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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Roundtable: Who Sits?

The CanucksArmy Roundtable is back for a second straight week! This time we’re talking roster optimization, and we’re a ways away from the crease, too.

The Canucks forwards have been in a constant state of flux this week, as players come in and out of the lineup due to injuries and their eventual recovery. First, Markus Granlund sat out the Canucks 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, and that meant that Brendan Gaunce could make his debut, returning from shoulder surgery. Now both are healthy, and it doesn’t sound like Loui Eriksson, who’s been out since October 14th with a knee sprain, isn’t far behind.

Last night, with Gaunce and Granlund both in the Canucks lineup, they chose to send Alexander Burmistrov to the press box. I didn’t think that the best decision available to them, so I thought it best to bring the question to the CanucksArmy staff so that I could hear their thoughts.

So, what do they think should happen now that the Canucks are getting healthy?

Cory Hergott

I would look to run with something like this for a game or two. I may even slide Boucher in ahead of Gaunce if he is still with the team for their next game. Maybe Granny and the twins get each other going.

Ryan Biech

For me, it’s Alexander Burmistrov who should sit in the press box.

The Canucks need to keep playing Virtanen. Even if that’s a fourth line role, it’s important for him to keep getting his reps in at the NHL level. Gaunce and Granlund provides the Canucks with some versatility as they can both play centre or the wing if need. I’d like to see Gaunce play exactly where Burmistrov has been, between Vanek and Gagner.

Vanessa Jang

I’d also say Burmistrov. Virtanen has shown well and Dorsett’s making his case for the Hart Trophy (jokes). At the beginning of the year, both guys were the two that were thought to be the most expendable, but both have played really well and it would be puzzling _and_ a bit frustrating if they were taken out of lineup up. Burmistrov hasn’t necessarily played bad, but Virtanen and Dorsett have just played better.

J.D. Burke

I’m going to disagree with Ryan and Vanessa here, as I think Burmistrov has more than earned his role with the Canucks. Derek Dorsett, on the other hand… The goals were great while they lasted, but the reality is that you can’t expect that production to continue, and in light of that, you can’t really argue he’s bringing much to the team. Dorsett’s underlying metrics are some kind of ugly, and if it’s not already starting to cost the Canucks, it soon will.

  • defenceman factory

    There are at least a couple ways to answer this question. Are you deciding the line-up most likely to win games or do you have a longer term perspective.

    The only way the canucks are winning games is by using Dorsett and Sutter to shut down the other teams’ top lines. This doesn’t work without Granlund with them. It is only games with that line together the canucks have actually looked good. Rotate sitting Burmistrov and Gaunce until one of them emerges as a clearly better player or you manage to trade one.

  • jaybird43

    Can’t sit Virtanen, nor Granlund. They are too good really .. Virtanen’s speed and hits are needed and he needs to be rewarded for his efforts. Granlund is under appreciated, and would be on a third line on many teams. Burmistrov … has gotten a bit better in recent games, but I feel he can get better yet, so not sure how to get that from him. Gagner has been better recently but not all that great in last 10 games overall. So . . ???

  • Holly Wood

    I don’t see enough from Gagner to keep him in the lineup, he hasn’t produced offensively and he doesn’t fit in a checking role. He was signed to be able to play 2nd or 3rd line with some power play time, it is clearly not working