The Canucks’ power play was an area of strength last year. They finished the season with a conversion rate of 21.4%, good for ninth overall in the league. This year, that figure has dropped to 19.2, good for just 18th overall. The addition of Elias Pettersson this season should theoretically be a boon to their ability to create offense on the man advantage, but the absence of Alex Edler has hurt them more than one might expect. In his place, we’ve seen a lot of Derrick Pouliot and Ben Hutton, with varying results. Who would you like to see man the first unit in Alex Edler’s absence?
Last week I asked: Where would you play Virtanen in a healthy lineup?
Several people, myself included, answered this last week, and I’ll stick with last week’s answer. I’d bounce Virtanen between Horvat’s wing and the third line wing (whether that’s Gaudette or Sutter), based on his play and Eriksson’s play. I imagine that’s exactly what Green’s going to do, too.
So long as Boeser is a Canuck Jake will become a highly respectable top 6/ 2nd line RW and quite soon. Presently Loui and Virtanen are interchangeable on the second and third lines according to what Green may require for any given situation. Jake was a special project for this club and Travis Green wasn’t exactly Barney to him in Utica…and it seems to be working. Fans wanted immediacy with JV#18 and his performance and I get it. After all he just turned 22 and am glad for him.
If and when this team is truly a Stanley Cup contender, Jake should be playing in the third line with Gaudette and someone like Lind on a versatile line that can shutdown, be a spark, and contribute offensively.
I see Virtanen as someone whose production is stronger off the rush than pretty cycles or tic-tac-toe passing plays holding possession in the zone.