Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

WWYDW: Burmistov, Dowd, Chaput, Goldobin

The Canucks are in a tough spot. They’re without two of their best forwards in Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat, which says nothing of nothing having Brandon Sutter or Erik Gudbranson out of the lineup, too.

Unsurprisingly, this has forced Canucks head coach Travis Green to try and scrape by with less than ideal options as replacements. Lately, he’s been tinkering with having different combinations of Nic Dowd, Alexander Burmistrov, Michael Chaput and Nikolay Goldobin sprinkled throughout his lineup.

The problem (if you can call it that) is that with Baertschi’s injury, they can only fit three of them in the lineup on any given night. That’s made for some healthy debates in Vancouver about who should play and where they should play if they do end up entering the lineup.

Assuming you can only play three of Burmistrov, Dowd, Chaput or Goldobin, who do you play and where do you play them in the Canucks lineup? Or, alternatively, do you look to the Utica Comets for reinforcements. Hell, if you want to get really creative, Ryan Carpenter is on waivers today, so that’s an option, too.

Last week I askedWhat should the Canucks do with their blue line when Erik Gudbranson returns to full health?


Both Edler & Hutton have struggled; can’t see Eagle being scratched & sitting Hutton isn’t going to increase his trade value. Guddy adds grit, but little else – best scenario is to move #44 for pick or prospect – there will certainly be buyers.

Might be better value at trade deadline if they can wait, but then who sits now?

Killer Marmot:

I’m not impressed with Gudbranson or Del Zotto (who somehow avoids the attention that Gudbranson gets, perhaps because Benning didn’t trade for him).

So play them situationally. When up against big, tough, grinding teams, play Gudbranson. Otherwise Del Zotto.


I’m really not a fan of the “play the guy to increase trade value concept”. Why would you play the guy that is clearly the 7th defenceman right now, especially when he’s already had 21 games to prove himself and hasn’t shown much.

I’ll be straight up – I’ve watched most of the Canucks games this season, and Gudbranson seriously looks out of place. It seems like almost every time he touches the puck he either gets rid of it by dumping it into the opposing teams zone, or simply gives it away. I haven’t seen very many occasions where Gudbranson actually does something beneficial to the team, puck wise. To add to that, he has NO points in 21 games played. Now I know that’s not what Gudbranson primarily brings, but on a team that is struggling to score, I’d rather have a defenceman in my lineup that can at least put up a few points every once and a while, opposed to Gudbranson who can’t even seem to do that. Sure, he adds some physicality to the game, that’s great. But when he’s gone, other guys have seemed to step up, such as Virtanen delivering a couple monstrous hits last night against Carolina.

If you really want to get him some more games, I would be okay if they benched Hutton for a few. He’s seemed a little lost out there as well lately, and maybe a few games in the press box would give him a wake up call.

The reality is, they simply cannot bench someone like Pouliot with what he’s been bringing to the team.
I really don’t see Gudbranson’s value going up much more if they play him for a few more games, or even for another month or so. I’d trade him while there’s still any value to his name – and I’m honestly not sure how much there still is.

(come back McCann !!!)

Forever 1915:

Hutton was a left winger who converted to defence in Junior A so another option is to run 7 defencemen. Put Hutton on the fourth line (e.g. replacing Gaunce) and run Edler/Del Zotto/Pouliot on the left and Tanev, Stecher, Gudbranson on the right. At least Hutton has some experience as a forward, compared to past experiments using Ballard, Pedan or Biega. Hell, most of his NCAA goals were scored from below the hash marks anyways.


This is not hard. Sit our 7th D-man. that would be Hutton without a doubt.

  • I thought Chaput played better against Calgary then he did against Winnipeg, but so did most players. I’d leave him with Jake and Brenden as the fourth line. Dowd as 13th forward because has not come as advertised. Poor in the dot, taking penalties, crushed in possession stats, but albeit only two games with a new team…


  • I would probably run:


    I would run Goldobin/Gagner/Boeser with Tanev/Hutton, to help them keep the puck out of their own end. Sedin/Sedin/Eriksson get Edler/Pouliot for offensive support. Other than that I think you can more or less roll these four lines, which I think matches the philosophy of what the Canucks are trying to do

  • Boucher and Goldobin had some success in Utica, so call him up, and put Granlund on that line.

    Sit Gagner and his three year contract.

    Send Dowd to the pressbox or Utica. He will clear waivers.


    Other than your fourth line, you have a decent balance of vets with younger players.

    The fourth line should be let loose to find their game. Sure, might be a gong show, might be something interesting.

    Watching Gagner out there makes me nostalgic for the Linden ‘double-shift’ Vey glory days … isn’t Mason ’20 goals a season’ Raymond available? Right now I’d offer Kyle Wellwood a Mats Sundin contract just to keep Gagner off the ice!

  • I would get on the phone with Ottawa and see what they want for Karlsson. Would be hard to say goodbye to some young talent but there is the franchise D man they need. A lot of money coming off the books next year plus the cap is going up

    • Ottawa would want Petteresen, Julolevi and a first round pick. For an oft injured defensemen who has been less than his usual self this year. I would not do that trade.

    • If the Canucks wanted to acquire Karlsson, they could simply wait until July 1 and then “pay him what he’s worth.” Given that we lack a bona fide #1 defenceman in the system (but a good core that may include Tanev, Juolevi, Stecher, Pouliot, Brisebois, Chatfield, etc.), it might not necessarily be a bad idea. We’ll have an exceptionally strong forward corp in Pettersson, Horvat, Boeser, Dahlen, Goldobin, Gaudette, Lind and Gadjovich. It’s like asking would you rather have a) Edler, Gudbranson and Del Zotto or b) Karlsson and 2 guys earning the league minimum as your 3rd pairing? But there’s no way we overpay via trade for a pending UFA, even one as good as Karlsson.

      • Karlsson is still under contract next year as well($6.5 per). So it’s not a half year rental. I don’t mind if others trash the idea, it’s just a discussion but I suspect virtually all the gm’s have an idea what his market value is. Your point of your third pairing likely being paid the minimum is valid but when Karlsson plays it’s always big minutes. I hesitated suggesting what it would take to get him because it will be big and just wanted to open a discussion.

  • For sure, I’d play Burmitsov in a top 6 role and hopefully he proves something so he can fetch a 4th round pick that we gave up for Pouliot. The same thing can be said for Dowd if he plays like he did last year and become flappable. Clearly, there is no market for Chaput. And I am a firm believer if that Green says Goldobin is not ready – then he is not ready. My gawd, its like this market has not learned a thing with throwing McCann and Jake out there for the sake of seeing them out there when they were clearly not ready.

    • I see a huge difference between McCann/Virtanen and Goldobin. Goldobin already has 113 points in 136 AHL games whereas McCann and Virtanen were taken directly from junior and were expected to play an NHL-ready game. Goldobin has pretty much gotten everything he could get out of the AHL. He may have defensive weaknesses but his scoring is urgently needed now. This is different from Subban, who had offense but was clearly a significant defensive liability (e.g. failing to pick up attacking forwards, bad exit passes that are intercepted when there is a clear outlet pass, he did *a lot* of things wrong) We have a bottom 6 that can handle the PK, let’s use our tools in the right situations.

  • Sedin/Sedin/Eriksson

    Sit Dowd now so he has a chance to get some practices in but he stays in the press box unless there is another injury. When Sutter is back, I’d send Chaput back to Utica to help the Comets. Sutter then bumps Burmistrov to the 4th line. Put the Swedes back together and load up the GGB line so hopefully we have at least 2 lines that can be legitimate scoring threats.

  • I’ve liked the way Chaput has played. His line with Gaunce and Virtanen have looked good. Virtanen scored two games ago and with the way they are playing, Gaunce has to score at some point (I hope). Goldobin should be the first to play and he should get a string of at least 5 games to show himself without having to worry about being pulled. If Goldobin disappears or takes too many shifts off then he should be sat after the 5 games. Goldobin should also play in a top six role. I don’t know what to say about Dowd and Burmistrov as neither has been impressive. Burmistrov has more talent (not that we’ve seen that very often) while Dowd can penalty kill (as does Chaput despite the huge giveaway against Calgary) so I don’t know if I care between them. Whatever Green thinks he needs is fine with me.

    • I totally agree with Goldobin starting in a Top 6 role. I never understood Desjardins’ thinking. If Goldobin is a goal scorer, how can he earn his ice-time and demonstrate scoring when he, along with other rookies, would have automatically been stuck on the 4th line with Chaput, Megna and Skille? The Goldobin’s assist on Boeser’s goal is an example of synergy when you put good players together. Goldobin drew away the defenders to give Boeser room and then threaded an accurate pass that allowed Boeser to score.

  • Any way you slice it, it’s gonna be thin. I’m encouraged Canucks haven’t made significant moves to stay in the playoff hunt.
    Vanek Granlund Eriksson
    Sedin Sedin Boeser
    Goldy Granlund Virtanen
    Burmistrov Chaput Gagner

    Dowd to the press box. When Sutter returns Chaput back to Utica. Gotta get Goldy figured out. He needs to play so if he isn’t ready get him back to Utica as soon as possible.