WWYDW: A Golden Opportunity

With the Canucks in total free-fall for the last month or so, there’s been a dearth of compelling storylines to keep the fans’ attention. Truthfully, the only reason Canucks fans have to continue watching at this stage in the season is to get a better look at the future.

That’s why Nikolay Goldobin has been in the spotlight so much this week, he was scratched, promoted to the top line, and criticized for not having enough “grit” and “balls”, which is more activity in one week than some Canucks saw in their entire tenure in Vancouver. (Brandon MacMillan, anyone?)

Where would you like to see Goldobin play for the remainder of the season? Where would you like to see him start next year? He has high-end skill, but he’s still very raw, and prone to occasional lapses defensively. There are no wrong answers.

Last week I asked: Where would you like to see Boeser next year? If he makes the big club, who would you like to see as his linemates?

Neil B: 

Well, this is why we should have Boeser up this year for the last few games, to hell with contract status. He’s played well in 3 outings so far, but he’s also looked lost without the puck at times. Admittedly, those instances were mostly later in a game, so the question of lost vs gassed is legit.

Personally, I’d like him to stay down in Utica for 2017-18, and learn to be a dominant pro at the lower level before coming up. However, the development style of this team would seem to value bottom-6 minutes in the NHL over top-6 minutes in the AHL.


Boeser already “developed” in a lesser league beyond his draft. One of the best things I have noticed about him is instant chemistry with whoever he is on with, he finds or makes space, and plays with smarts. This, combined with all the trials of job the poor guy has been through that we keep hearing about and has survived through tells me he is NHL ready. Goldy and Boucher have had their moments in these last few games, but Beoser has impressed me beyond the numbers. Him and Horvat were a few of the only people last night that didn’t look way out of their league last night and with familiarity and practice that should get even better.

The ONLY reason to send him down would be if the Nucks were going to do like toronto and try to tank from right out the gate next season.


I wanna see a 1st line of Bo, Baer, Eriksson, 2nd of Sedins, Granlund. Start Brock in Utica and call him up after a few months when injuries pile up, and after he has hopefully scored a lot.


Boeser should end up playing where his play dictates. If he is ready and deserves to be on the Canucks then so be it. If he isn’t ready then he needs to go to Utica regardless of whether he is better than a fourth line plug. The Canucks need Boeser to be a top 6 forward and need to make sure his development is properly handled. So far he looks like he belongs.

It’s too early to say who he should play with next year if he makes the Canucks. He looked okay in the first game with Bo and Baer, but the team will need to experiment to see who has chemistry.

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks aren’t just a sports team. They are also a business that needs to put bums in seats in order to pay salaries.

    Having Boeser in the lineup would help do that.

    If he continues playing as he has, he’ll get all the ice time he can handle at the NHL level. The only reason for sending him down would be if his play was so disappointing that he was no longer getting decent ice team.

  • Neil B

    Watching Goldie play, it’s pretty clear that he is still ‘thinking’ his role; he hasn’t progressed to the stage of internalizing the system and reacting to game events within that framework. We simply don’t have enough practice time left in the season for him to do so in a protected setting, so we are stuck with either giving him a training regimen & sending him home, or giving him a Viking swimming lesson and letting him learn the game during game time.

    Make the best of what you can, at this point; give him sheltered minutes, advantageous starts. See what he does.

    • Donald's Hat Trick

      ” internalizing the system” lol. The Canucks were considered a playoff team in January because the majority of their difficult games were scheduled in February through April. There’s no point internalizing any system that this staff teaches.

      • Neil B

        The point is showing whoever is coach next year that you’re a quick study, can play any style of game, and deserve quality ice time out of the box next season. Showing that you’re a slow learner, or worse, not coachable, is a sure-fire ticket to Utica.

  • LTFan

    Lots of hype about Goldobin. What he is not is Pavel Bure. In the game against the Sharks on Tuesday he was charged with 5 Giveaways. That is the part of his game he needs to work on. There is an upside for sure – but remember there is also a downside and a reason why the Sharks let him go. We can only hope that next season some of his downside is addressed by the Coaching staff and the upside will help us to overlook any deficiencies.

    Boeser I would say in NHL ready now. He will be even better next year.

    • Freud

      Brent Burns leads the league in giveaways. The top 5 forwards in giveaways are Gaudreau, Marchand, Pavelski, Tavares and Couture. Let’s stop lapping at the old and tired narrative teat.

      • TD

        Do you not see a difference between Goldobin and the other players you mentioned? You just named a bunch of the league’s star players who put up huge points. They have the puck on their sticks all the time leading to more giveaways. But those giveaways come with huge production. Somewhat different than Goldobin.

        • Cageyvet

          Sure, but do you not see the point he is making? Giveaways, like any stat, need to be put into context. Give me a young buck with upside who may temper those giveaways with offense over the plugs Willie loves who don’t give the puck away or put it in the net, they just roam around the ice producing astonishingly boring hockey.

    • Dirty30

      The reason SJ let him go was to get an aging player with speed and skill who might make a difference for their immediate run at the SC.

      What the Canucks got was rid of an aging player who wouldn’t really help much in 2-3 years for a guy who, given some Coaching and Opportunity, could help the Canucks in 2/3 years.

      In other words, SJ gave up a good prospect for a good player and the Canucks gave up a good player for a good prospect.

      That Coach stickuphisass can’t see that is the problem, not the player.

  • FireGillis

    I think he is not ready to crack the top 6 without injuries, but I would love to see him get some second unit power play time. I imagine horvat will be the #1 center next season, and will probably play with the other 2 best players on the team, baertschi and boeser. I think Erikson needs to be given another chance with the sedins, at least to start the season. I think we can make a decent third line with sutter granlund and goldobin. Then granlund can swap with Erikson if he sucks.

  • RYH

    Bo already thinks the game good enough to play in the NHL. If he can gain some speed and strength in the off season, he will fit fine in the top 6. It’s good that he’s been successful, but as with most, he’ll have an offensive drought at some point- I suspect he has the mental toughness to handle that as well as Horvat did. I don’t know what he gains in Utica unless he does falter at this level and needs ice time.

    • Holly Wood

      top 6 might be a bit of a long shot in October, but if he develops as expected he could play some 3rd line minutes until he is ready. Unless he falls off a cliff like Jake did, I see no point sending him to the AHL

  • Since the Sedins and Baertschi/Horvat (LW/C) combinations seem set, I would rotate Goldobin, Boeser, Granlund and Eriksson through as RW and see how they play. If they fit in, leave them there until the performance of the line falters. The two wingers left without a seat in the Top 6 when the music stops plays with Sutter on the third line. Would be great if Virtanen could be added to the mix.

    • DJ_44

      I have a problem with the Sedins being set. I think they should split up Daniel and Hendrik next year. They are too slow together, and while they can control the puck (sometime) in the offensive zone, they are liabilities in the defensive zone. Put Hendrik in the 2C slot with Eriksson and Boucher; have Daniel play with Sutter and Goldobin, or Jake. I agree that the wingers can be mixed and matched to see what works.

  • krutov

    keep him here to the end of the season but i hope he sees some ahl playoffs. he needs to get over being hit.

    i did see him skate into traffic behind the san jose net in the third period. he wasn’t really using his body but he was in the mix and not fishing with his stick. that is major progress for him.

    positionally this guy is sound. offensively and ability wise he is gifted. but he is very shy in situations that can lead to body contact. it’s not laziness because he will do things like back up another canuck who goes to get the puck. he is just playing not to be hit in a way i have rarely seen in a pro hockey player.

    i think he is close to having to face this. he has nothing else to fix in his game.