WWYDW: Linemates

Elias Pettersson is off to one of the best starts to a career in NHL history, becoming one of just a handful of NHL players to score ten goals in their first ten games.

What’s more impressive is he’s done it without a lot of help. His most common linemates at even-strength so far this season have been Nikolay Goldobin and Loui Eriksson, who each have just a single goal to their credit on the season. There’s a strong case to be made that they’ve deserved better individual results than they’ve amassed so far, but an equally strong case could also be made that it’s not exactly optimal to have your team’s best player on a line with two players who’ve struggled to score. Then again, Pettersson’s been so good that it hasn’t really mattered yet.

Who would you like to see Pettersson play with at even-strength?

Last week I asked: How would you handle the kids’ ice-time in Utica?

Killer Marmot: 

The problem is already mostly solved. Attrition has taken care of it.

The Utica roster gets reduced in two ways — first, their own injuries, and second, Canucks injuries necessitating a call up. Utica management is probably already trying to find more players to get through the season.


I read somewhere that practice is more important than playing when it comes to acquiring new skills. With that in mind, I wouldn’t send our prospects to Kalamazoo, even if the Canucks and Comets were all healthy. That would be sending them to inferior coaching and infrastructure.

If the player knew the skills and needed the ice-time to apply them and get properly evaluated, then it would make sense to demote the player. However, that’s not the case with Gadjovich, Palmu, Lind or any of the other young prospects. It’s only their first full year at Utica and the season is only 10 games old. Having them practice and get occasional ice-time still seems appropriate. I’d be a little more worried if they were sitting more experienced prospects (e.g. MacEwen, Chatfield, Brisebois).


With all the injuries sustained by the Canucks we have at least seen Gaudette slotted into the line up which is the best thing for his development, especially at the NHL level. Of course we’d all like to see Juolevi, Chatfield, Demko, Big Zack and others develop the same way. There seems to exist however a process of hierarchy, contracts and organizational politics which precludes the much younger players you’d like to see on the Big Club. But when the smoke clears and they’re ready you’ll see the continuation of youth and speed which not only applies to the VC but all NHL teams culturally speaking.

Defenceman Factory:

The players listed (Dahlen, Palmu, Jasek, Lind, Gadjovich) are likely to regress if sent back to Junior or to the ECHL. They are all at a stage here they need to be playing in the AHL. Sitting the odd game and getting some extra training and video coaching won’t hurt them. The rate they have been sitting is concerning but that should drop considerately with injuries.

The extra bodies provide a buffer fora trade or two for draft picks. Once/if the Comets and Canucks return to full health sending down or trading a veteran on an AHL contract would make sense assuming the kids are developing as expected.


I say let them sit and learn that they are in a business not a game.

Going back to Jrs or lower level is the equivalent of stroking their self-esteem, excel so you feel good about yourself. No, step up to the level below the NHL!


  • When Boeser is back I think they have to go back to Goldobin / Pettersson / Boeser, at least for a few games. They were absolute dynamite in the short time they spent together.

    If everyone’s healthy, Goldobin / Pettersson / Boeser and Baertschi / Horvat and either Eriksson or Virtanen, depending on how each has been playing, makes the most sense. You can swap Boeser and Eriksson between the top two lines if there’s a need to balance out the offence / two-way play, but for the time being I want to see as much Pettersson and Boeser together as possible.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Well, they haven’t had too many games together, but 11 points against Colorado might suggest that Boeser and Goldobin worked out pretty well. Or, if you think that Boeser is better served with Horvat and Baertschi, then Eriksson is just fine there for now. Its going to be Dahlens gig at some point in the next 2 years anyway.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      And I know its not part of the question, but that could leave a 3rd line of Gaudette/Virtanen/Granlund and a 4th line of Beagle/Roussell/Schaller. That means Motte/Gaunce would 13 and 14, and Sutter could be traded for picks or a RHD prospect at the deadline. Have to say, that looks pretty good to me.

      • I’d rather see Sutter return as the 3C and have Gaudette go back to Utica to take a Top 6 role. Gaudette was starting to do well before he got recalled, I don’t think 10 sheltered minutes per game is doing much for his development.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Respectfully disagree, with a qualifier. Gaudette can go down for now, and be called up as soon as Sutter is moved. He’ll fetch a nice price nearer to the deadline.

          • bobdaley44

            Canucks lack depth up the middle. Sutter’s going nowhere unless it’s an offer that can’t be refused. Gaudette can’t generate enough offence. He isn’t an upgrade on Sutter and Motte’s been better also. Back to Utica to develop.

    • Kootenaydude

      Why is it going to be Dahlens gig? Due to the fact he played well with Pettersson? Everyone plays well when they play with Pettersson. Anyone that plays with Pettersson on a contract year should hand Pettersson over at least a million dollars!!

  • TD

    Pettersson and Boeser are obvious once Boeser is healthy. I’m not sold on Goldobin and wonder what Zack MacEwan would look like with them. They are our stars and the cross check to Boeser’s back and Pettersson’s abuse makes me think they could use some size and toughness with them. MacEwan has never been a big penalty minute guy and it may not work, but having some size in front of the net and on the forecheck would be nice to go with the skill of the other two. Goldobin certainly has not done much with them.

    I would like to see Bo Goldy and Baer play together once Baer is back.

    I have like Virtanen on the third line, he scores off the rush, not off of established o zone time. That doesn’t fit with the top two line, but looks great on the third line.

  • livininvic

    I think they have already nailed it with Pettersson, Boeser and Goldobin. The chemistry is fantastic, and this is future first line material. Goldy is the only question mark, but if he can dial it in offensively, we have a young, skilled FAST first line with a horse running the 2nd line. Dahlen or someone we haven’t signed/drafted yet is who Goldy needs to be worried about stealing his spot. Pettersson and Boeser should stick together long term regardless. This year, I like the combo they have.

    For 2019/2020:
    1st line
    Goldobin (or Dahlen) / Pettersson / Boeser
    Second Line
    Baertschi / Horvat / Dahlen (or Goldobin)

    That’s some well balanced scoring, with extra punch on the top line with our two superstars. IMO

    • Tedchinook

      I wonder about Goldobin too. For a high skill guy he sure seems to have no finish. Playing with Pettersson over the last couple of weeks he should have 5 or 6 goals and has none. He’s definitely progressed but has a long way to go before I would consider him to be a regular top 6 forward.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        He just turned 23. Good speed, high end puck skills, and seems to have finally accepted that defensive responsibility is part of the job. The goals will come. Hopefully.

        • Tedchinook

          You gotta hope is just the old “squeezing his stick too tight” because Pettersson seems to give him at least one or two absolutely great setups every game. I’m with you in hoping the goals will come

          • Cageyvet

            He showed he could finish at the AHL level, and the chances he’s missed are definitely not any tougher. They’ve been mostly open net or plenty of space to find, he wouldn’t need a sniper’s touch with those setups. I’m positive it’s still a confidence thing, he’ll get there if we keep putting him in those situations. This kid doesn’t need tough love, he needs someone to show some faith in him, IMO.

        • Defenceman Factory

          Pettersson is dragging Goldobin’s stats into respectability kicking and screaming. He doesn’t produce much away from Pettersson but with him and particularly with a good right winger (Boeser) does make a contribution. It’s scary to thing what Pettersson and Boeser could do with a better left winger.

    • Sell high on Goldobin at the trade deadline because he’s proven that he can’t drive play without a better player to prop him up. Dahlen will be better because he’s more competitive and proved with Timra that he can elevate his play to carry a team.

  • Puck Viking

    With Bowser out put JV up there for a game or 2 with gold member and see how they play together.

    But I would also like to see Gaudette on Petes RW. He has a great shot and it would be good to get his confidence going.

    Try a few things because this is the season to do it with no expectations.

    Re-evaluate when Bowser is healthy.

  • Saint Albert

    I would personally move Petterssen to the wing as his size at center is prohibitive, as we saw in FLA, and he is more of a goal scorer than a setup/face off man which is more indicitive of a winger as he was/is in Swedish … my ideal lines would be as follows

    Tkachuk (C) – Larkin – Pastranak
    Baertshi – Horvat – Petterssen
    Granlund – Bonino – DeBrincat
    Burrows – Kesler – Hansen (ring of honour line)

  • Robson Street

    If the goal is winning, it’s a four line optimization problem as a whole, with Vancouver needing to play, “hide the flawed players”. Goldobins defense and Eriksson’s offense haven’t been boat anchors with EP, so keep them there. Boeser then plays up with Horvat and Baertchi where they’ve had some success. Sutter Virtanen Roussell have sawed off their minutes. Granlund Motte Schaller/Leispic… good luck and Godspeed.

    Alternatively, give Horvat Pettersson Boeser Connor McDavid minutes and follow the team by watching gifs on Twitter.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Let’s deal in the here and now. Get everyone back and let’s have: Petey/Brock/Goldy and Bo/Baertschi/Loui as top 2 lines. Green can mix his last two lines accordingly with Jake chipping in some O on a third line. Now I know Leipzig tries and Gaudette is a C but #88 is on a convincing mission to make this club and Benning has to make a decision on Leipzig vis-a-vis Gaudette, regardless of position IMHO. Would hate also to have Goldy end up the new Richard Park: wheels, hands and flash but no finish. But Park never played with an EP and Goldobin must seize the opportunity and now to succeed.

  • speering major

    Goldobin Petterson Boeser
    Sven Bo Lou
    JV Sutter Roussel
    Granlund Gaudette Schaller

    I actually think Gaudette’s future could be as a winger. He doesn’t want to get 4th line minutes and IMO he has no place in the top 3 centers on almost any team. Gaudettes ceiling is likely a good #3 but I don’t think he has the offence to get there. I think he could be a sold 3rd line winger though.

    I saw an article here the other day talking about cap concerns. If Hughes doesn’t burn a year off his ELC at the end of the season then he, OJ, and this years #1 pick will all be on ELC’s until everyone contract on the roster except Horvat has expired. The team definitely can’t keep signing like they had been but they can definitely find room to sign 1 forward and 1 D in the off season. They really only need the money to sign Elias and Brock before all the vet contracts expire.

    I’d like to see how a guy like Ferland is playing by the end of this season. He would be great on this teams top 6 IMO. Many of the top lines have a guy that forechecks and win puck battles. Guys like Hyman, Sheary, Rust, Hagelin, etc. Ferland skates well, plays physical, wins battles, and can play the game. The game is going in a skill direction but you still need to get those guys the puck and win it back. Having a group of skilled guys in the top 9 with guys like Ferland, Roussel, and JV on each line is a good balance and also a way teams need to go to manage the cap. The leafs are a great example of that. Hyman is a low cap guy that can compliment the stars. The penguins have this also.


    I think the linemates should be Goldy and Brock.

    Brock brings another accurate cannon defenses have to be concerned about. Goldy brings a combo of playmaking and finishing around the net. EP is like the Sedin twins combined into one. A finisher and a playmaker with better speed. Goldy and Brock are playmakers and finishers, so EP doesn’t have to be one or the other on a line.
    BTW… what about “El Pete” as a nickname? Just a thought!

  • Cageyvet

    I think Boeser has to play with Petterson. EP deserves to have a finisher on his line, if Goldy and Eriksson had cashed in half their glorious chances he’d have another 4 points. I still keep Goldy there, he’s got enough game to play with those 2 and he has more finish than he’s shown to date.


    Gaudette as my spare with the hope that he asserts himself and bumps someone else, but this assumes a healthy roster and that never happens for long, so he plays a lot.

    The biggest thing for me would be to keep Eriksson out of the top 6 and put Jake in the mix for a good long run. He can actually score and threaten the net with speed, and gains the zone as well as anyone.

    Who in the bottom 6 deserves to bump him? The other names I’ve omitted, who started with the team, are Schaller and Leipsic. They’re in the mix in a pile of not-top-six forwards who are interchangeable, I don’t lose sleep over who gets scratched out of that pile.

    • crofton

      Too right. Goal(?)dobin, as some have named him, has been gifted some unbelievable scoring chances from Pettersson and hasn’t done squat. ( as far as goals are concerned). And yes, keep Eriksson out of the top 6, basically for the same reason. Leipsic is playing his way to being waived, I’d say. He has regressed from last season. I like Schaller, not top 6, but I like him being given the chance with Horvat. He is so good on the forecheck. Having Baertschi back would be a boon, otherwise they are still a forward or 2. Enter Dahlen next year hopefully.

  • bmg01

    Personally, I would like to see them try stacking Pettersson/Horvat/Boeser together for at least a couple games and see what happens. The Avs shied away for putting MacKinnon/Landeskog/Rantanen on the same line for a while but since they started trying it, they haven’t stopped. They are by far the Avs 3 best players as are Pettersson-Bo-Boeser for the Canucks. I don’t see any harm in trying it, and if they can’t put it together, you just change the lines back to what they were.

      • Matty T

        Wow – so a supposed three time concussion victim (lies) is now telling us that the way to sort out head injuries is to drop the gloves and punch each other repeatedly in the head!? Get help man, you are not concussed, more like braindead! Absolute disgrace this troll is… unbelievable.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Pains me to do so, but I agree with you 100% here… and if you bother to watch the clip, more than half of the initial hits were clean…As truthseeker has stated in the past, its up to the NHLPA to remove head shots from the game. Fighting neither solves or prevents anything.

          • Matty T

            Exactly Beer – If ever we needed further evidence that this ‘Bud’ character is a sicko, this is it – remember, this is the guy who tells us he has had three concussions (lies) himself yet posts this garbage and also that he was discharged from a Canadian hospital WHILE having a stroke (as if). Absolute disgrace he is.

            Actually, it’s up to the LEAGUE to ban head shots and the NHLPA to back it. That’s the common sense solution here.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      I think the saying for that is “putting all of your eggs in one basket”. Not going to happen. EP is a centreman, and will continue to be one for the duration of his NHL career.

  • Kootenaydude

    After watching the Detroit game it’s pretty obvious that Pettersson and the Canucks would benefit from having Pettersson with skilled players. Unless Goldobin picks up his game he’s out. I don’t know if he understands how lucky he is to be on the Pettersson line. He should be the first guy at practice and the last guy to leave. If he can’t shine with Pettersson. He shouldn’t be in the NHL. Bart / Horvat / Granlund, Goldy or Bart/ Pettersson / Boeser. You gotta give Horvat some talent on his line too. We need two scoring lines, not one.