Did you believe in aliens before Elias Pettersson suited up for the Canucks?
— Darryl Keeping (@dkeeping) October 7, 2018
Botch is great, but I’m not sure how down I am with the whole “Alien” nickname. Through two games, Elias Pettersson has looked good, but not inhumanly so. It only seems that way because Vancouver hasn’t seen a lot of good hockey over the last five years.
Assuming the same 8 d-men on the roster, what would your pairings look like and who should sit?
— Cat Smith (@catnuck) October 7, 2018
I realize that’s a buttery soft defense, but those three pairing have all had success, and can all move the puck to some extent. In terms of being physical not just for the sake of it but to push play, Alex Biega is a better option on a third pairing than either of Michael Del Zotto or Erik Gudbranson.
How interesting is the C dilemma with the emergencies of Boeser & Petterson as influences in the locker room?
— A. Lau (@ALaudBrother) October 7, 2018
I’ll be honest with you, I think the importance of the captaincy is massively overblown. Leaders emerge naturally regardless of whether or not their leadership is officially acknowledged. The main purpose of the position is to communicate with referees and the media. Some people will find that stressful, others will relish the opportunity. Ultimately, I don’t think giving the C to Horvat will make Pettersson or Boeser any better or worse, or any more or less likely to take on leadership roles. It seems like both the team and Bo Horvat really want him to be the next captain, so I don’t see any problem with giving the C to him. It’s mostly symbolic, anyway. The team has more pressing things to focus on.
Why is this not called #AskinJackson ?
— Chris Faber ??? (@ChrisFaber39) October 7, 2018
It’s a great name, but unfortunately the mailbag was here long before I was and will live on long after I am gone. To make it about me would be narcissistic and self-serving. I’ll keep the hashtag in mind if I ever have my own mailbag, though.
Any guesses how EP would have worked with the Sedins (5v5 and on PP)?
— Daniel Schwarz (@dan_qotsa) October 7, 2018
It’s difficult to imagine the three of them not playing well together. All three are/were very cerebral players, but Elias Pettersson is dynamic in ways the Sedins never really were. I would think they’d have complimented each other quite well, especially on the man advantage.
Your opinion in Sutter after 2 games? Impressed by his leadership in the mic'd up video?
— Daniel Schwarz (@dan_qotsa) October 7, 2018
It’s a good thing Brandon Sutter told Elias Pettersson to go out and score a goal. I’m not sure he could have thought of that on his own.
Over/under on MDZ waivers
— Ironystock! (@ironystock) October 7, 2018
I have a very hard time believing Michael Del Zotto could end up on waivers. Then again, I said the same thing about Sam Gagner. The difference is that Travis Green never really utilized Sam Gagner in a way that indicated he thought much of his abilities. That’s not the case with Del Zotto. Rightly or not, Green utilized Del Zotto like a top 4 defenseman at times last season and has defended his play on multiple occasions.
I’d say it’s improbable, but not impossible.
How does Boeser get his confidence back?
— Cody Feldbusch (@rcbusch03) October 8, 2018
Is confidence the issue? He looks like he’s playing hurt to me. Either way, it’s been two games. There are 11 other players on the roster who haven’t scored yet. Give him some time to figure it out.
It’s also worth noting that the numbers indicated Boeser’s scoring pace last season may have been unsustainable. I was accused of magical thinking for saying a regression was inevitable, but by and large, players just don’t convert on 17% of their shots over long periods of time.
Which major individual award does EP win first? Selke?
— Gavin (@GavinTweetley) October 8, 2018
I’m assuming this is a bit, but you have to figure he’s got a head start on the Calder, don’t you? I still think people are sleeping on Andrei Svechnikov since he’s got a few years on the competition (allegedly), but Petersson looks very much like the favourite at this point in time.
I'm comparing EP to Gretzky, and I don't care. Why is it taboo?? I'm not comparing him to the 2500 assists or whatever it is Gretzky has, but I am comparing their seemingly awkward style and unique vision to the game. To me- there is nothing wrong with that.
— John Butler (@Whostheboes) October 8, 2018
It’s hard to compare anyone to the ostensible greatest player in the history of the sport without raising eyebrows. Personally, I’m not really interested in how he’s similar to other great players from history. I’m a lot more interested in how he’s unique.
My theory – the NHL ice surface is even MORE suited to the Alien’s game – can stick handle in a phone booth, long reach, and his higher processing speed is a bigger relative advantage compared to int’l game. Agree or disagree?
— Jason Imoo (@jdimoo) October 8, 2018
I think smart players can adapt to their surroundings. Take the Olympics, for example. For years, fans would analyze the importance of the different ice size and attempt to handicap certain nationalities based on their familiarity level with North American or European rink regulations. It never really seemed to matter that much. By and large, the best players were the best players regardless of whether it was on a small or large ice surface. Turin is the notable exception, but I would argue Canada’s struggles had more to do with not picking the best players available than it did with picking players who weren’t suited to the European ice surface.
As far as Pettersson is concerned, no one should be surprised that he’s had success early this season. He was the best player in a men’s professional hockey league last season as a teenager and broke longstanding records held by other players who went on to be NHL stars. Hockey is hockey. By and large, the best players are good regardless of how much room they have.