20Cheers and Jeers!
Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Cheers and Jeers: January 16th

It’s the NHLPA mandated bye-week, so that means there isn’t any Canucks hockey to watch. I’m not sure whether to feel relief or overwhelmed with boredom.

Obviously, I lean towards the former of those options. Based on the commentary on Twitter and sometimes the comments section, I get the sense that calling my freelance writing and managing editorship of CanucksArmy is divisive as hell — people get downright angry with the notion. But rest assured, it is a job, and it’s taxing as hell at this time of the year, whether I love the job or not, so honestly, this bye week feels like a week off for me too, mostly.

Anyway, let’s get on to the cheers and the jeers and all that fine stuff. You know, the reason you came to this site and this particular article.

Cheers to Adam Gaudette for his nomination for the NCAA’s Hobey Baker Award, given to the best player in NCAA Div. 1 hockey. A year after he was snubbed, too. Gaudette has 35 points (17 goals and 18 assists) in 22 games, good for first in NCAA scoring. Not too shabby.

Jeers to the suggestion that Nikolay Goldobin hasn’t done enough to earn an extended look. At the time the Canucks sent Goldobin down, he was seventh on the team in points per hour. That’s playing sparingly, at best, and with a revolving door of linemates. Canucks head coach Travis Green has done very little to help get Goldobin going, and he’s still semi-competent as a point producer. He should be a regular on the Canucks, especially in the context that Nic Dowd is playing obscene minutes.

Cheers to the NHLPA mandated bye week.

Jeers to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cheers to Ben Hutton’s return to the Canucks lineup and alongside Chris Tanev on a highly effective shutdown pair. That hit that Hutton laid on Brooks Orpik was huge, and he didn’t shy away from fisticuffs when Devante Smith-Pelly came to bear on him. I don’t really care much for throwing big hits as an indication of someone playing well defensively or the value of fighting, but I know the Canucks coaching staff does, and that’s all that matters. Plays like that will keep Hutton in the lineup.

Jeers to Derrick Pouliot’s recent run of healthy scratches. This makes no sense to me. If you feel the need to light a fire under someone, you might healthy scratch them once or twice. We’re past that point with Pouliot, and he’s still not in the Canucks’ lineup, which just seems silly. There’s the fact that Pouliot brings a dimension otherwise absent from the Canucks lineup, but there’s also the reality that Pouliot’s numbers all look really damn good. There’s just no logical reason to keep him out of the lineup at this point. Hopefully, he makes his return on the other side of the bye week.

Cheers to Alexander Edler’s current run. The understated, soft-spoken Swedish blueliner has four points in his last five games and has been a shot generation machine. Edler’s two-way results could use a little work, but he’s more than holding up his end of the bargain on offence.

Jeers to the way Michael Del Zotto has been playing. I mean, yikes. The numbers — they are all terrible.

Cheers to Brandon Sutter returning from a seven-week absence and a nagging injury to score the overtime winner in Sunday’s 3-2 Canucks win over the Minnesota Wild. How’s that for announcing one’s self?

  • SJ

    Edler Stecher
    Hutton Tanev
    Pouliot Biega/Holm?

    You’d have to shelter the 3rd pair, but hell, they’re trying to do that now and 4-44 are still being buried alive.

  • Holly Wood

    Your “Jeers” to the handling of Goldobin’s ice time in comparison to Dowd is a little puzzling. You are very much aware that Goldobin is an offensive player that has yet to earn his coaches trust and you also have acknowledged that Dowd’s on ice role consists of hard 3 and 4 th line duties with a lot of defensive zone starts. So why the snarky comment suggesting that Green is mis handling Goldobin, they are nearly polar opposites in their skill set and current role on the team. I doubt anyone on here would believe Goldy could play Dowds role with any level of success

    • Killer Marmot

      I agree. When fans are puzzled about a coach’s decisions, it’s often because fans are focusing on offensive output and the coach is concerned with two-way play.

    • Me

      As I’ve said before, Goldy is a sheltered -8 with limited minutes in 14 games.

      I know +/- isn’t good for everything, but that rating sucks. It sucks way worse when you consider his role and playing time.

      So he scores at the pace of a replacement-level 2nd/3rd line player with sheltered minutes and PP time. Yippee. Dowd may not be a star player, but I’d rather see him on the ice any time.

      Goldobin is NOT the second coming of Pavel Bure. He can’t score at a rate sufficient to offset his defensive weakness. PERIOD. He is not and probably never will be good enough to be even an adequate replacement-level NHLer.

    • argoleas

      My impression is that the team does not want to scratch MDZ or Guddy, and both are on the trading block. Although the pairing hes been less 444 and more 911, not playing will be the most problematic for trading. I also expect any trade partner to look at more than the pairing stats, since they would not be getting both players. So it would be “MDZ puck moving” and “Guddy physicality,” etc…

      I now expect both players to be gone by TD, and Puoliot and possibly Holm will make up new 3rd pair.

  • “Pouliot’s recent scratches.” This may have to do with showcasing others. Toronto, Boston, Chicago, and others all need help on D.
    I think Gudbranson and one left shot defenseman (Hutton or Del Zotto) won’t be here after the trade deadline.

    • apr

      I just hope its just picks coming back, unless a team is going to give a grade A prospect. I don’t want Forsling, Honka, or someone’s else’s tweener when we are still trying to figure out what we have in Stecher, Hutton and Pouliot. More so if we Juolevi coming in next year, and we somehow hit the lottery and get Dahlin. We don’t need a young d-man who is waiver eligible, unless he’s obviously going to make the team.

      • Puck Viking

        Only a crazy person would say no to Honka. Forsling will be a 4,5,6 defensemen.

        I dont think too many teams would give up a great prospect for a player of such low calibre like MDZ or Gudbranson.

        Tanev I am hoping we move as well for a A prospect, B prospect and a 1st. With both of those prospects being Defense or at the least the A prospect. I would like to see a defensemen come back who is a year or two closer to making the NHL.

        • crofton

          To hell with prospects. We have a proven shut down defenseman in Tanev. Many teams would drool to get him. If there is a trade for him it has to be for 2 roster players and then a prospect or maybe a pick.

          • Puck Viking

            We have roster players see hutton, stecher, edler, MDZ, gudbranson, puliot, Holm. 2 roster players is exactly what we do not need. We need defense prospects and picks.

            Looking at what duchene got the avs and what hamonic got the islanders its obvious that tanev has value. We will not be even near making the playoffs while he is on the team and he will leave as a free agent in 2 years.

            Any crap roster player that would be coming back would have similar value to a player we could acquire via free agency at no cost. Or better yet we could use our cap space to take back a bad contract with a year or 2 of term and get a prospect or pick back with that player. Like how phoenix ended up with Chychrun or carolina with tervainen.

            Tampa and Toronto both looking for a right shot defensemen have defense prospects that we could take back in a trade along with maybe a forward prospect but hopefully another defense prospect and picks.

            We need to build for the future, trying add players who will be in the line up now is what has got us in the mess we are currently in.

          • crofton

            To PV. Who said the roster players had to be defensemen? But if the trade did involve a defenseman, among other players/picks/prospects, that defenseman would obviously have to be an upgrade on pretty much all the defense you list, otherwise why bother?

    • Dirty30

      Lets hope you’re right!

      Pouliot sitting may simply be another form of sheltering by the Coaching staff. If his play has plateaued, or they see he is struggling, they may simply sit him to clear his head and get some off-ice coaching.

      He is a good young D and his play gas improved and pushing him may not get the result desired. Hutton got benched and came back throwing hits and fists like he meant it.

  • Steamer

    Thank you, JD. Appreciate you & the job you do even though I sometimes grouse – if not for your efforts there would be no forum, so please, give yourself some PP time! Just to continue the warm fuzzies, for once I find myself agreeing with all your jeers and cheers!(?) Where do I send the cheques?

    • East Van Dan

      Yeah, cheers to JD and the hardworking writers on this site. It’s a great fan resource – the best Canucks site online. My favourite part is the prospect coverage but I read just about every post, although I don’t comment very often.

  • jaybird43

    Maybe Puoliot is nursing a small injury and they are trying also to showcase Guddy (or Hutton). Pouliot sitting makes no other sense as he’s clearly moved into the top the of ‘Nucks defencemen. Or …. there’s something else going on; ‘dressing room’ stuff.

  • truthseeker

    yeah I’m with you on the Pouliot thing.

    The only excuse I would think is valid, is the one mentioned above. That’s he’s the odd man out due to showcasing others for trade.

    Over all I’ve been happy with Green as a coach, but again I have to say he does seem to do a lot that “old boys club” method of coaching. “Message sending” for what seems like the sake of message sending rather than based in objective results.

    I don’t expect a 100% meritocracy. I get that some players earn more “leeway” than other players, it sure seems he has drastically different scales of accountability depending on the player. I think that does nothing but confuse people. Especially the younger players.

    Willie was even worse about that kind of thing. The comments by Jake about Willie never talking to him, and Tryamkin not understanding things, you get the impression of some of that with Green.

  • Jabs

    Blake Bortles is a star…..gotta love that Jaguar’s defense this year, in all honesty, this team deserves to win based on how their defensive core has dominated all season.