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Photo Credit: NHL.com

WWYDW: The Matheson Incident

Mike Matheson’s hit on Elias Pettersson and the response that followed has been the story on everyone’s mind this week. Travis Green has been insistent that his team’s lack of response was because they missed the play, but many have speculated that there may be some bad blood between the two teams when they meet again in January. How would you like to see the Canucks respond to the Matheson hit in their rematch with the Panthers?

Last week I asked: How would you help Boeser bump his scoring slump?

Forever 1915:

Change up the PP by moving Boeser from the left half wall to the middle of the slot. It takes too long for the puck to get to him from EP, the shooting lane is shut down by the time Boeser gets the puck. It makes the goaltender worry about immediate threats in the form of a shot from EP, a one-timer from Boeser, or a wrap-around attempt / relay pass from Horvat from below the goal line. If the defensive box collapses to shut down that triad, EP can feed the puck to the point for a quick point shot or a relay pass to the LW for a one-timer.

Goon:

He’s coming off an injury, he’s got other teams keyed in on him now, and he was bound to hit a slow patch sooner or later. I’d try putting him with Pettersson and Goldobin on a super skilled young line to see how that works, but it’s far from time to panic.

speering major:

I would Keep him with Horvat and Baertschi. Don’t panic. Baertschi showed again last night that he’s the second best winger on the team. Instill some confidence him with his familiar linemates. If he’s struggling to generate chances in-game, move him with Petterson. I think juggling lines in game is a much better option than creating a bunch of uncertainty and mild panic by scrambling around trying to fix things 24/7

Blind Side:

Difficult to answer this question. We don’t really know what the problem is. I assume his back is the issue.

Maybe he should take a game off here and there to work with the physiotherapist and/or the skating coach.Taking time off to focus on stretching, strengthening affected areas and skating could improve his mobility. Plus, it might help reduce the psychological pressure that must be building up.

Sometimes the answer to a problem is to go at the issue from another angle, rather than continuing to bull straight ahead.

Hockey Bunker:

He’s too static on the powerplay so get him more mobile not standing waiting for the 50 foot pass thru the box.
I’d like to see him moving in and out of the slot. Alternatively build a second powerplay unit around him.
5 on 5 get him and Horvat working on their D and forget offense. The hard work will pay off. I still think he is muscle bound right now and like Brent Sopel years ago he needs to work it off over the next 40 games. Slows down his twitch reflexes. And can we stop talking about how he burned up Da Beauty league. Like saying a guy leads the scoring at 8 rinks.

argoleas:

Assuming that there is no lingering injury, I would basically stay the course. Let him play out of it. Now, I’m fine with moving him to the EP line for now to get him going as far as confidence goes, but this is all probably more about game-shape. Expect him to be up to speed by end of this month.

Robson Street:

Guys, I think it’s fortnite.

  • I think the NHL safety committee blew the call. Five games would have hurt Matheson, and sent a message. Two games is a joke.

    Having said that, I also think the staged fights are a joke.

    Beating them on the scoreboard by an embarking score? A lot easier said than done.

    What I am in favour of, is every single player attempting to nail Matheson, every time he touches the puck, with the hardest hit he can. While I’d prefer they all be 100% legal, it wouldn’t kill me if there were a couple of late hits in their, and players came in with their sticks “protectively”.

    Knobs like this need a entire team response, not just one staged fight.

  • To respond to the direct question about the response in 3 months time, assuming that Matheson hasn’t been demoted to the AHL based on his terrible play on the ice, I suppose someone could go and challenge him. I think it’s likely to be expected by some in the fan base; I would assume it would be a Roussel rather than a Gudbranson, mainly because Matheson has no history of particularly dirty play and is no fighter. He’s also apologized for what happened; that doesn’t make it right and I think the league should have fined him much more heavily than suspended him for two games. I feel like a $500k fine has far more significance than the 2 games and $50k.

    All the retribution stuff I think is still dumb. The people screaming that this will mean open season on all the young skill players are also dumb. Just because Marchand speed-bagged Daniel Sedin or Keith punched him in the head did it mean he got attacked every time on the ice? Or because Wilson broke Aston-Reese’s jaw with a blindside hit or Sundqvist with another that everyone went after Tarasenko or Crosby and Letang? Skill players are ALWAYS targeted by lesser lights and always have been. No amount of code has ever served as adequate deterrence, either from the speed of the game or the douchebag-rats like Marchand, Wilson, Cooke, Linseman and so many others.

    You really want to have a ‘code’ in the game? Have the NHL, NHLPA and actual individual players grow a pair, not by having staged fights and show sentences, but by standing up and calling out those players who show a blatant disregard for their peers. Don’t reward Wilson with a $5 million contract, don’t tell Marchand it’s ok to sucker punch Lars Eller or give Johanssen a flying elbow just as long as he keeps scoring a ton, don’t keep employing the Dalton Prouts of the league. Until the league, the players association and players themselves take this seriously, this problem will never get fixed.

    • I agree LTFan. It’s time to move on. The league dispensed the penalty, the offending player (with no record to speak of) has been disciplined publicly and financially. Matheson has expressed remorse and reached out to Petterson. I think we have our “pound of flesh”. I fully support the movement away from on-ice-retribution which more often than not tarnishes our game and eventually ruins players lives. The NHL is starting to show they are going to take this much more seriously so I say “Let them do their job!”. I am a long time Canuck fan and I am both horrified and ashamed when I hear that some of our so-called-fans had made death threats to both Matheson and his dog. That goes way over the line and is far worse than the incident itself! Personally, I am proud of the way that both the Canucks and Green have handled the situation. I hope there is no retaliation when the teams next meet as the matter has been dealt with by the NHL as it should be. Case closed…nothing to see here.

      • This is probably the smartest comment I’ve seen on this subject. Matheson did something in the heat of the moment that I’m sure he now regrets. He has been suspended 2 games and it’s cost him over a $100,000. Let it go and lets move on. Some of these comments are childish and the death threats are stupid and way over the line.

        • Full agreement about people crossing a line with some of the responses to Matheson’s actions and not condoning them … however I’m having trouble with him claiming ‘victim’ status here. The poor man has people reacting inappropriately to his inappropriate actions … Not quite, but kinda like assaulting someone and then complaining that he’s been hurt during his assault!
          Claiming that that these responses are “very, very disappointing” and “I expect to receive the same respect in return” as if he’s an innocent bystander … seems like a tough/impossible sell to me.
          He should shut up.

  • I think the league let down one of it’s bright young “potential” stars. No penalty called and 2 games? EP will miss at least 2 games and he did nothing except break Matheson ankles.
    1. In the case of targeting head or roughing that causes head trauma. Minimum 5 game suspension and if the injured player is out longer, the opposing player sits! This isn’t getting tangled up and a player hits his head, but a throwing a player to the ice shows intent.
    2. In a rematch Canucks players should be aggressive every time they can. Let’s face it in an 82 game season not every player can get up for every game, which is why players see the press box. Make sure Florida’s young forwards look at Matheson every time they finish a hard shift. No chasing around, just good old fashioned physical hockey, which isn’t played that much any more. The crowd will go nuts with every check and get the sense the team cares.

      • I agree they should play that way every game, but that doesn’t happen. Some games you have just that little extra “enthusiasm”. No need to target Matheson, but make sure their young guns feel the pressure constantly.

  • I know there’s a lot of talk about pride and respect, but the Canucks should just stick to their game plan. By this, I of course mean trade for Matheson, play him 25 minutes a night with Gudbranson, lose hockey games. Later, lose the draft lottery to Edmonton.