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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: What the Canucks are missing, when we will see Nic Petan, and Aidan McDonough’s chances at the Hobey Baker

The Canucks split their weekend games after Jim Benning came out and spoke to the media on Thursday.

They ran into two teams that were on the second of back-to-back games and handled their business on Friday before being shutout by Marc-Andre Fleury and the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

The Canucks now look to begin another win streak as they hit the road for a five-game road trip beginning in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

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One win on Friday doesn’t get Benning off the hook as this team is still a long way from being in the playoff conversation.

That being said, we have some good questions from some great people this week. So, let’s not waste any more time on the intro, let’s see what the great people of Canucks Twitter had to ask!

It very likely could have had an effect on the slow start but there also had to be a reason why he changed his stick. He must have liked something about the new flex and length but obviously he struggled to the start of the year.

Players typically experiment with different brands, flexes and lengths in the offseason and there had to be something that Pettersson liked. It’s a good question that we would have loved to ask if we were in the locker room with some time. It’s a bit tougher with the current format of media but the story is sure to come out eventually.

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If there’s an injury to a centre, there will be a spot for Nic Petan. He may be able to sneak into the lineup as a winger if Alex Chiasson comes out of the lineup.

Petan is expected to be an integral part of the Abbotsford Canucks and has looked good so far in the AHL. He has a ton of skill that stands out even in practice.

If the Canucks cannot create any offence, I’d be open to the idea of Petan between Conor Garland and Vasily Podkolzin. You’d create a line that would have to simply create as much offence as humanly possible.

It’d likely be a lot of fun and right now, Canucks fans could use some fun.

I’m on board. Will the real Petey please stand up?

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The Canucks are missing a trusty penalty killer, more specifically, a right-handed centre. They could use a sturdy left-shot depth defenceman who can kill penalties too. After that, they are missing Pettersson and he has been non-existent through the first stretch of the season.

They sacrificed the future to get better and even with the added skill, this Canucks team still needs to have everything go their way for them to become a playoff team. When one major part is not going strong, it hurts the team enough to give them the record that they currently possess.

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Yeah, this is getting ridiculous. Alex Chiasson should not be in the Canucks’ lineup. I get that he’s a big body and can stand around the crease. But he’s an absolute black hole for offence at even-strength and a breeding ground for opposition cycles in his own zone because of his defensive deficiencies.

It’s tough to watch him blow cycles with his flubbed passes and poor decision-making. I’m sure that his screens help on the power play but he feels like a negative value player on an NHL roster.

I’m so over Chiasson.

It sounds like it won’t be long until Podkolzin is on the power play. Travis Green needs to really trust his players before giving them the duty of being able to play a man down.

Podkolzin has killed penalties in the KHL over the past two years as well as being relied upon to be Russia’s top penalty killer at the World Juniors.

I’m confident that his game will translate to the penalty kill like warm butter to a piece of freshly toasted bread. Podkolzin was a shot blocking machine on the penalty kill in the KHL and could do the same here in Vancouver.

I’m with you, mango is the best so far. The blueberry was the sourest.

After another hot weekend, Aidan McDonough is definitely in the conversation for the Hobey Baker. McDonough is currently tied for third place in goals throughout the NCAA. He has 11 goals in 14 NCAA games.

McDonough scored all three of Northeastern’s goals this weekend as they won 1-0 and tied 2-2 against their rival Boston University.

McDonough has improved his skating, while also adding strength to his shot that is allowing him to become one of the deadliest scorers in NCAA hockey. His 6’3”, 200-pound frame should excite Canucks fans as he is trending in the right direction.

We will have to wait and see what he decides to do with his career as the option will be there to go pro after his current junior year with Northeastern. McDonough can sign and report to either of the Abbotsford, or Vancouver Canucks at the end of his season.

The latest his season can go is April 9th.

Phil Di Giuseppe should be given a shot to play on the fourth line. Whether it be replacing Juho Lammikko at centre or Alex Chiasson on the wing, he should get a chance in the NHL.

Di Giuseppe had a great camp and has looked good in Abbotsford. He can kill penalties and has been working on being a centre during his time in Abbotsford.

Will Lockwood should be given a shot soon too. A fourth line with Tyler Motte and Lockwood as the wingers would be a handful for the opposition on every shift.

As for Jett Woo, he is still not an NHL calibre defenceman. He has a lot of work to do when it comes to his play around the puck. Woo looks to be physically ready for the NHL but needs to still improve his puck-handling and passing.

Well, that wraps it up for this week’s mailbag. The Canucks now head on the road for five games after a short stretch at home.

It will be an interesting week as the pressure stays on Jim Benning after a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks and eight years as the GM…

There’s a lot of talk in the market and from national media as the Canucks continue to struggle out of the gate.

We will see you next Monday for another onslaught of questions!