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Analyzing how Elias Lindholm’s arrival affects the rest of the Canucks’ lineup: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
4 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed how Elias Lindholm’s arrival might affect the rest of the lineup.
Lindholm comes to Vancouver as a well-equipped two-way player, and although his offensive stats have faltered a bit this year relative to his past, what he brings to the table away from the puck is more than enough to get Canucks fans excited.
There has been speculation as to how exactly Lindholm will slot in, but the running lines from practice on Sunday suggest he’ll be playing on Pettersson’s wing with Mikheyev on the other side.
Quads kicked off the discussion, noting Mikheyev hasn’t necessarily performed at a top-6 level and Phil Di Giuseppe would be returning from injury soon, likely to get back in the lineup.
Quads: I don’t want to see Phil Di Giuseppe in the top 6. I want to see Nils Hoglander go and earn that spot; PDG is much better suited for the fourth line than Hoglander. If Ilya Mikheyev can’t find his game, what’s plan B?
Harm: It has to be Hoglander, in my opinion. I don’t think Di Giuseppe is even in the conversation, quite frankly, especially because his best fit in the top 6, if anything, was with the Miller-Boeser line, and I don’t want to see that again. There’s just not enough offensive pop there. I also think Mikheyev is going to get a decent amount of leash (on that line). You have to keep in mind that he’s coming off a massive ACL injury from last season; that’s a tough injury to come back from to get to 100%. We didn’t have as much discussion in the early part of this season because he was productive right away, but oftentimes it takes until close to the end of the season to fully hit your stride. If you’re unlucky, you don’t fully get back. You hope that’s not the case with Mikheyev; you hope it’s just a case of shaking off the rust, but I remember watching him in years past and thinking, ‘wow, this is one of the fastest guys in the NHL.’ There’ve been very few moments this year where I’ve thought, ‘wow, this is one of the fastest guys in the NHL.’
The guys then discussed if the Canucks would be using the Lindholm-Pettersson-Mikheyev line in a shutdown role.
Harm: It’s a good question; I don’t even know if the Canucks themselves have fully established that yet. The Miller line has played slightly more minutes against elite competition, but the difference between them and the Pettersson line isn’t a lot. It was early in October when Miller was always matched up, but since then, it’s been a pretty even split. That’s kind of what I expect moving forward until the playoffs at least, those lines getting roughly an equal amount of ice time against the opposition’s best.
Quads: If you want to hard-match, it goes back to the versatility of Elias Lindholm. If the Miller line wasn’t going in that shutdown role, you’re not putting out Pettersson Kuzmenko and Mikheyev as your shutdown, right? So the Canucks would sometimes throw out the third line to try and weather that storm, but now they have what should be a truly elite two-way line at their disposal, and they should be able to decide who they’re going to put out.
You can watch the full segment in the video below:

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