actually is

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VegasCanuck

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3 hours ago, VegasCanuck said:

So, I keep seeing a lot of fans posting about how bad we are and how we should just sell everyone and start again. I wanted to do a little deeper dive on where this team would be, based on a extending their record under BB, through the whole season.

 

Things to keep in mind through this discussion:

#1. Pettersson has now admitted that his wrist wasn't 100% at the start of the season and as such, was wearing a support band around it which partially led to his slow start.

#2. We had possibly the worst possible schedule out of the gate, with multiple games where the team is standing around getting cold while teams in other cities are doing 30 min before game, introduction of their season roster. Not to mention starting with 6 straight on the road with minimal practice time after Pettersson and Hughes sitting out almost all of camp.

#3. We had really bad luck again with Covid hitting players while they were in the US, making it much longer before they could rejoin the team.

#4. Since BB took over, this team has given up less goals at 5 on 5, than any other team in the league.

 

So, our record under BB, is .677 hockey. If we go extend that all the way to the start of the season, we'd be around 76 points right now which is good enough for 1st in the Pacific Division, 2nd overall in the Western Conference and tied for 5th in the league overall.

 

Instead of talking about who we can sell, we'd be talking about who we can add to put us over the top and round out the team.

 

There are a lot of people who are pissed at Benning, and we did have a horrible start, but this team is a LOT better than many fans think, and Benning did do what he said he would by putting the pieces in place who should be able to compete for a playoff spot, and based on our record under BB, he accomplished that.

 

This team still needs some adjustments, needs to get a little bigger and a little faster, but we have the building blocks and the assets to accomplish that through some strategic trades. I think we'll see some adjustments at the deadline, but I think part of the reason we haven't seen any yet are, JR etc, know that this team IS better than their record reflects, but they can't directly say that publicly as it would be an endorsement of Benning.

 

That's my take on it. I'm enjoying watching how the team is playing now. Other than the occasional game like NJ, which happens to all teams and all goalies, we have been playing fairly solid.

 

Thoughts?

 

Generally I agree but there are some significant deficiencies on the team
- we have some defenders who are smart but slow (like Schenn) who get beat by faster forwarders
- we have some defenders who make horrible hairbrained decisions that create golden scoring chances for other teams (Myers, Poolman)

- We need some more speed in our top six. Boeser and Pearson are slow, and Pearson's shooting percentage is bad.
- We need a better penalty kill (though I suspect thats solved by upgrades on defence).


 

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This is a playoff team under Boudreau - just look at the stats before and after Green. We must be something like 18-8-4 now under Bruce which is good for top 3 in the division. We could really still use an extra top 4 defenceman to play with Hughes and shed some useless cap (Dickinson, Poolman, upgrade Hamonic) to be considered a contender but when we roll 3 scoring lines, a solid 4th line, have a top 5 goalie and Hughes on D, we're certainly up there.

 

That's why I hope they don't blow it up but stay patient, make some small trades to move the dead-weight and look for a UFA defenceman rather than a monster Miller/Brock trade.

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9 minutes ago, eeeeergh said:

Generally I agree but there are some significant deficiencies on the team
- we have some defenders who are smart but slow (like Schenn) who get beat by faster forwarders
- we have some defenders who make horrible hairbrained decisions that create golden scoring chances for other teams (Myers, Poolman)

- We need some more speed in our top six. Boeser and Pearson are slow, and Pearson's shooting percentage is bad.
- We need a better penalty kill (though I suspect thats solved by upgrades on defence).


 

Schenn isn't the fastest guy out there, but at 850k, he is what he really should be, a 6/7th D. He's is there to provide an extra option on defense and to provide some toughness. Generally, at 850k, he accomplishes what he was brought in for. If there's an opportunity to upgrade that spot to someone who brings better speed without sacrificing toughness, all for it. Playing with Hughes, should allow him to be more stay at home and just focus on clearing the net.

 

Myers and Poolman do at times make some questionable decisions, but again, the core capability is there. I've said since the start of the season, that I don't think that Myers will be here at the end of his contract. There are teams out there who would find him to be an upgrade on their right side and would like his strength and offensive capability for the playoffs. We might have to retain a little to make numbers work. The problem with his contract was, as with many around the NHL, it was signed at a time when it was expected that the cap would continue to rise, exponentially, decreasing its value in its percentage of the overall cap. If Covid hadn't knocked out the 5 million increase they were expecting for the 2020/21 season, not to mention increase for the 2021/22 season, we would realistically have a cap right now that would be around 88 million, and in the context of that number, 6 million per is not as much of an issue as it is in a flat cap where everyone is crunching for every dollar they can find. Myers is the most likely guy to be moved, just due to his cap hit and fact that he doesn't have any trade protection.

 

Boeser isn't really slow, although not the fastest guy on the team, and neither is Pearson. Pearson is providing about .5 points per game, which is right in line for what he is being paid, Pearson is definitely NOT a defensive liability. He's relied on to help closeout one goal games and protect a lead, which is reflected in his empty net goal numbers. Boeser could maybe use a little work on his first 2 or 3 steps. His defensive play has not been what it has been in past seasons, but it's not generally as bad as some fans make it out to be. Now, I've said for about 6 months, based on what I see, and our overall strength down the right side, that Boeser is the most likely forward to be moved for assets needed to balance out our left side and add more to our LD and 3rd line. I can totally see him being moved, but I think Pearson, considering he has a NTC full NTC till next year, and that he's solid defensively while putting up some numbers as well, I don't think he's going anywhere for awhile.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Vinny in Vancouver said:

If you are looking at just wins and losses, you also have to somehow factor in the win bounce due to a change in coaching - e.g., see Montreal and Edmonton. 

If we do that, we gotta also factor in somehow the covid impact where the Canucks were forced to play multiple games without most of their top 6 and their franchise goaltender.  Other teams were able to have games postponed, but for some reason, the Canucks had to keep playing :rolleyes:

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5 hours ago, Vinny in Vancouver said:

If you are looking at just wins and losses, you also have to somehow factor in the win bounce due to a change in coaching - e.g., see Montreal and Edmonton. 

I think it's actually probably biased unfairly against Boudreau and the team, but if you take our record only after going 8-0-1, we've gone 11-8-3 for a .568 points percentage. The truth is probably somewhere between .677 and .568 and I'd guess that this team is probably capable of about .605 hockey, which would be sort of a #1 wildcard or #3 in division level. As it turns out this year, the Pacific doesn't have many very strong teams, so we'd be 2nd in the Pacific, but I think that's an anomaly.

 

The sad thing is, we'll probably never really get to fully see how good this roster can be under Boudreau, as some sort of substantial changes will happen either at the TDL or during free agency, perhaps just due to necessity of contracts ending. I don't think we'll make the playoffs this year, almost entirely due to how poorly we played under Green. Really a shame, given I think this team is actually a playoff level team under Boudreau.

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10 minutes ago, -AJ- said:

I think it's actually probably biased unfairly against Boudreau and the team, but if you take our record only after going 8-0-1, we've gone 11-8-3 for a .568 points percentage. The truth is probably somewhere between .677 and .568 and I'd guess that this team is probably capable of about .605 hockey, which would be sort of a #1 wildcard or #3 in division level. As it turns out this year, the Pacific doesn't have many very strong teams, so we'd be 2nd in the Pacific, but I think that's an anomaly.

 

The sad thing is, we'll probably never really get to fully see how good this roster can be under Boudreau, as some sort of substantial changes will happen either at the TDL or during free agency, perhaps just due to necessity of contracts ending. I don't think we'll make the playoffs this year, almost entirely due to how poorly we played under Green. Really a shame, given I think this team is actually a playoff level team under Boudreau.

Agreed.

If you remove the Boudreau-Bump it's only fair to factor in the delayed games and Covid issues etc...

If the new management group can make solid moves to bolster this group without cutting out too many positives we can continue to become a legitimate contender.

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1 minute ago, Putgolzin said:

Agreed.

If you remove the Boudreau-Bump it's only fair to factor in the delayed games and Covid issues etc...

If the new management group can make solid moves to bolster this group without cutting out too many positives we can continue to become a legitimate contender.

I'm not sure if I'd use the word "contender", but I do think we have pieces to be a playoff team. Whether or not we can get past round 1 is another story.

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4 minutes ago, -AJ- said:

I'm not sure if I'd use the word "contender", but I do think we have pieces to be a playoff team. Whether or not we can get past round 1 is another story.

Fair enough - I'm talking about continued growth towards becoming a contender, which might take a couple first round exits.

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5 hours ago, luongianone said:

I think this team does have the building blocks in place, but I think there's a few mismatched fits which is what's mostly hurting us. Hughes not having a legit top 4 D to play with, OEL playing with Myers has been well enough defensively but poor offensively. We don't really have a 3rd pair but with Hamonic back there's some legitimacy there. 

 

We have a very good top 6 and a great 4th line. The 3rd line is in need of a centre, and bad. I'm not saying Petey/Miller/Bo are not good centres, but rather that I want all 3 on the top 2 lines. With Petey back to being himself we could try the Lotto line again, but who centres the 3rd line then? Even with Dickinson healthy, he's just not good there. 

 

The main move this team needs to make, IMO, is to shed Myers. If you go back to pre-season (I know, it's just pre-season) you'll see how OEL played with Poolman. He was much more aggressive and was creating offensively. Why was that? Because he knew he had Poolman staying back and playing the defensive role. Poolman isn't a top 4 defender either but the fit itself IMO would maximize OEL. Hughes needs a similar partner. Wish we kept Tanev because they were LEGIT. If you give OEL a partner that thinks D first (at a high level) I think you'd have one of the top pairs in the league. OEL himself is so good in his own zone that giving him a guy to let him be offensive would be the only way for this team to get full value out of his contract. 

 

The sad part is to make this all work someone is going to have to get traded, and it'll likely be at least one top guy. ATM I would put my money on Brock being that guy. He has all the tools to be a 40 goal scorer but it's been an up and down year. Not all his fault. He'd still fetch you quite a bit (right handed shot, goal scorer) so I actually don't think his value is low. On the other hand, if you can move guys like Pearson/Dickinson/Hamonic/Poolman/Myers then you can easily keep your core. Hog and Pod SHOULD continue to get better and remain cost controlled on their next contract too, which would help you round out your forward group without breaking the bank. 

 

To sum it up, this team needs to find a 3rd line centre and 2 right side d-men. This, IMO, solves most of your inconsistency problems because you have everybody making everybody's job easier. You'll have a team that can roll 4 lines and at least 2 D-Pairs that you can deploy against anybody with how good Hughes has been in his own end.

Your point regarding OEL is on the spot. OEL stays back defensively to let Myers venture out on the offence.

 

And yet, all throughout his career, OEL was the one that is doing venturing and putting up the points.

 

If we want OEL to put up more points, we need to give him more defensively minded partner.

 

Having said that, I think Myers is still the best overall RHD on this team (sad I know but that's the reality) and so he will need to play a lot of minutes. 

 

And I agree with the OP that this team is better than its record and I think we should acquire a defensively minded LHD to play on the 3rd pairing.

 

OEL-Hamonic

Hughes-Schenn

LD acquired in a trade-Myers

 

Hamonic can be that stay home defenceman that lets OEL go on the offensive and I bet we will see OEL score more.

 

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So, I'm not sure how many major trades that the Canucks will do coming into the deadline, but they have stated that they want to add guys from free agency from College etc, and at the moment, we have 47 out of 50 contract slots used.

 

Guys that I think Canucks will look to dump for picks, just to clear the contract spot for free agents are:

 

Brad Hunt

Madison Bowey

Luke Schenn

Alex Chiasson

 

I haven't mentioned anyone on the farm as I think there are some guys down there, who they view as capable of filling some spots if needed.

 

I think it's possible that Motte could be moved if his contract demands are too high, as they might see the option to just call up Lockwood as a viable replacement.

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We are the tops in the Pacific (and one of the tops in the league) since BB took over.  We have a franchise goalie (best in the league with his contract) a franchise D (close to best in the leage with his contract) and a francise Center (who is once again dominating)

To true Canucks' fans, we are a very good team.  

 

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34 minutes ago, VegasCanuck said:

So, I'm not sure how many major trades that the Canucks will do coming into the deadline, but they have stated that they want to add guys from free agency from College etc, and at the moment, we have 47 out of 50 contract slots used.

 

Guys that I think Canucks will look to dump for picks, just to clear the contract spot for free agents are:

 

Brad Hunt

Madison Bowey

Luke Schenn

Alex Chiasson

 

I haven't mentioned anyone on the farm as I think there are some guys down there, who they view as capable of filling some spots if needed.

 

I think it's possible that Motte could be moved if his contract demands are too high, as they might see the option to just call up Lockwood as a viable replacement.

I doubt any college free agent will be as good as Schenn, at least not right now. The other three, I would be down to trade. I also don't think we probably get our money's worth with Schenn. He's one of those guys who's value probably isn't appreciated as much around the league as it is here.

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I would like to say how much I like Tyler Myers and Tanner Pearson.   I think they are quality people who do a lot that the average fan doesn't see.  I think Pearson's defensive awareness helps whatever line he's on. I think Myers is a bit overpaid but you won't find too many rhd that play 23 min. Per night that are paid much less.  These are 2 players that seem to be much maligned, but they are great teammates,  solid contributors, and they love being Canucks.  Losing either one would leave a big hole, IMHO.

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6 hours ago, luongianone said:

Our team has began struggling 5v5 defensively over a lot of metrics in the past little while. They have performed admirably for most of the year but it's still an issue. They're poor at breaking the puck out and don't create nearly enough offence. Your back end needs to be a scoring threat. At the moment only Hughes is. That's a big, big problem. We have 13 mill accumulated to OEL and Myers and they provide minimal offensively. 

 

PK is a huge problem that needs to be addressed for sure. Part of that equation is still a defender. 

 

Our teams mindset is definitely an issue. We need a culture change in the locker room. Some sandpaper guys that drag you into the fight whether you like it or not. Just once I wanna see these guys stand up for each other aggressively. Not just hold someone by the jersey for a few seconds. Not enough players on this team play pissed off like JT does.

Yes, overall our team may play good defence but our right side adds nothing at all dynamically. It's great that we can get by but that's an entire position that could be contributing to the scoring goals or possession side of hockey. However it's simply a black hole 60 minutes a game unfortunately. The other teams have no cares at all besides Hughes, and that makes us easy to play against.

 

If Benning was still here I would say no question we ride out Miller, and Myers, and maybe even Boeser. With new management coming in though and relooking at every thing I think they should make some major moves with their vision in mind. This team has some big flaws, cap problems, structural problems and leadership problems. Probably best to pull the band aid off sooner than later given a fresh perspective from ownership. I don't think this team is quite as good as we're seeing under Bruce.

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7 hours ago, VegasCanuck said:

So, I keep seeing a lot of fans posting about how bad we are and how we should just sell everyone and start again. I wanted to do a little deeper dive on where this team would be, based on a extending their record under BB, through the whole season.

 

Things to keep in mind through this discussion:

#1. Pettersson has now admitted that his wrist wasn't 100% at the start of the season and as such, was wearing a support band around it which partially led to his slow start.

#2. We had possibly the worst possible schedule out of the gate, with multiple games where the team is standing around getting cold while teams in other cities are doing 30 min before game, introduction of their season roster. Not to mention starting with 6 straight on the road with minimal practice time after Pettersson and Hughes sitting out almost all of camp.

#3. We had really bad luck again with Covid hitting players while they were in the US, making it much longer before they could rejoin the team.

#4. Since BB took over, this team has given up less goals at 5 on 5, than any other team in the league.

 

So, our record under BB, is .677 hockey. If we go extend that all the way to the start of the season, we'd be around 76 points right now which is good enough for 1st in the Pacific Division, 2nd overall in the Western Conference and tied for 5th in the league overall.

 

Instead of talking about who we can sell, we'd be talking about who we can add to put us over the top and round out the team.

 

There are a lot of people who are pissed at Benning, and we did have a horrible start, but this team is a LOT better than many fans think, and Benning did do what he said he would by putting the pieces in place who should be able to compete for a playoff spot, and based on our record under BB, he accomplished that.

 

This team still needs some adjustments, needs to get a little bigger and a little faster, but we have the building blocks and the assets to accomplish that through some strategic trades. I think we'll see some adjustments at the deadline, but I think part of the reason we haven't seen any yet are, JR etc, know that this team IS better than their record reflects, but they can't directly say that publicly as it would be an endorsement of Benning.

 

That's my take on it. I'm enjoying watching how the team is playing now. Other than the occasional game like NJ, which happens to all teams and all goalies, we have been playing fairly solid.

 

Thoughts?

 

Imo, the teams' core is not set & ready; with no cap and the pending FA, of some important players - it would be very short sighted (more of the same), to chase the playoffs: by adding and selling more futures.  JB spent alot, in cap & futures to built the roster, we currently have and playing a playoff series with a contender, will be more of what we saw during the Vegas series: lights out Demko or go home (which, is still the case in the regular season).

 

Kudos to Boudreau, for earning points but it is only hurting there chances, in this very deep draft.  I would argue: Demko is on the first year, of his extension and there is an opportunity, to get the key pieces in the two upcoming drafts - if Allvin can procure some futures, by selling on players that are over 26 (except for Demko).  The players the Canucks really need can only be acquired - cheaply - at the top end of the draft and these two upcoming drafts can provide those players.  Preferably, they keep the roster, sell what they can in the TDL (for cap & futures) and focus on the draft, in the short term - while Demko, is headed into his prime years.

Imo, the teams' core is not set & ready; with no cap and the pending FA, of some important players - it would be very short sighted (more of the same), to chase the playoffs: by adding and selling more futures.  JB spent alot, in cap & futures to built the roster, we currently have and playing a playoff series with a contender, will be more of what we saw during the Vegas series: lights out Demko or go home (which, is still the case in the regular season).

 

Kudos to Boudreau, for earning points but it is only hurting there chances, in this very deep draft.  I would argue: Demko is on the first year, of his extension and there is an opportunity, to get the key pieces in the two upcoming drafts - if Allvin can procure some futures, by selling on players that are over 26 (except for Demko).  The players the Canucks really need can only be acquired - cheaply - at the top end of the draft and these two upcoming drafts can provide those players.  Preferably, they keep the roster, sell what they can in the TDL (for cap & futures) and focus on the draft, in the short term - while Demko, is headed into his prime years.  So far, the approach of letting things play out, is the best approach cause there is still alot of holes & questions to the roster, with no easy solutions.

 

My question (which is similar, to yours): will Allvin chase or stick to there plan based, on there presser.

 

 

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1 hour ago, -AJ- said:

I doubt any college free agent will be as good as Schenn, at least not right now. The other three, I would be down to trade. I also don't think we probably get our money's worth with Schenn. He's one of those guys who's value probably isn't appreciated as much around the league as it is here.

I will be really happy if he's still here, he brings a lot for what he gets paid.

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Overly reliant on our goalie, young, could use more speed, lacking hard minute role players, D's a dog's breakfast.

 

There's lots of good here in place that largely just needs seasoning and the rest needs tweaking. We don't need to do anything with Hughes, Petterson or Demko and probably not Horvat, Hoglander, Podkolzin, Woo etc either. And OEL is not going anywhere (and he's a solid D regardless). Lammiko and Highmore are fine depth players (as is Motte if he doesn't go chasing dollars). Pearson is fine as a vet middle 6, two way, complimentary guy in the interim.

 

We DESPERATELY need to get younger, faster and "puck movier" on D though. Hamonic and Poolman is one too many middling, "tweener" +/- $3m D. Myers is ok but he's aging and we need a top 4 succession plan there (currently non existent).

 

We need to move Miller, maybe Boeser and 2 of Myers/Poolman/Hamonic IMO, ideally some of whom for younger, faster, puck movier D, see if we can move off illl-fitting Dickinson and get some more speed (and grit) throughout the lineup.

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Miller and Motter should be priorities. We need these guys extended.

 

Odd man out is gotta be Boeser. Love the guy but his speed just ain’t it.

 

Would like to see Myers moved by some miracle. It would be a big hole to fill but that should be a 4 million player. 
 

Anyways right now we are close to what I expected this year. Tad shy. Surprisingly better defensively but less offence then I thought. That’s starting to even out now though. 

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