How can Travis green make the Canucks PP more effective? I feel like boeser and petey should be on separate units
— Ryan Hank (@always90four) December 17, 2018
If the Canucks were deeper I wouldn’t mind this idea, but they just don’t really have the horses to run two effective units. It makes more sense to just load up PP1 with the best 5 players available and try to give them as many minutes as possible. We can revisit this idea if and when Adam Gaudette shows he can have success on the man advantage in the NHL the way he did playing for Northeastern.
Did SEAL rated the Finnish Liiga higher than the AHL? if so, how does Palmu go from Liiga Rookie of the Year to not even cracking the Comets?
— Fred P (@Meerschaum529) December 17, 2018
When Jeremy Davis unveiled his SEAL model last summer, it did indeed rank Liiga as being slightly superior than the AHL. As far as what happened with Petrus Palmu, I’m as confused as you are. On the one hand, it’s possible that his small size and the smaller ice surface made for a painful adjustment. On the other hand, it’s also possible he wasn’t really utilized properly given how strange some of the decisions of the Utica Comets’ coaching staff have seemed this season from the outside looking in. My best guess is it’s probably some combination of both. If Palmu had really blown the roof off, he’d probably still be there, but it’s hard to do that if you’re getting limited opportunities.
Any dark horse prospects to keep an eye on in the WJHC?
— almost superman (@balloonsoup) December 17, 2018
Brett Leason comes to mind. He’s absolutely torched the WHL this year, scoring 64 points in 31 games to lead the Prince Albert Raiders in scoring. He’s in his draft+2 year, and wasn’t a huge offensive producer prior to this season, so the chances of him making an impact at the NHL level are much smaller than those of his teammates. A quick look at his backstory indicates there could be something there, though. Leason spent much of his junior career buried in the lineup of an absurdly deep Try-City Americans team that had a whopping ten players score more than 40 points in 2016-17. Leason didn’t really break out until he was traded to the raiders in October of 2017, so there’s a case to be made that Leason is simply a late bloomer or just couldn’t get enough opportunities in Tri-City to get noticed by an NHL team.
Should Hutton get a chance on pp1? I thought he set Petey up very well for one timers. Edler hasn’t seemed to do as well a job.
— EliasisElite (@darrenfromns) December 17, 2018
I’m of two minds when it comes to PP1. You’re right to point out that Hutton’s a good passer and could be a good fit with guys like Boeser and Pettersson on the first unit. He’s also younger and the Canucks are going to have to figure out what to do about the power play in the post-Edler era.
The only problem is that Alex Edler has a shot, and the same can’t really be said for Ben Hutton. Oddly enough, I think having a defender with a good shot is pretty overrated when it comes to having an effective power play. Shots from the point have a very low chance of going in, and generally teams yield much better results when they focus more on getting the puck to the high-percentage areas. That having been said, to do that, you have to have a defender on the ice that opponents will bother to cover. If the team killing the penalty doesn’t respect the shot of your defender, that limits the power play’s ceiling.
This is all just a long-winded way of saying that I think that job is probably Edler’s until he either moves on or someone takes it from him, and while I like the idea I don’t think Hutton has shown quite enough to do that yet.
With the nylander contract coming in at 6.9, where do you think Boeser’s contract should ring in at? Even more how about Petterson’s when it’s time?
— EliasisElite (@darrenfromns) December 17, 2018
Initially, I thought the $6.9 million figure Nylander’s contract came in at was enough to keep Boeser’s contract somewhere in the same neighbourhood, but since he’s returned he’s been on fire and looks like he could easily hit 30 goals this season. If that’s the case, he could end up getting north of $7.5 million AAV.
As for Pettersson, it’s just way too early to guess. He’s had a better start to his career than most of the highest-paid youngsters in the sport. If he keeps that up he could get Connor McDavid money, but it’s a little early to say with any certainty that he can keep this pace up over a full career.
Assuming Quinn Hughes signs after his season in Michigan, and MDZ and DP are not extended (I hope not anyhow), how do you see the defense pairings of next year with what we know now? Edler extended and not extended
— Cody Mah (@CodyRyanMah) December 17, 2018
With Juolevi out, I think the chances Alex Edler is re-signed have greatly increased. There’s a long way to go betwwen now and October 2019, and we haven’t heard a lot about what the Canucks plans will be in free agency, so I can’t really speculate as to what the pairs are going to look like. What I can do is tell you what I’d like to see, assuming there are no trades and Edler returns next season:
Is there any undrafted college free agents canucks should target?
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) December 17, 2018
If Chase Priskie (D) elects not to sign with the Washington Capitals following his NCAA season, then he would be at the top of my list. I haven’t gotten to watch a lot of the NCAA this season, but looking solely at production, the other names that stand out are Taro Hirose, Ryan Kuffner, and Odeen Tufto, assuming I didn’t just make all those names up off the top of my head. To be honest, it doesn’t look like a particularly strong class this year when taking a cursory glance. We’ll have a better idea of who the big names will be as we inch closer to the end of the season.
Assuming Edler and Tanev are still 1 and 2, who is the Canucks 3rd-best defenseman? Do they have a clear-cut #3?
— Jeff Godley (@JeffGodley) December 17, 2018
This is such a tough question because there’s just so much room for movement up and down the rankings right now. Edler and Tanev are slowing down, and when the numbers and on-ice play aren’t living up to the expectations they’ve set in the past, you start to wonder if age-related decline is finally catching up to them.
On the flip side, Hutton and Stecher are quickly improving to the point that it’s fair to question whether or not they caught up to or even surpassed Edler and Tanev in terms of where their skill sets are at right now.
I guess what I’m saying is, it’s hard to answer this question because it’s tough to know what exactly a lot of these defenders are at the present moment and what they will be going forward. That’s how I end up getting screamed at for suggesting Troy Stecher might be the Canucks’ best defender. (I remember a time when you’d get screamed at for suggesting the opposite. How quickly things change.) Nevertheless, I’ll give it my best shot.
My biggest concern regarding Alex Edler was that at 32, he’s on the downswing of his career, and that his recent injury would exacerbate his decline. Since returning, he hasn’t missed a beat, though, so I’m comfortable calling him the Canucks’ best defender for the time being.
To be honest, I’m really not convinced you can call Chris Tanev the team’s second or even third-best defender anymore. It’s easily forgotten, Tanev has earned his reputation on the back of his entry defense and underlying shot-based metrics, which have both been steadily declining for three years. As much as it pains me to say it, I’d probably slot him in as their fourth best defender after Stecher and Hutton. Where you rank those two is largely dependent on how much you weigh quality of competition into your decision-making, but frankly I’m tired of talking about QoC and of defending Troy Stecher, so we’ll just breeze past that.
As far as the question of whether or not the Canucks have a clear-cut #3, I honestly don’t care much for defining defensemen on those terms. Depending on what the coaching staff wants, a team’s second-best defender will often play on the second pair and the third-best on the third pair, etc. For example, Marc Edouard-Vlasic plays mostly on the Sharks third pair. Does that make him their #5 defenseman?
What I will say is that I think the Canucks have an aging defenseman who could maybe carry a second pair on a good team for a brief period until age catches up with him (Edler), and another two who have the potential to be top-four defenders on a good team provided they’re paired with a superior, play-driving partner.
I want to know what happened between Garteig and the Canucks. He was in their system and they just let him drop. I think that lack of confidence in him resulted in his numbers after. But why did it even get that far? He was against Boeser in the finals in college.
— Devon Tufts – Midlife Crisis (@Ryudoz82) December 17, 2018
I just don’t think he really showed enough during his time here to prove he deserved to stick around. In 2017, he got an 8 game stint with the Comets and put up an .897 save percentage. He’d go on to put up a .906 save percentage in the ECHL and follow it up with an .887 save percentage last season. With the addition of Michael DiPietro, there just wasn’t any reason to keep him in the system with those numbers. He had a good NCAA career, but not every good college goalie you take a flyer on is going to be the next Curtis Joseph. Sometimes things just don’t work out.
Maybe not a Canucks question. But was wondering what kinds of metrics are used to determine how weak a defense really is. FA/60?
— Ryan (@r_lee304) December 17, 2018
Looking at Fenwick against is a good start in terms of quantifying how good a team is in their own end, although it’s important to consider that these numbers can often be products of the system a team is playing.
I’ve been increasingly impressed by what zone entries and exits have been able to tell us about a player’s two-way and defensive profile. Specifically, I think a player’s entry defense can tell us a lot about how he stacks up compared to his peers at defending his own blueline. The three most typically sited microstats cited when describing entry are Breakups/60, or the number of times a player disrupts the opposition’s neutral zone breakout per 60 minutes of 5v5 play; possession entries allowed/60, or the number of possession entries conceded per 60 minutes of 5v5 play; and possession entry % allowed, or the percentage of conceded entries where the opposition has possession.
Harman Dayal wrote a great introduction to these stats and how they pertain to the Canucks that you can read here.
Is it possible after all the hype about Matthews and McDavid that Pettersson could be the best of the three or is it just a good start?
— dontstartnun (@dontstartnun) December 17, 2018
Please don’t take this personally, but I’m really starting to hate questions like this one.
I think the world of Elias Pettersson. I always have. If you don’t believe me, read the profile I wrote on him this summer.
Unfortunately, I’ve still managed to get raked over the coals more than once for suggesting Elias Pettersson might only be a really good, maybe even elite player, rather than the greatest player of his generation and/or all time. It puts me in a no-win situation.
Suggesting Pettersson is or could be better than McDavid is the type of thing that gets dismissed as embarrassing homerism by anyone who isn’t already a Canucks true believer, but if I say he isn’t, it forces me to put a negative slant on what he’s accomplished this season, and I don’t want to do that. Last week, I said he could turn out to be one of the truly elite players of his generation, on par with players like Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and Nicklas Backstrom. He has a real shot at being the best player in Canucks history. If that’s what happens, we should be doing cartwheels.
Maybe it’s a silly thing to worry about, but I can’t help but think of Alex Edler, who was long considered to be a massive disappointment because he could never live up to the insane “next Lidstrom” hype and instead “only” turned out to be one of the best defenders in team history. If possible, I’d like to set the bar for Pettersson’s performance slightly lower than “best player of his generation”. That doesn’t seem like to much to ask.