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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Walkers, Woo’s Woes, And Will Ferrell

Stephan Roget is backing up Jackson this week, and hoping not to pull a Michael Hutchinson.

This is a question that can be looked at a lot of different ways. Tough guys like Jordie Benn or Antoine Roussel might be too undisciplined for the zombie apocalypse, and if I bring Bo Horvat then always be second fiddle and never get my chance to rule a rebuilt society. Brandon Sutter might seem like the sort of resourceful farm boy that always does well in dystopian situations, but he’s also the son of an NHL player and has probably never so much as grown a single vegetable.

With all that in mind, my choice is Jacob Markstrom. He’s focused, intense, and reacts quickly – all valuable qualities to have on hand with flesh-eating ghouls on the prowl. His decision-making skills are well-honed. Markstrom has proven capable of overcoming adversity in his career, which bodes well for surviving the ultimate adversity of life as we know it coming to and end. In addition, the guy is 6’6”, and physical stature is only going to become a more important factor in one’s social status when the undead start to rise.

Jett Woo is in his first season with the Calgary Hitmen, so there’s probably some sort of an adjustment factor at play. That’s not to say that there isn’t cause for concern after an 18-game sample, but Woo is being asked to get used to a different system, all-new teammates, and greater competition for minutes after four years in Moose Jaw – and that would probably have a negative impact on anyone’s performance.

I think most have overinflated expectations about the sort of offense a team’s third center should provide. Last season, only 59 centers scored 50 or more points in the NHL. Anything within the range of 35-45 points should be considered more than acceptable production for a 3C. In other words, what Brandon Sutter is providing this year is adequate for his position, and Adam Gaudette has definitely shown signs of getting there in the near future – and I don’t think trading the both of them would be a wise idea at this point.

Probably not. He’s played well enough at both the AHL and NHL level to have assuaged at least some of the fears about his recovery from head injury, and teams in general have more cap and roster flexibility at this point than they did in early October due to injuries. With that being said, I’ve long since learned that waivers are unpredictable, so it’s still entirely possible that he passes through.

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Well, the current spate of injuries could certainly be argued to have had a negative impact, but I don’t think the team’s lack of depth is to blame for their tough November – or that it’s that big of a concern. There are still plenty of players in Utica worthy of a call-up – like Nikolay Goldobin and Brogan Rafferty – and a handful of skaters on the roster capable of playing higher than their current position.

The Canucks’ depth system is better in 2019/20 than it has been in seasons past, and a greater chance of weathering the current storm that previous rosters have had.

I’m definitely not a part of the hockey analytics community and I fear math in general, but if I had to guess it’s probably a question of sample size. When two teams – like Vancouver and New Jersey – only play each other two dozen times in a decade, that’s going to lead to some statistical anomalies.

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I think the next few weeks are going to be very telling for the current edition of the Canucks. Rebounding from a tough stretch and getting into a strong playoff position by the holidays would set the team up a lot better heading into 2020 than they have been in any previous January – but the opposite could sink them long before then.

I’m personally of the belief that the team is closer to what we saw in October than in November, and that we’ll see that rebound to some extent. I think there’s still a good chance they make the playoffs this season.

I think Chris Tanev’s chemistry with Quinn Hughes rules out trading him this season, unless the Canucks are way out of the playoff picture by the Trade Deadline. Any UFA-related decisions – including re-singing Tanev or courting Tyson Barrie – would depend heavily on the market and how the rest of the season plays out.

As for Troy Stecher, I just don’t see the impetus to move him. He’s reasonably priced for the role he’s playing – that of a strong bottom-pairing defender who can play up the lineup when necessary – and I don’t think his current statline will justify much of a pay bump. No reason not to qualify him and sign him if it can be done for a slight raise. If the team is serious about making the playoffs in 2020, it will need six quality defenders to make up for a lack of a true number one – and that’s what it has right now.

It’s the skate logo and it’s not even close. I’m a fan of all of them, personally, but Saturday’s game confirmed for me what the one true Canucks jersey has always been.

I think so – and it’s easier to say so with Sidney Crosby out with a long-term injury. Only Connor McDavid can break a game open like Nathan MacKinnon can – much to the Canucks’ misfortune on Saturday night.

I’ve got casting on the mind this week (don’t forget to check out the CanucksArmy Casting Call!), so this is a perfect question. I’m picking The Office. This is also another great opportunity to thank Ryan and his spouse for their contributions to the Casting Call article!

CanucksArmy Casting Call: Who Would Play Each Canuck In A Movie?

It’s pretty tough to cast for looks in this case, as most of the actors on the show just don’t share much resemblance to professional athletes. Tyler Myers does look a bit like Gabe Lewis, but only because of their mutual lankiness. Jordie Benn and Dwight’s cousin Mose have the same beard.

Elias Pettersson’s penchant for glares and eye-rolls make him the Jim Halpert of the Canucks, for sure – though Pettersson is less of an outright psychopath. As much as I hate to admit it, Jake Virtanen is probably the Ryan on the team. We all know that Loui Eriksson is Toby Flenderson – which I guess makes the majority of the fanbase Michael Scott.

When I was younger, I closely resembled a young Will Ferrell – and although I like to think our looks have diverged since then, it’s still going to have to be an SNL era Ferrell in the role.

Michael has also asked me to cast the film he’s writing about CanucksArmy, but I have refused. With Steve McQueen deceased and thus unable to portray Ryan Biech, it’s a total waste.