@failsonmcdonald MondayMailbag thought for ya… Tell me I'm wrong: if the Canucks luck into another great C at the draft, Horvat's skills would translate well to the wing & he would make a great LW on the top line w/ JHughes or EP. Nobody forechecks or goes to the net better.
— SJ Finlay (@SJFinlay1) December 1, 2018
I don’t necessarily disagree, but there’s just no way a player with his strength in the circle is going to find himself playing anywhere other than down the middle. The closest thing I could see happening is seeing Elias Pettersson lining up alongside Horvat on left wing, and the two of them sort of trading off responsibilities at C after Horvat has taken the faceoff. I really think we’re approaching a time in hockey where the positions matter less and less, but the focus on faceoffs isn’t changing and until it does Horvat will be lining up at C for all of his zone starts.
When the Canucks win the lottery and get Jack Hughes. Does Pettersson or Jack play the wing?
— zalmy (@ztauby_nucks) December 2, 2018
In this scenario, I could envision a scenario sort of like what we’ve seen a bit in Toronto where the team rolls three socring lines with top-six calibre centres and then loads up on the power play and when the team needs a goal. In Vancouver’s case, I think Horvat would drop down onto the third line at times, behind Hughes and Pettersson, and then in other instances Pettersson would play on the wing alongside on of the other centres. That’s what I would do, anyway.
Both Elias Pettersson and Brady Tkachuk have had great starts to their rookie campaigns. Through this small sample of games, who do you think is the leading Calder trophy candidate and why? (The answer can be "other" if you think it's someone else)
— DKH_10 (@DKH_10) December 2, 2018
It’s obviously very close, but I still think Pettersson should be the favourite. Just from a purely eye-test standpoint, he’s impressed me more this season. Obviously that could just be regional bias, but I just think given the context both players have broken out in, Pettersson has meant more to his team. The Senators have two players who have crested 30 points already this season and another with 29. The Canucks only have two players with over 20 points and Pettersson is one of them. So I’d have Pettersson ahead of Tkachuk on my list.
not canucks related, but are the penguins actually bad now? i want to think they’re not but i can’t help but look at the blackhawks from last year and think the dynasty may be over
— white boy eRic (@Einthecar) December 2, 2018
I don’t think they’re necessarily “bad” per se, but the metro is a ruthless division and with the Islanders off to an unexpectedly strong start and the Hurricanes looking like they might finally get their shit together, someone had to be on the outside looking in.
Things really aren’t as bad as they look in Pittsburgh. They’ve played 25 games, which is less than all but one of the teams ahead of them in the standings. They have three games in hand on the Rangers and could easily overtake them once the two teams are on equal footing. My guess is that they’ll find themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot by the end of January as the two New York teams fall off. I do think you’re correct in wondering if the dynasty is over, though. The team is getting older, and that defense is going to get them in trouble eventually. If the forwards fall off even the slightest bit, they could already be on the downswing.
Agree/Disagree, the 2018/19 should be the very last season where a tank or tankciddent can be considered a good thing and the program needs to start makibg in-roads towards playoffs next year?
— Kyle (@KyleKayBee) December 2, 2018
I think that’s a fair assessment. The Canucks’ best players will be in or entering their prime within the next two years, so I think this year is really the last chance they’ll have to convince the market a bottom-five finish is in the team’s best interest. There are good pieces in place, but eventually they have to stop spinning their wheels and start at least looking like they’re ready to compete.
If Baertschi was a stand-up double, when was the last time the Canucks hit a home run picking up a high-profile, "just needs a fresh start" player?
— justexhausted (@nomadenhaft) December 2, 2018
Do I have to go back as far as the West Coast Express era to find a true home run? Bertuzzi, Morrison, and Naslund all fit that description to some extent. I’d say Christian Ehrhoff was probably the team’s last home run in a trade, but he wasn’t exactly in need of a change of scenery.
Name best pizza joint in Victoria.
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) December 2, 2018
You just did. The Joint, on Wharf Street. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there but I seem to recall it being very good.
With all the noise about MacEwan, I forgot that Carcone is the same age and is actually scoring at a better rate all of a sudden. Think there's any chance he makes the team either at the end of this year or out of camp the next?
— Geordie (@geordiedent) December 2, 2018
You really couldn’t have had worse timing on this question. Before Carcone was traded, he’d earned praise from Cory Hergott on a number of occasions. On a recent hit, Cory compared him to Tyler Motte and said he was carving out a role for himself as a speedy, hard-nosed forward with the Comets. Had he remained with the Canucks, I would have said that yes, I did think he had a shot of getting in some games this season or the next.
Now that he’s been traded to Toronto, I think his chances have decreased significantly. I still think we’ll see him eventually, but the timeline will be very different now that he’s in a deeper organization.
when is the best time to fire Jim Benning? Should the Canucks do it over the holiday break, after the trading deadline, or before the draft?
— W. Ron Sweeney (@wronsweeney) December 2, 2018
I prefer not to call for somebody’s job, so I’ll just say that I think it’s best to wait until the offseason when there are more candidates available to make these types of decisions.
A quick look at the teams contracts next year and it seems like Edler, Del Zotto, Neilson, Dorsett and La Plante are out while Hughes, Juolevi and Demko make the NHL jump. Do you think the Nux hold onto ALL their RFAs? And do you think Brassard and Gunnarsson get ELC contracts?
— Geordie (@geordiedent) December 2, 2018
Traditionally, the Canucks under Jim Benning have been willing to let go of their RFAs if they don’t see a future. That’s a contrast to they way they operated under Mike Gillis, who would almost always tender a qualifying offer, if nothing else. If I had to guess, I’d say Boeser, Hutton, Granlund, Motte, and Goldobin will be back, but they’ll let Pouliot walk. I won’t speculate on what happens with Leivo until he gets in a few games.
Are you disappointed in Dahlen's season so far?
— Pettersson/Hughes 2020 (@streetwearboii) December 2, 2018
To be honest, Dahlen’s season has gone more or less exactly how I expected it to. I would say that I’m slightly more down on him than the general consensus in the market. That’s not to say I don’t like him, I do. But at no point since he’s been acquired has he proven to me that he belongs in the NHL one day. He’s shown flashes – there were a couple of amazing plays in Penticton this September – but there have been red flags, too. Obviously, there are dangers to scouting the stat line, but his production plateaued in the Allsvenskan last year and that seemed like a pretty good indication that he was going to need some time. He’s just really raw. He has all the skills and tools to be successful in the NHL but he needs to do it consistently and that’s going to take more than 23 AHL games to happen.