Canucks Army Roundtable: Not An Easy Task

roundtable

It seems like the age old conversation in Vancouver is who will play alongside the Sedins. There’s been countless players in the past such as greats like Jason King, Byron Bitz, Taylor Pyatt, Anson Carter and more recently Alex Burrows and Radim Vrbata. When the Canucks went out and got Loui Eriksson in the offseason, it was expected that he would slot into that role. He struggled out of the gate and it’s been a game of chess ever since. Brandon Sutter is currently there, but he is struggling mightily, so I asked our writers, who do you think should be there?

Jackson McDonald

I think Megna has lots of speed and he’s good defensively.He has speed and some skill and it’s a good combination. As well, Granlund, I think he likes playing centre so it’s a chance to get him back in the middle.

Vanessa Jang

It’s funny how Loui Eriksson isn’t even in the conversation anymore. Out of who’s healthy and on the current roster, I’d have to agree with Jackson and say Jayson Megna. I’m not sure how long it would last but at least we’d get to see what they can do. There isn’t a healthy player on the roster who can absolutely dominate with them – it’s more of a ‘let’s put ______ there and hope for the best’ kind of situation. We’ve seen Eriksson and that didn’t work. Sutter with them looked good when he was on his goal-scoring streak but now it’s dropped off. Baer-Bo-Bur isn’t going to be touched, Gaunce, Skille & Chaput are 4th liners and Granlund is a centre. That leaves Jayson Megna.
The only players who have proven they can consistently succeed with the twins are Hansen and Burrows. Hansen should be back soon, so I have no doubt that he’ll slot in when ready – we just need someone to hold down the fort until he’s healthy.

J.D. Burke

Put Eriksson back with the twins. It’s not like it wasn’t working, they just weren’t getting bounces. As a line, they controlled something like 55-56% of shot attempts, which compares to the Los Angeles Kings as a team in their best years — that’s something to aspire to.

Petbugs13

Brandon Sutter. You win with players like Sutter. I’m not comparing him to Patrice Bergeron,  but when they played Boston, Bergeron was a great two-way player for them. Look at Jonathan Toews in Chicago. That’s how you win in the playoffs. When you look at Brandon Sutter and all the things he brings, he’s going to be in the next wave of core players. I believe his best hockey is still ahead of him.

Taylor Perry

As much as I would love to personally see Alex Burrows back with the Sedins – he’s earned it – his play with Horvat and Baertschi means that he will probably stay in that slot. It would be a wise move to try and further inflate his value for a potential trade near the deadline, but Benning has stated explicitly that he won’t ask any players to waive their NTC – so what’s the point in inflating his value? Hansen should be back soon, so that means he probably returns to their wing. But why not Loui Eriksson? That combination controlled play to a great extent, but was the victim of some poor shooting luck. Now that Eriksson has begun to find his game, as well as the back of the net, it makes sense to the give the $6 million free agent acquisition another shot with the twins.

Always90Four

I think Alex Burrows should get one more kick at the can and then put Jannik Hansen there to ride them into the sunset. The numbers don’t lie that both of those guys fit like a glove with the Sedins so it’s only fitting that it should be them. Jake Virtanen would be a good option.

Matthew Henderson

I’m of the belief that you should just leave Eriksson there and let him build chemistry for the pair. They haven’t been giving him a good enough look there, and I think he would really benefit.

  • The answer to the question is simple. The player who should be playing with the Sedins is the player who performs the best when playing with them. For the better part of the last two seasons that man is Jannik Hansen. The Sedins can pretty much carry anybody who plays with them, so plug in who ever you want and tough it out until Hansen gets healthy.

  • Eriksson. The Sedins and Eriksson were dangerous during the WCOH playing against NHL players on NHL ice. But simply putting Eriksson back on RW isn’t enough. Every move has to be viewed from a systemic level. Cue the Desjardins criticism…now:

    First, as I mentioned before, Desjardin’s F3 high strategy is 100% incompatible with the Sedins’ cycle game. They need to give the Sedins & Eriksson offensive strategies and freedom that leverage their strengths. Instead, they have to play defensive-oriented strategies that are designed to compensate for the lack of skill that everyone else on the team lacks. It’s a waste of their superior hockey skill/sense – that’s poor coaching decisions.

    Second, we need more consistent secondary scoring otherwise opponents only need to shut down the Sedins to win games. Forcing Horvat into a bottom 6 defensive role while gifting Granlund offensive situations is badsh*t retarded. Didn’t we learn this from Vey? Hell no because Desjardins doesn’t know the word “adapt” or “change”.

    Third, put the Sedins and Eriksson on the ice when we need goals. No more Sbisa, Dorsett, Skille, (insert fourth liner here) in the dying minutes or key offensive zone situations. The Sedins have proven over the last decade to be clutch performers so put them in clutch situations.

  • This isn’t rocket science. Pairing Sutter with the Sedins, frankly hurts both Brandon and the Twins.

    Put Loui back with the Twins. They were dominating possession early in the season – it’s just that Erikkson was snakebitten. Now he’s in a groove and together they’ll be fine.

    Sutter meanwhile should be centering a third line with Granlund and (after he’s healed up)Hansen, which should be sound defensively – but with some offensive pop too.

  • I’d like to see the Sedins play with Bo on the PP, like when the Sedins played with Kesler for a bit. Why not?

    The sad truth is that you can’t throw in anyone to play with the Sedins anymore. You need someone who can get in the forecheck and backcheck. Hansen is perfect for that. Lucic would have been useless with the Sedins, and I hope this puts the bed with trading for Kane to play with the Sedins.

  • Time to try Eriksson there again. “It wasn’t working”…well nothing was working for Loui the first month of the season but since then he’s been one of our more consistent performers. Sutter looked pretty good with Granlund earlier in the year too. Megna can play on the other wing for now, BBB stays together and Chaput-Gaunce-Skille (more like Skillsy) is the 4th line. Once Hansen is back, he and Eriksson can split time with the twins and GranBran, as both sets of combos (Sedins-Loui+GranBranHan or Sedins-Hansen+GranBranSson) have their perks and could be effective.

  • The problem is WD….3 years ago we brought in Vrbata to play with the twins and he scored 30. The next year he wanted “balance “scoring and ruined Vrbata. Now we bring in Erickson and WD prefers balanced scoring so he sledge him to the second line. Balanced scoring doesn’t always work and often ruins player. The best player should always play together. Everyone on the Canucks had a rough start, but now it’s time to put it back the way it was meant to be.

  • I get why people think Eriksson based on the PP at the World Championships/WCOH. But I don’t think he really suits their 5×5 game, both the cycle and on the rush. It’s not a trigger man that they need — they can do well enough with one but they don’t tend to excel with that style of player. What they seem to need is someone who will retrieve the puck, who will push the pace of play for them, and is defensively aware enough that they can cover for when they lose the puck (which unfortunately as the age is more often). On the current roster that’s basically Burrows and Hansen (and for all the flak Vrbata took that was him too, though he acted as more of a trigger man). Sutter is probably the best placeholder until Hansen is back — if we could get Rodin back I think he might be a real option too.

  • @petbugs has now bestowed the “petbugs bump” on Sutter. We all know what that means: he will go on a points run.

    Recall Louie Eriksson was the previous beneficiary.

    Matthew: next week provide a question where Baertschi is the obvious answer; he is the one that can really use @petbugs magic.