The Canucks’ fate has been sealed for weeks now, but somehow there are still ten games to go. There isn’t much left to play for, so let’s turn our eyes to next season.
The Sedins, and their decline in production, was a hot topic this week. I suggested teammate effects might be partly to blame. Assuming there aren’t any major roster changes next year, who would you like to see the Sedins play with next season?
Last week I asked: What would you do to make the last few games of the season more exciting?
Unless Boeser can gets in some games soon in NHL (ideally I AHL) there isn’t much we can do other than shutting down a few injured vets (Tanev and Sutter). Would be nice to see Subban, even if he’s brutal in his own zone.
Aside from WD opening up the game and playing more exciting run and gun and moving the PP to actually play with the Sedins stengths, the team is what it is.
Embrace the tank this year, shut vets down and give the young guns the playing time to see what we got.
So here’s a slightly different viewpoint — Utica is actually doing quite well, with Demko having won his last seven straight and the team poised for a decent run in the playoffs. I’m not sure I’d be wanting to drag up some of the players who are actually having success to join this tire fire. In particular it’d be better for Demko, Carcone, Virtanen, Cassels, maybe Roy and Subban (though it seems like the Canucks are going to move on from Subban, Grenier and Pedan). I know we papered Gaunce back down there to join them, I wouldn’t mind having Goldobin there too. In terms of playing out the stretch here, shut down Sutter and Tanev, cut the Sedins, Edler and Miller’s time way back, keep giving Granlund, Baertschi, Horvat, Boucher, Goldobin, Stetcher, Hutton, Tryamkin and Markstrom prime minutes (I realize some of them are banged up but when they’re back). I will concede that Chaput at 24 has at least some potential. I think the rest of the depth AHLers should give the actual vets a rest, not the prospects.
How to make things interesting:
1. Sit anyone over 30 or who has an injury needing rest.
2. Make Baer-Bo-Boucher your top line … give them a system that works to their strengths and let them loose.
2a. Do the same with other lines.
3. Sit Miller. Or, given his propensity for making coaching decisions, put him behind the bench. He couldn’t do any worse than the crew back there now.
4. Markstrom and Bachman. Time to decide if the former is your guy once and for all.
5. Bring up Subban. Play him til he drops. Remind him every time he sits down to watch Stecher because Subban either has to be that good or ride the bus into obscurity. Time to decide.
6. Evaluate every player you have and try something different in deployment and tactics.
Bottom line: Phil Kessel got vilified for being out of shape and not playing a 200 foot game … but he could score. Pittsburg deployed him differently than Toronto had and he was a machine during the playoffs. Not equating Goldy with Kessel, but if you have a player who can score then let him score.
Equally, trying to limit Bo’s talent by making him skate 200 feet every time he has the puck is nuts. The Sedins didn’t start as the Sedins, they had a lot of poor years until they learned how to control the game through the cycle. Bo doesn’t look like a cycle type of player … trying to stuff him into a Sedins style of play seems a waste of his strengths.
If this organization isn’t just blowing smoke about earning things then as your top scorer, Bo has certainly earned the right to play to his strengths, not the Sedins. This isn’t about disrespecting the twins, it’s about looking at an opportunity where you have nothing to lose and trying something different.
Even if that means putting Benning behind the bench for a dozen games — because WD needs to adapt or go away.
Easy – J. Megna as ‘player-coach’.