Welcome to a new feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Wednesday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We’ll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don’t. Easy! So let’s get started:
Over the summer, there was much discussion about how to get Daniel and Henrik Sedin back to the offensive stars they were pre-John Tortorella, and one of the most obvious ways to do this seemed to be to get their offensive zone start rate back to the level it was in the Alain Vigneault era – around 70%. With a return to a faster and more open brand of hockey under Willie Desjardins, fans hoped they’d see more Sedins in the offensive zone, too.
Well, that hasn’t happened.
According to war-on-ice.com, the Sedins have a team-low 43.5% offensive zone start rate, and have also taken more defensive zone faceoffs than any other forwards on the Canucks. Meanwhile Brad Richardson, Torts’ defensive zone specialist last year, has seen more offensive zone starts than everyone other than Linden Vey.
Part of starting the Sedins in the defensive zone is a trust issue. Linden Vey hasn’t demonstrated an aptitude for faceoffs, and Shawn Matthias has been brutal at them through his last two seasons, so Desjardins is likely hesitant to put those guys out on the ice in the defensive zone when they’re likely to lose the puck immediately.
But, hockey is a game of differentials. Is the theoretical improvement in shots against due to having the Sedins in the defensive zone worth the reduction in shots for you should see in the offensive zone? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.
So what would you do? Would you continue to start the Sedins in the defensive zone? Would you start a different line there? Would you form a checking line to bury like AV did? Would you call someone up from Utica? Are there any available free agents you would sign to take draws? What about a trade? Who would you acquire, what would you give up?
Let us know what you would do in the comments below!