Jeff Paterson talks experimental defence, the lotto line, and more: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
5 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal were joined by RinkWide’s Jeff Paterson to discuss Hoglander, the Lotto Line, and the Canucks’ blue line. Vancouver is coming off a 2-0 win against Chicago in which they jumped out to an early lead but weren’t able to generate much offense for the rest of the game against the struggling Blackhawks.
When asked about his thoughts on the experimental defensive pairing’s collective performance against Chicago, Jeff had this to say:
“I thought about the same as the coaches because at practice today, they were right back to Hughes with Hronek and Myers with Zadorov. At one point, it was Hughes and Myers with the Lotto Line, so this was a full go against the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Canucks couldn’t get out of their own zone. I’ve gone to bat for Tyler Myers; I think he’s had a nice bounceback season and definitely has a role on this hockey club, but he’s not the partner for Hughes. I had no issues with them experimenting against a team like the Blackhawks, but they’re better off juicing their lineup and going full tilt with Hronek and Hughes when they can. They wanted to see what it looked like when they broke them up, what Hronek could do on his own, and I was disappointed.”
Quads: “The Lotto Line hasn’t been as effective recently; do you have any concerns?”
“No concern,” Jeff answered. “These guys, when they’re on, we’ve seen they’re as good as anyone in the NHL. They’re not on right now, and it does feel like some of the mojo has disappeared. Tocchet cited the record, though, since he went to that group in New Jersey. Why would they break it up when they’re still winning? He said they take so much of the focus of the other team, and there is some value to that. If the other team is loading up to defend that line, it should free up opportunities lower in the lineup, and we’ve seen the Canucks win those battles on the fringes all season long. I expect the Lotto Line to start against the St. Louis Blues, who are the only team to beat Vancouver in regulation so far this calendar year; they remember that.”
Jeff noted part of the struggles of the Lotto Line can be attributed to Boeser’s recent goal slump:
“Some of it is Brock Boeser’s magic has disappeared too. Three goals in his last 13 games; we were talking about 50 goals. Now you ask, can he get to 40? Yeah, but he’s going to have to get back on his horse here. He’s going to get to 30; he needs 3. I’d keep riding them and keep giving them the opportunity.”
“What’s stood out to you this season about Hoglander’s game?
“I love how fearless he is on the forecheck,” responded Jeff. “There were a couple of examples last night where he’s winning way more than his share of battles for a guy his size. You’re going against the best of the best; these are elite athletes in the league and are way bigger and heavier than him. And again last night, we saw his ability to keep his motor running, pull pucks out of skates, extend plays; it’s a skill and maybe not something you think about, but the fact that the engine is always going, and then when he gets opportunities to finish, he does. I just like how there is absolutely no quit, and confidence is there.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s show in the video below:

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