Now that boeser is back to form, and Elias is injured, which of the two will have scored the most goals by the end of the season?
— Barry Luka (@BarryLuka) January 7, 2019
It has to be Pettersson, unless he’s out for a long time. He’s just got too much of a head start for Brock to make up the ground. It’s also going to be harder for Brock to get those looks if he’s playing with Brandon Sutter consistently. He’s got the shooting talent to make things interesting but unless something unforeseen happens I don’t think he can catch him.
I know they are rebuilding but does Vancouver look attractive now to some UFA’s with the young guys looking good and TG behind the bench ? Just throwing it out there for discussion #benice #whatdoesthearmythink
— Joe Daniels (@smknjoe80) January 7, 2019
It’s a good question. I think it’s really tough to say right now, given that they’ve done a lot in recent memory to damage their reputation with possible free agents. That being said, we’ve seen players sign in worse cities for an opportunity to play with star players, and even with worse Canucks teams for a chance to play with Henrik and Dnaiel Sedin. I don’t see why the opportunity to play with Pettersson would be any different.
Should the Canucks sign Kulbakov to a ELC he has definitely shown he can handle the AHL and he’s only 22? What are your thoughts?
— Pass it to PETEY (@NucksJays) January 7, 2019
I would hold off on saying with any certainty he can handle the AHL. In 14 games, he has a .884 save percentage. He’s young and a rookie, so that’s not necessarily “give up on him completely” territory yet, but it’s far, far, from “handling” it, and miles away from earning an ELC.
Could the Canucks find the Top LW they need through a Juolevi package trade, if they were to draft D heavy this June? Or should they wait to find one through the draft and wait for him to develop?
— Josh Crawford (@joshcrawford93) January 7, 2019
To be completely honest, I’m not sure I agree with the premise of this question. They could use a lot of things, and another offensive left winger is among them, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list. Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, and Josh Leivo isn’t exactly a world-beating group of top-three left wingers, but I don’t think it necessarily costs you either, depending on what the rest of the roster looks like. I think the Canucks need another winger who can drive play, regardless of which side he plays, and another centre who can provide some scoring punch in the bottom-six, although it’s certainly possible Adam Gaudette could be that guy in a few years if all goes well. As far as finding a winger for Boeser and Pettersson to play with, I think both Goldobin and Baertschi should be cnosidered viable long-term options there. Petersson and Boeser are such a deadly combo that they don’t really need another superstar on the left side, and Baertschi and Goldobin both have the offensive instincts to keep up.
With that out of the way, I have to say that if I were in the GM’s chair I would not trade Olli Juolevi anytime soon. With his recent injury, his value has completely plummeted to the point where I’m not even sure other teams consider him a blue-chip prospect anymore. I don’t think there’s a trade out there right now that would bring back anywhere near the value you’ll get if he pans out.
If they want to grab an offensive winger, there are better options. They can look to the draft, sit on their hands and hope a guy like Kole Lind or Jonathan Dahlen works out, or even splurge and sign a difference-maker in free agency. I think all those options would be more advisable than trading Olli Juolevi, at least at this stage.
We need more picks this year. Who is going?
— Kelly Hubbard (@ktccoach) January 7, 2019
The cop-out answer is it depends on whether or not the team is in a playoff spot come the deadline. If they are, the answer will be essentially no one. Maybe they cut some dead weight like Michael Del Zotto or make a minor-league move, but we won’t be seeing any big pieces go.
If they really take a tumble I could maybe see one of Chris Tanev or Alex Edler going, but my instinct is to just say they won’t do anything at all, regardless of where they are. In four years on the job Jim Benning has really only ever jettisoned two noteworthy expiring contracts, and it was largely to avoid losing someone for nothing in the expansion draft. I’ve been fooled into thinking a big rebuild trade was imminent in the past only to be disappointed. I won’t be fooled so easily this time.
How was you weekend?
— BJ Peters (@BJPeters02) January 7, 2019
It was great! I didn’t really do anything interesting, but I did get some important stuff done, including finally getting the rest of my stuff back after it was scattered across various locales due to a house fire just over a year ago. Feels good, man.
Can you do your best to explain to me why you think Hutton and Gudbranson have been the most often deployed pair – playing nearly 150 minutes more than any other combo?
— Darryl Keeping (@dkeeping) January 7, 2019
I’m going to answer this question with another question: At this point, who do you see on the roster as a good fit with Erik Gudbranson? I’ll hang up and listen.
I know he’s a touchy subject with some corners of the Smylosphere, but I’m honestly past the point of caring and feel ready to finally claim victory in the Gudbranson Wars. Since coming to the Canucks, he has the worst on-ice goal-differential in the league. That’s a sample of over 120 games, and over that period he’s been outscored by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio. We’re not talking about the fancy stuff here. This isn’t zone exits or shot attempts or WAR, it’s what hockey is supposed to be about, and what all the fancystats naysayers would tell you Gudbranson is supposed to prevent: goals. In terms of how he performs in relation to creating and preventing the one thing that unavoidably always leads to wins and losses, he’s been literally the worst defender in the game since donning a Canucks uniform.
The Canucks can’t be happy with how he’s played. Not when Elias Pettersson is getting mugged every third or fourth game with little pushback, and not when he’s getting turnstiled for a goal against at a rate worse than a waiver-wire pick up. My guess, or maybe it’s a hope, is that they’d like to get out from under that contract, and to do that he needs to play. At that point, it’s about damage control. Hutton’s played pretty well, and putting Gurbanson up against top competition on a pairing with Edler or putting him beside another highly questionable defender like Derrick Pouliot is probably only going to make things worse. It makes a weird sort of sense, provided you take the fact that he has to be in the lineup as a given.
Are the Canucks in need of maybe another goal scorer or they’re all good so don’t worry about it?
— Ryan Hank (@always90four) January 7, 2019
They need more offense. Seeing how they’ve performed without Pettersson in the lineup should only confirm that. Is it a goal scorer they need specifically? That’s harder to answer, but they need to find ways to produce without Pettersson carrying the team. I think that starts with having another centre who can move up the lineup in the vent of an injury and/or give them some punch on the third line, but I would be open to all sorts of other ideas.
Who is the 2nd best player in the world right now
— John Puck (@johnpuck1992) January 7, 2019
It’s probably Sid. Connor McDavid is the undisputed #1 right now for me given what he’s been able to do despite a painfully underwhelming supporting cast in Edmonton. There are other guys who are in the conversation like Matthews and MacKinnon, but until one of them proves undoubtedly they can be better than the previous undisputed #1, he’s firmly lodged in second place.
Would it be better to send the young prospects overseas instead of sitting. Might improve Gadjovich skating.
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) January 7, 2019
This is a great question. The way the kids have been handled in Utica is something I’d like to tackle in greater detail down the road, but what I will say is this: Utica’s had an inordinately high number of rookies to handle this season and it’s put everyone involved in a situation that’s less than ideal.
Based on some conversations with Comets Cory, it sounds like the coaching staff has done their best to rotate the kids in and out of the lineup and bring them along at the right pace. It sounds like the issue might just be the amount of bodies they’re dealing with. I think it’s fair to ask whether or not all of Dahlen, Lind, Gadjovich, Palmu, and Jasek should have started their seasons with the Comets. I think Gadjovich in particular is the odd man out because he’s not a European-born prospect and likely has little more to learn in the OHL. So honestly? I don’t hate the idea. I’m not sure how realistic it is but I’d be in favour of the Canucks loaning a couple of their guys out to get them some increased opportunities in a less volatile environment.