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My Report Card on the Players and Team

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*Buzzsaw*

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Yes, there are two games remaining... but the season is basically over.  Probably more points to be added to the player's totals and maybe some highlight reel stuff, but we know what we got.

 

I am going to rate the players as I saw them.  The rating is based on what I think they were capable of accomplishing this year, and what they actually did accomplish.  So if I rate a player at 10, then he accomplished everything which in my opinion he was capable of achieving.  That is not to say he can't get better next year, but in terms of his career progression, he did what he should have.

 

The ratings are not in order of the best or most important players on the team... as mentioned, the ratings are about potential achieved.

 

I am not going to rate everyone on the team... only those who I think are key players.

 

Not too many 10/10's here... in fact, only one.

 

Thatcher Demko  -  10

 

Pluses:   Yes, he had some not so great games at the end of the year, he was clearly tired, he had been carrying the load for an incredible stretch, but for a 25 year old goalie to start 61 games, (in relief brings total to 64) and win 33 games of those, on a team which was a basket case in the first 1/3 of the season, is a real accomplishment.  I think he is probably the franchise player.... 'nuff said.

 

Minuses:  None that I can really see... he doesn't seem to have any weaknesses, I think he is one of the best goalies in the league... it is the team D which is holding back his stats, not his play.  The other issue is the coach should be aware he needs to be spelled in net more than he was this year... the backup should play at least 25-30 of the games and Demko should not do the huge long stretches of games he did this year.  Otherwise he won't be ready for the playoffs.

 

JT Miller  -  9.5

 

Pluses:  Consistently the best offensive player on the team... both in his goal and point scoring, level of physicality, as well as his leadership.  Showed he has both the skill to score on individual effort and as a playmaker and as part of line... Was a physical leader on the forecheck.  Drove the Canuck offense all year.  I don't think we could have expected any better point production from him... hoping he can maintain his pace next season, but it would be tough to top.

 

Minuses:  His ability to harness his emotions and use them to lift his play is one of his attributes... but he also suffers at times from letting those same emotions frustrate and get him down when he or the team are not on their game... and bring down the level of his play.  He probably should work on trying to find a more stable emotional base to work from... find a way to stay focused... avoid the absent minded plays that hurt the team defensively.

 

Quinn Hughes  -  9.0

 

Pluses:  Big improvement defensively this year... Consistently the best defenseman on the team... not only in point production, but also in his ability to disrupt other team's offense, breakup rushes, and especially, get the puck out of the zone.  Also a key driver of offense...  so many times he started the plays which resulted in the Canucks getting on the board.

 

Minuses:  Needs to work on his shot from the blueline... accuracy and also especially on getting it through on the powerplay.  Needs to continue to work on balancing leading the charge up the ice, and going to the net, and being in position defensively... he made great strides in this area this season... but can improve more and put more goals and points up while keeping that good plus/minus.  He already knows this... very smart and self analytical player... he knows where he needs to improve.  This kid has by no means hit his ceiling... lots of room to grow.   Can put up 80-85 points.  Needs a new partner who has the size of Schenn, but more speed and skill.

 

Conor Garland  -  9.0

 

Pluses:  Career year in points... his goal totals are a little below his best, but that is a function of his new role in Vancouver... as a playmaker more than goalscorer.  Adapted well to that role... he was the most important driver of the offense on the team behind Miller, Hughes and Pettersson.  His totals could have been a lot higher given more PP time.  Very able forechecker... his puck retrieval and turnover abilities were second to none on the team.  Great agitator... although sometimes he paid the price physically when he bit off more than he could chew.

 

Minuses:  Sometime risk taker defensively... these occasionally came back to bite him... especially when he tried to hold onto the puck too long while circling at the offensive blueline... turnovers were costly.  (he did improve in the second half of the season)  Needs to work on his shooting, especially the wristers and one timers... more consistency from the slot... avoiding low percentage shots from behind the goal line which usually result in turned over pucks.

 

Vasily Podkolzin  -  9.0

 

Pluses:  Maybe Vasily didn't put up the totals that other rookies did this year, but that is a function of what Podz is... a slower developing power forward.  Even though his point and goal totals were modest, the overall improvement in his play over the season was very encouraging... It started with his defensive play and then we saw the offensive flair start to show in the last 1/3 of the season.  Added to that was his physical play along the boards, and defensively on the backcheck... he shows a bulldog 'never quit' spirit along with a good puck sense.  He also shows good grit and a feisty unwillingness to take sh*t from anyone.  For a rookie, non-english speaker, I think this season was an excellent showcase of what he will be capable of in the future.

 

Minuses:  No real complaints considering he is a rookie.  Needs to work on his shot, better release and especially more accuracy.  Could also work on his acceleration and speed... and on his strength on his skates, (although he is already very strong in driving to the net, I think he can get better)  These are areas which we can expect improvement over the summer... he should get bigger, faster and stronger.  Might want to talk to Schenn about how to handle himself in a fight... cause I think he will get into some scraps next year... Definitely has potential to be significant contributor to the team.  I would expect his ceiling is 25 goals and 60 points... with perhaps a Selke trophy as an achievable goal.

 

Luke Schenn  -  9.0

 

Pluses:  Delivered on everything he was expected to do... playing at higher level than his projected defense position, (5/6 pair)  A good partner for Hughes... he is smart enough to tailor his play to fit his talented partner's habits and skill level.  He has also been the needed physical presence for the team who also guarantees Hughes safety... if Schenn wasn't there, Hughes would be a target much more often.   Has chipped in a decent number of goals and points.  Big part of the dressing room.

 

Minuses:  Slow and getting slower... has been bailed out by his speedy partner more than a few times.  Not a solution for the Hughes pairing... ideally should be on the 5/6.

 

Elias Pettersson  -  8.5

 

Pluses:  Obviously this kid is special in his shooting, stickhandling and playmaking... His recovery from the wrist injury which plagued him last year was inevitably a slow process and the main reason he didn't hit his potential, but he has shown glimpses of the real 'Alien' in the last 3rd of the season.  His goals for the season are a career high and his point total matches his best years... and may exceed those totals.  Defensively he improved, especially in the PK role.  Also showed strength improvements... more NHL ready.

 

Minuses:  Still tends to gamble a bit in defensively risky situations... his confidence in his own stickhandling abilities can sometimes bite him and lead to costly turnovers.  Ok to make those gambles in the offensive zone when a turnover doesn't immediately result in an opposition scoring chance, (be careful on the PP with the blueline gambles) Especially important to be cautious inside one's own blueline.  Still not the best defensively with man coverage and shot blocks on the PK... a bit too much cheating and flamingo looks.  Offensively I think he needs to talk to his linemates more about where and when he is going to hit them with passes... often gold plated scoring opportunities are missed by a recipient of one of his passes because they are not anticipating and ready when he places the puck on/near their stick... this is not entirely Pettersson's fault... but more communication before the fact and in practice is necessary.  This season he has improved his lower body strength and on his ability to withstand checks and keep on his feet, but this is still an area where he needs further work... he needs to add upper body strength and continue to build core and leg strength.  Becoming a bit 'stale' in his PP positioning... I would like to see more movement, and changes in his positioning to allow other shot looks besides his 'go-to' right side half boards slapper.  Would like to see him take the puck to the net or threaten to take it to the net... then either shoot/jam it or pass off to an open Canuck.  This kid is no where near what he is potentially capable of in terms of points and goals... in my opinion he is capable of 90-100 point a year seasons with 40+ goals.

 

Bo Horvat  -  8.5

 

Pluses:  Career season in goals, although points were lower than his 61 point production of a couple years past.  Continued to be one of the dominant faceoff men in the league... which is a huge plus on the PK and PP.  Contributed in a variety of roles... PK, PP, even strength.  Very definitely a team leader and a key to success.

Minuses:  Not contributing as much as a playmaker as he did in the past... a bit stuck in a rut as far as his 'go to' moves... needs to work on developing a bigger offensive vocabulary.  Not enough in the way of even strength goals... needs to go to the net more, stop there and battle for the greasy goals.  Biggest issue in my opinion is his 'nice guy' persona... he rarely gets mad... when in fact being meaner and more physical... up to his potential... would improve the team's chances.  This is the guy who when challenged by an overconfident Darnell Nurse a couple years back, (one of the toughest guys in the NHL) responded by giving Nurse the shock of his life by handling him physically and throwing him around.  Bo is built like the proverbial 'Brick Sh*thouse' and has no reason to fear anyone in the league... but he rarely uses that potential to intimidate other players physically... he is the opposite of the Tkachuk brothers who would be completely outmatched by Bo in a fight, but who throw their weight around on the forecheck far more vigorously.  Bo needs to get physical if he is really going to show his full leadership abilities and be the Captain who takes the team to the Cup.

 

Tyler Myers  -  8.5

 

Pluses:  A decent season with the best plus/minus of the defense corps, Myers and OEl have created a reliable partnership which logs the long minutes against the best of the opposition.  Myers also adds much needed physicality, he and Schenn are the only really intimidating players on the team.

 

Minuses:  Not much offense contributed... but he hasn't put up big totals since he played with Winnipeg.  Probably cannot expect much more.  Could work on his shot from the point and accuracy.  Myers biggest problem is the occasional defensive gaffe which sees giveaways in the D-Zone... mostly due to misplaced first passes...  but realistically no D-man playing top minutes will ever be completely free from errors.  Overall, hard to replace... but would be better on the 2nd pairing if an upgrade for the Hughes pairing could be found.

 

Tanner Pearson  -  8.0

 

Pluses:   A solid two way player who put up 14 goals and 34 points.  Can slot in anywhere in the top nine.  Good leadership... physical and scrappy when needed.

 

Minuses:  Usually durable, but this year looks like he will miss 24 games.  Getting slower.  Points declined.

 

OEL  -  8.0

 

Pluses:  Better offensive stats than Myers, but not significantly so.  Lower plus/minus.  Plays well in the D-Zone when paired with Myers.  A minute muncher, makes a good first pass, and someone who it would be difficult to replace.


Minuses:  Fewer gaffes than Myers, but occasional defensive giveaways... again, not unexpected.  Disappointment in that his point production wasn't higher and his shot from the point wasn't more effective.

 

Brock Boeser  -  7.5

 

Pluses:  21 goals, 23 assists, (could be more by season end) and sixth in team scoring is not bad for an NHL player... but it is a big drop from his best goals of 29 and points of 56 and Brock is being paid on the basis of those past accomplishments.  It is true that he was removed from the 1st unit PP for a lot of the season and his goal totals would have been higher if he stayed there... but that was the coach's decision.  He still remains a dangerous sniper and a decent passer, but one in decline.

 

Minuses:  Defensively Boeser is not showing well either.  Basically it comes down to foot speed.  Boeser has been noticeably slower since his 2017-2018 season.  Some of that may be due to the near career ending injury he suffered, but I have to believe his weight is a factor.  He was much lighter in his first full year in the NHL, quicker to accelerate and quicker to change direction.  I believe his current listed weight of 208 lbs, although helpful in the board battles, is ultimately handicapping his already slow pace.  He needs to spend the summer dropping weight and really focusing on skating improvements.  He should ideally be down around 195 lbs... 200 maximum.  If the decision has not already been taken to shop him elsewhere, then for Boeser it should be no long summer at the lake with a beer in hand... this is crunch time... either he comes to camp a changed man or he will find himself somewhere else.

 

---


Of the rest of the forwards, I would rate the line of Lamikko/Highmore/Lockwood as net positives who delivered as much as expected... they should return as the 4th line.  Worth their salaries.

 

Jury is out on Nils Hoglander... he has not showed he is top six, but may find a place on the 3rd line next year if he can improve his defensive play.  Deserves another look.

 

Jason Dickenson probably should be traded if possible.  His play under Green was horrible, but he did improve under BB.  Not worth his current salary based on this year's results.  But we may be stuck with him.  If a real 3rd line center can be found to play with him, then his career may be resurrected.

 

Alex Chiasson has filled in well at times in the top six as an injury replacement, but realistically should not be playing there... When he played bottom six, the results were less inspiring.  I would prefer to see a more capable defensive forward, (preferably a center) who doesn't need to play top six to contribute.

 

I doubt Brad Richardson will be back.  Nick Petan and Sheldon Dries will likely be back in Abbotsford.

 

Of the defense, the Jury is out on Kyle Burroughs and Travis Dermott... Dermott played ok in the 5/6 when called on... Burroughs not quite as well... personally I think they are #7 D's.... usable as injury relief as #6's.

 

Tucker Poolman was not worth his salary... if he can return from his illness/injury, then he should be given a change on the 5/6 under BB to show what he can do.  Probably can't be traded.

 

Brad Hunt's offensive skills do not compensate for his defensive liabilities... replacement needed.

 

---

 

My rating for this team offensively is 8.5... based on the much improved series of games under BB.  I think the top six on this team is one of the best assets it has... especially at center.  Scoring from forwards in the top six was good by league standards... the lower two lines not so much.

 

There is a lot of room for improvement... a more fluid style of play which sees the players interchange their positions to confuse the defense is needed, both at even strength and on the PP.  We need more consistent scoring from the bottom two lines.  Hopefully Bruce Boudreau will be able to get the team to play his system with a full training camp.

 

Key to improvement is finding a big, defensively efficient 3rd line center who can put up 20 pts, kill penalties and provide physicality.

 

My rating for this team defensively is 6.5... based on the number of goals they gave up... despite having a franchise level goaltender.  Many of those goals were ceded in the Green coached early season games, but the same problems which existed under Green continued to manifest under BB.  There continues to be poor defensive coverage by forwards in the D-Zone and too much collapsing to the net.  There is not enough size and mobility in the 5/6 pairings to effectively shut down the opposition's cycle games.

 

Overall, this team needs to get more speed and size on the defense, key is finding a big mobile, defensively excellent #2 D-partner for Hughes.  Another big D to pair with Schenn in the 5/6 is also needed.

 

Again, hopefully with a summer camp and an opportunity for Boudreau to really teach his systems, team defense will improve.

 

EDIT ADDITION:

 

PP rating:  9.0

 

Horrible under Green... big improvement under BB.  Can get better.

 

PK rating:  7.5

 

Abysmal under Green... big improvement under BB.  Still needs to get much better and can.

 

 

 

Edited by *Buzzsaw*
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Good post.  Only thing I might disagree on is the defensive rating.  It was the PK that gave up most of the goals not 5v5 defense.  Maybe have a special teams rating too?  PK would've got a real poor score, especially the start.

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4 minutes ago, Viper007 said:

Good post.  Only thing I might disagree on is the defensive rating.  It was the PK that gave up most of the goals not 5v5 defense.  Maybe have a special teams rating too?  PK would've got a real poor score, especially the start.

PK dramatically improved under BB... it was far worse under Green.

 

Same with PP... big improvement under BB.

 

I will edit the post to add them.

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55 minutes ago, 48MPHSlapShot said:

I'd put OEL a bit higher, Petey, Garland and Boeser lower.

I agree with this, but probably keep OEL at an 8 and move Myers down to a 7.5. 
 

Garland & Petey should be lowered to 8 due to inconsistency (Petey’s start and Garland’s middle) and I’d knock Boeser all the way down to a 5.5 he was a major disappointment. Prime age of 25 and had the worst season of his career with a major increase in salary coming due to his QO. I hope we don’t walk away, he was our best forward last year.

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35 minutes ago, canucklehead44 said:

I agree with this, but probably keep OEL at an 8 and move Myers down to a 7.5. 
 

Garland & Petey should be lowered to 8 due to inconsistency (Petey’s start and Garland’s middle) and I’d knock Boeser all the way down to a 5.5 he was a major disappointment. Prime age of 25 and had the worst season of his career with a major increase in salary coming due to his QO. I hope we don’t walk away, he was our best forward last year.

I actually would inverse it.  OEL didn't really disappoint, but doing what these guys are capable of ... felt Myers cleaned up some of his risk gaffes in his own zone...8 seems more then fair given his skill set (and like Edler - there were a dozen or so plays just Myers and Myers alone saved a sure goal with his stick or taking the body)  ... OEL's best games were when QHs was out offensively - he also has some real duds.    Overall that is a completely legit pairing though.   They played the hardest minutes.   Against the best of the best.   Do need another PK option for Myers.   If we could use him on the second pairing and have a top ten RHD Pker it would improve quite a lot.    Manson is on my wish list. 

 

Overall i'd give the team an A- for their second half.   Also think that Demko was not a 10.   If that's the best he's got - well it's debatable if he's a top ten goalie.  8.5 maybe. 

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3 hours ago, canucklehead44 said:

I agree with this, but probably keep OEL at an 8 and move Myers down to a 7.5. 
 

Garland & Petey should be lowered to 8 due to inconsistency (Petey’s start and Garland’s middle) and I’d knock Boeser all the way down to a 5.5 he was a major disappointment. Prime age of 25 and had the worst season of his career with a major increase in salary coming due to his QO. I hope we don’t walk away, he was our best forward last year.

Boeser is a 4 easy.

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Wow, you're generous with your grades. Wish I had you as a teacher in school.

 

Keep in the mind the Canucks are a non-playoff team. My take:

 

Demko - 10

Miller - 9

Horvat - 9

Hughes - 9

Garland - 8

Podkolzin - 8

 

everybody else... 

 

Dickinson - 2

 

Edited by NUCKER67
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7 hours ago, 24K PureCool said:

First half Petey: F-

Second half Petey: A+

Pettersson

 

1st Quarter: F

2nd Quarter: F

3rd Quarter: C+

4th Quarter: A

 

Pettersson was on a one way street to having an epic failure of a season until Game 50 or so. Regardless of injuries, off-season contract negotiations, missing training camp, whatever, he has worked his way back into the discussion of one of the top players in the NHL under the age of 25.  But his entire body of work remains a lot to be desired.

 

@*Buzzsaw* - you are awfully generous with your "grading" of the players.  The team missed the playoffs, so other than Demko, Miller and Hughes, I'd probably knock down 2-3 points per player for their whole season grades.

 

For play/production for the entire season, I would rank as follows:

 

1) Exceeded Expectations: Demko, Hughes, Miller

2) Met Expectations: Horvat, Pearson, OEL, Podkolzin, Myers, Schenn, Lammikko, Highmore, Burroughs, Dries, Dermott

3) Below Expectations: Pettersson, Garland, Boeser, Hoglander, Chiasson, Hunt, Richardson

4) Has no business being a Canuck: Dickison, Poolman, Petan, Halak

 

When only three of your 1-6 forwards and three of your 1-6 dmen have either met or exceeded expectations (by my account), you don't deserve to be in the playoffs, which is where the Canucks find themselves.  But, if the Canucks keep trending as they did since Boudreau came on board, we have a lot to look forward to.

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