Going into the playoffs

Discussion in 'Vancouver Canucks' started by Virtanen2Horvat, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Bourne Endeavor

    Bourne Endeavor Registered User

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    We do need to play better teams before making any sweeping analysis of this team. We beat Chicago is what was arguably a terrible game but were completely crushed San Jose. LA we stopped playing and Anaheim was a trade of humiliations. Over the next few weeks we have another showdown with Chicago, along with St. Louis, Nashville and Detroit. Those games will determine where we are.

    Of course, we have that 7-2-2 record without Kesler. So it does count for something.
     
  2. biturbo19

    biturbo19 Registered User

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    What exactly would we need a 'skill' player like Moen for to truly solidify our depth?

    When healthy, our depth on the Wing is going to have someone like Higgins/Raymond/Booth on the 4th line, and guys like Volpatti/Weise will probably be sitting in the press box many nights, with a young skilled guy like Jensen available for call up in an emergency.

    On Left Wing, i don't even think Moen would be in the lineup regularly when we're healthy. Especially not if you're trying to get more skill into the lineup.

    I could see adding a more proven player to bolster our depth at Center for the 3rd line, to insulate in the even Schroeder struggles with the physical play kicked up a notch come playoffs...but i really don't see room for adding at LW right now.

    Why so much stock in 'possession metrics' over results? Possession stats don't win games...Winning games wins games.

    I don't disagree though, that adding someone like Brassard or Eller who could provide some added value at #3C if needed could push us into even better standing with regards to depth, or bringing in a guy like Tedenby who could be stashed in the minors for potential recall come playoffs would enhance our skilled depth as well.
     
  3. racerjoe

    racerjoe Registered User

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    My thoughts are we are on game twelve, the quarter pole mark, maybe we should let things play out a bit first.
     
  4. LeftCoast

    LeftCoast Registered User

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    If the injuries to Booth and Kesler are our only major injuries for the season, I'm fairly optimistic about our playoff lineup. We certainly have enough depth, the question is if we have enough skill. Let's face it, in our last 2 playoff rounds, our biggest problem was not goal tending or defense, it was a lack of offense - and in both cases (Boston and LA) it came down to injuries to Henrik, Daniel and/or Kesler. What the team needs to take the next step is 2nd and 3rd line players who can step up and produce in top 6 roles if needed.

    Jordan Schroeder has emerged as a legitimate NHL center with sufficient skill to play on any line except for a pure, physical checking line. His game is not a good fit with the Sedins, but he can play centre or either wing on a 2nd or 3rd line. In the short term, this means that when Kesler comes back, he doesn't have to be thrown immediately into the 2C slot.

    Likewise, Zach Kassian gives us a real physical presence and can play on any line. Depending on the series and opponent, it's nice to have a big man with soft hands than can play with the Sedins if needed.

    Mason Raymond seems to have found his game again and seems to have some chemistry with Schroeder.

    Jannik Hansen, Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins are the ultimate utility players. Excellent defensively, can skate, can hit, good on the boards, can check, PK, PP - really except for taking face-offs, there is no role these guys can play. However none of them can carry a line - Burrows is the best play maker of the bunch, and hasn't looked horrible at centre, but I hope it doesn't come down to that in the playoffs.

    Lapierre - maybe he belongs in the above group as well except that he is excellent in the circle and is a natural centre, however he doesn't have the vision to be a top line player - even in a fill in role.

    Adding Kesler and Booth to this lineup just makes us better.

    So - assuming we don't acquire a top 6 forward this season in a Luongo deal, I still like our depth and skill up front much more than last year, with all of the improvement being organic - developed from within.

    If we do acquire a top 6 player - who are they going to push down the line up? Raymond - who is currently on a 52 point, 29 goal (82 game season) pace? Kassian who is on a 37 goal pace? Schroeder - who seems to be getting better each game? Of course these guys will cool off a bit, but what a problem to have - too many top 6 players!
     
  5. NYVanfan

    NYVanfan Registered User

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    yep, someone would have to move out in the deal, likely a Raymond or a Booth ...assuming we replaced them with a significant O upgrade

    Booth is really the wildcard here -- he could be the extra O we were missing vs Boston (putting aside all the injuries.) I'm not sold that AV will use either Schroeder or Kassian all that much in the playoffs, so we need a healthy kesler and Booth to fill in the gaps. Of course he did squat last year, but was coming off inury (again) and arguably hadn't fully acclimated.

    i'd expect AV's PO lineup to be
    Sedins-Burr
    Booth-Kes-Higgins
    Raymond-Schroeder-Hansen
    Manny-Lap-Kassian

    and if its a nasty series i wouldnt be surprised to see Weise in for Schroeder (w Manny & Lap the 3rd/4th Cs)

    While I like the mix overall, I'm not fully sold that the two kids and Booth can provide the needed O to put us over the top....but we'll see what they do.

    Finding it hard to shake the dejavu from last season, where excellent goaltending covered up for O deficiencies...
     
  6. vanuck

    vanuck But Gillis...!!!

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    As for whether the young guys can provide that reliable secondary scoring, I'd give them another 12 games before making any judgments. Especially against other contending teams.

    I'd also like to see how this team stacks up vs. other strong teams once we're fully healthy.
     
  7. Fat Tony

    Fat Tony Fire Benning

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    Certain stats correlate well with results. They can give you insight to explain what is happening. Eg. if team A is winning games with a shooting % of 9% while team B is winning games with a shooting % of 20% but half the number of shots compared to team A, who do you think will drop off in performance?

    You can simplify possession to "the more you have the puck, the more chances you have to score and the less the other team does." Over time, that is very important.
     
  8. PRNuck

    PRNuck Sell the team.

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    Haven't you ever yearned to combine math with sports? :sarcasm:
     
  9. Dado

    Dado Guest

    That's true. However, time of possession, as in the NFL, isn't one of them.

    "In 2011, only half of the teams that were in the top 10 time of possession had a winning record. While three teams in the bottom 10 and had a winning record, including both teams that made it all the way to the Super Bowl..."
     
  10. Yammer

    Yammer Registered User

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    My thought is that I like your thought, but am cautious because these fellows did a number on my nerves and emotions in their last deep run, and because judging a team while it is on a hot streak might cause overoptimism.

    I will say that the Canucks have a chance to put out a truly stacked lineup IF IF IF everyone is healthy for the playoffs.

    I mean, wondering where to put Kassian or Higgins or do we have room for Weise, these are called nice problems to have. Imagine having a team that is so stacked that you call (just as an example) Higgins-Lapierre-Kassian your "fourth line." That is when AV would have so many options that the guys have a chance of staying reasonably fresh all the way to the end.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  11. Tiranis

    Tiranis Registered User

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    Possession stats (that is, corsi and fenwick) do correlate with success in hockey. Nobody's measuring time of possession. I don't really know what the NFL quote could possibly have to do with the NHL.
     
  12. Yammer

    Yammer Registered User

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    I believe that skill wins in the postseason because everyone is playing as energetically as they can, there is no more of one team simply outworking the other, so in a sense I would agree that the Canucks could still consider upgraded scoring.

    On the other hand, part of the problem with the O last year is that it was getting itself all injured because opponents have figured out that the Canucks can get pushed around. With healthy Volpatti, Weise, Kassian, Booth, Lapierre and Kesler there should enough hitting power up front to even out the physical intimidation factors.

    Also, skillwise you are only counting your forwards. The Canucks run a lot of offensive from the point, so hopefully Garrison can adjust in time to be Salo's replacement as a point cannon.
     
  13. Ronning On Empty

    Ronning On Empty Formerly BleachClean

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    Because I like to be able to quantify what I'm seeing. Why ignore it altogether? It only helps to inform one's opinion. Now parsing the information you are presented with, that's altogether a different matter.


    In the last two years, it just so happened that VAN was beaten in the playoffs by better Fenwick teams in LA and BOS. I think there's something to them...
     
  14. Biggest Canuck Fan

    Biggest Canuck Fan BCF

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    The Canucsk Offense lives and dies with the Defense in all honesty. In the SCF they had no goals... in the sharks series I believe that number was 8 or 9.

    They live or die by their defense's ability to score or create chances. It isn't that the other teams are so much better as those two teams, and even the Hawks, they shut down the effectiveness of the D's scoring.

    Look at it closely. The Canucks are defense scoring dependant to either score or create the chances.
     
  15. Cocoa Crisp

    Cocoa Crisp Registered User

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    This is why I'm excited by the additions of Schroeder and Kassian. They bring different wrinkles to the offense. Schroeder and Raymond can work a north south game and Kassian's puck possession and power game creates havoc in the slot. Both of of those elements keep the d guessing instead of just containing the cycle game with its inevitable pass back up to the point to relieve the pressure.
     
  16. Ronning On Empty

    Ronning On Empty Formerly BleachClean

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    More often than not, yes, the team does live and die by the offense created by the D. However, injuries were a bigger factor during the SCF run. Then, the LA series was just low scoring all around, plus this team was missing Daniel. Oh, and Kesler was again injured.


    The Canucks forwards also play too high at times because of how the system demand they play. Allowing the D to jump up more.


    This year, hopefully, fingers crossed, these players will no longer be injured/new to the lineup:


    - Kesler
    - D.Sedin
    - Raymond
    - Kassian
    - Schroeder
    - Ballard
    - Garrison


    This makes a difference beyond just having Kassian and Schroeder there (as Cocoa has stated).
     
  17. givemeda411

    givemeda411 Registered User

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    At the deadline, wonder if florida would part with shawn matthias. I think he is what our 4th line needs.
     
  18. vanuck

    vanuck But Gillis...!!!

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    For once, I want to see what this group can do in the playoffs all fully healthy. Would clear up a lot of questions about the team's offence, defence, systems play etc.
     
  19. David71

    David71 Registered User

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    its nice to have luxury throughout the lineup. anybody can play with anybody. but the question is will a.v play his 4th liners more say 12mins per game to keep the top 2 lines fresh? because the playoffs is a grind and really really long. less tiring on the top guys. especailly if games get into overtime and beyond. other coaches have the abilility to roll 4 lines in the playoffs. but a.v doesnt sometimes.
     
  20. givemeda411

    givemeda411 Registered User

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    volpatti, ebbett and weise will have to be replaced. Not really sure what's happening with malhotra.
     
  21. David71

    David71 Registered User

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    who would you suggest to replace those guys... theres pinnozotto on the farm. but what else in terms of trades/waiver pickups.
     
  22. givemeda411

    givemeda411 Registered User

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    With kesler and booth coming back, I'd like to see this as a bottom six

    Raymond Schredder Kassian
    Matthias Lappiere Hansen

    Or

    Raymond Schredder Hansen
    Higgins Gordon Lappiere

    ... I wouldn't mind getting Torres back
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  23. Momesso

    Momesso High-End Intangibles

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    Agreed, the forward depth is as good as it has ever been.

    While I agree that AV won't split the twins, I really believe they'd be better apart (5-on-5 only) against tougher defensive clubs (NSH, LA, BOS as examples) in the playoffs, when their ES offense has been nullified by the clutching/grabbing and their +/- has been ugly.

    What I love this year is the pleasant surprise that both JS and Kassian have been fairly dynamic offensively, creative and making slick passes, whilst being solid defensively. This team lacks offensive creativity at times and these two guys have it. We wanted scoring depth and we finally have it, filled internally. It's pretty clear to me that sending JS down or replacing him with the likes of a Brian Boyle type would be a huge mistake. I only hope AV continues to give JS and Kassian plenty of minutes so they continue to gain confidence. And there is much to be said about youth in the dressing room. You only need to see how the team celebrated Tanev and JS's first goals, and how popular Kassian appears to be. The guys look like they like each other and that they're having fun.

    The defensive depth is huge too. Tanev has arrived and looks like a top 4 this year. Ballard has improved so much, finally reading the play and anticipating instead of reacting. Garrison disappointed me initially but it's clear that the new pairings and positioning just takes time to digest.

    Goaltending - what more can you say. Superb.

    Right now, I would be happy for Gillis to stand pat and go into the playoffs with this roster (+Kesler and Booth of course).

    The only change I'd accept is a clear, head-and-shoulders improvement over JS at the 3C position. I'm talking Plekanec, Graboski, Weiss, Dubinsky (maybe). Nothing less. Something like that could put us over the top.

    I would welcome an upgrade on Weise if we could get a legit 3rd liner to fill out our lineup. But Weise deserves the chance to improve and fill into the role. He needs to focus on finishing his checks and softening up the opposing defense. In any event, in the playoffs, I'd be fine with having Malhotra in for Weise, ONLY taking key draws, and most of his regular minutes alongside Lapierre & Booth (in example below) can be filled by a rotation of our other better forwards (Higgins-Lappy-Booth for example). Basically what I am saying is that we can roll with a mix of our 11 forwards (Weise being the odd man out), and have Manny as the 12th only for key draws.


    For the sake of conformity I'll put lines here with the Sedins together:

    Sedins-Kassian (playoffs)
    Burrows-Kes-Hansen (playing against the other team's 1C, and top ES minutes)
    Raymond-JS-Higgins (12-15 mins/night)
    Booth-Lapierre-Weise

    Burrows, Booth, Higgins Raymond and Kassian are fairly interchangeable. I put Booth on the 4th line because his passing is #10 in that forward group, and because he should start there until he deserves a shot on line 3. I don't think Booth and Kesler mesh though.

    Kesler should lead in minutes again, playing against the other team's top line with Hansen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  24. vanuck

    vanuck But Gillis...!!!

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    ^ Good post, agree on the points you made.
    But still I would like to see this happen. Just for once. Knowing there's another configuration we can go to that works if the Sedins' offence dries up would soothe a lot of fears about this team's ability to score in the postseason.
     
  25. David71

    David71 Registered User

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    that is a deep lineup barring any movement gillis makes at the deadline. but js is doing very well in his role. what if maybe depending on the opponents. js sits. kassian against physical teams. js against skilled teams. with booth+kesler healthy that is.
     

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