WDYTT: How often should the Canucks’ Lotto Line play together?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
6 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that makes a decade-old concept fresh again on a weekly basis.
Speaking of what’s old being new again, the Lotto Line is back! A cumulative 30 points across six games for Elias Pettersson, JT Miller, and Brock Boeser since being reunited as a unit speaks volumes about the immediate chemistry and success of what has become not just the Canucks’ new top line, but perhaps the top line in all of hockey.
It had been years since the Lotto Line had skated together with any sort of regularity. And now, many Canucks fans want them to stay together for years to come.
But the good times can’t really last forever, can they? The Lotto Line is a ton of fun, but it’s definitely an “all eggs in one basket” sort of approach, and it has left the Canucks entirely absent of a competent second line.
One can’t help but wonder what the future holds. Do the Canucks commit to the Lotto Line? Do they go out at the Trade Deadline and build themselves a new second unit just to keep Pettersson, Miller, and Boeser together?
Or do they put the Lotto Line back on the shelf, back inside its protective glass casing with a sign that says “break in case of low-scoring emergency?”
It’s difficult to say. Heck, it’s difficult to ask, but we’re going to try to word it right, anyway.
This week, we’re asking:

In the long-term, how often should the Lotto Line play together?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Who is your half-season Canucks MVP? And who is your runner-up?

You answered below!
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I’ll confirm your suspicions Stephan and give my MVP nod to Hughes. In the offseason, he realized he needed to work on his shot, and along with that and perhaps a slightly more aggressive attitude, he’s shown the league that he’s a very elite defenseman. Tocchet said the other day that Hughes has this mode where he just craves the puck and he’s everywhere. Since Game 1, he’s shown he was the right choice for captain, and has led by example all season to this point.
Runner-up is the tough one, but I’ll give the nod to Miller. Hits leader, points leaders – I’ve thought if you had to clone just one player from the Canucks to make a whole hockey team with, he might be the one to go for. Has the snarl factor, hates to lose, and definitely one of the leaders on the team.
Demko, Pettersson, Boeser all ran through my mind and you could make excellent cases for them – but I’ll stick with my choices. It’s a nice problem for a fan to have that its hard to chose between so many excellent performances.
Killer Marmot:
Allvin and Tocchet have been the most valuable people.
Allvin didn’t bring in any outright stars this season (which started July 1), but he found solid goaltending, defensemen, and forwards to fill in the bottom half of the lineup, so that the talent of the existing stars was not wasted. And all this under severe cap constraints.
Tocchet made the most of his players, getting everyone pulling in the same direction, so that again the talent was not wasted. He even benched prominent players to get his point across.
No sense on overthinking this one. Quinn Hughes was the first All Star selection and is also the MVP this far in.
His work ethic sets the tone that others must follow.
Quinn Hughes is the MVP no doubt about that.
Pettersson is the backup – pay the man!
I’m going to go out on a limb and say Garland. Not my favourite player by any means, but that line, and him especially, just never quit. There was a stretch there where it felt like they were the only line driving play and they kept the Canucks in more games than the team probably deserved.
MVP: no-brainer in Quinn Hughes. Runner-up is where it gets interesting. I have to go with Miller.
“Hey JT you are in a shut down role tonight, going head-to-head with their top line.”
“No problem!”
“Hey JT we are putting the Lotto Line back together, you think you can light it up?”
“No Problem.”
“Hey JT, offense starts in our own zone I need you to backcheck like your life depended on it.” “Also no problem.”
For those reasons he is the MVP and currently playing at a bargain rate, given what contracts have been handed out lately.
bruce donice:
No question it’s Quinn Hughes, runner-up JT Miller.
MVP: Quinn Hughes.
Runner-Up: Canucks Pro Scouting Department.
brian hodgson:
JT is our MVP. He has really changed his game. He is engaged in all areas of the game. I think the candidates are doing what we see often. Having JT playing like he is, is definitely pushing other guys to follow the leader.
For me, it’s Demko. He’s returned to form and excelled. He’s has a few bumps in the road but so have the rest of the team. All the stars – Hughes, Pettersson, Miller, Boeser – have all gone through hot spells and cold spells but they aren’t as obvious as it always is in goaltending. Demko has simply looked solid, has great positioning and just seems to know where the puck is headed and gets there without theatrics. He’s just so good positionally that I fear he gets overly dismissed because of it. There is just such a calm about him. He’s definitely one of the best Vancouver has ever had IMO.
BeerCan Boyd:
1: Hughes.
2: Miller.
3: Demko and EP tied.
Hughes – no doubt. He inspires EVERYONE, completely takes the team on his back, setting records and competing with the top D-men in the league. Would we be where we are without him? Definitely not.
Demko – for all the same reasons.
Too many honorable mentions, led by Miller (thank God we did not let him go). A heart and soul player who hates to lose and is a big influence on the team. Is he the best in the league at his position? Would we be where we are without him? Probably not, so I go with the two above at this point.
This year there should be no standout MVP, this team from depth player to coaching staff is one unit. Without one, the other would not be succeeding in such a successful manner. If there has to be a MVP voted, then Hughes gets the slightest edge over Miller, Demko, Pettersson, Boeser, and so on…
Jim Rutherford and Patrick Allvin. After a slow start. These guys made pretty much all the right moves to make this team relevant again. From the coach, players, player development, and expanding the front office. Heck they even hired women in a man’s world. Success starts at the top.
It’s tough to give the MVP to any one player, there’s a handful that have been consistently good all year. Hughes, Miller, and Garland immediately come to mind, with DeSmith, Boeser, Joshua, Blueger, Demko, and Hronek all having strong seasons.
With the added responsibility of being captain, I think the MVP goes to Hughes. Every summer he does something to improve his game, and not only did he do that again this year, but he also took on being the team leader AND he’s a defenseman on par for 100 points. When you factor it all in, it’s easy to see why he’s a favourite for the Norris.
Craig Gowan:
Quinn Hughes is the half-season MVP, in my view. He has raised his game more than the other members of the core four. Runner-up is JT Miller: best season as a Canuck so far. Believe it or not, I find that Petey has been inconsistent for his standards, although he is still playing at a high level. Demko was great early, but lately hasn’t been as sharp.
defenceman factory:
A mark of a good team is there are valid arguments for several different players as MVP. Singling any one or two players out just feels wrong and does a disservice to others. That’s how this question feels.
We already knew who the team’s core and best players are. They haven’t disappointed. Can’t really argue with calling any of them MVP. Even Pettersson, who hasn’t seem to play his best, is on pace for 106 points.
The Canucks are more than a competitive team battling for a wildcard spot. The players exceeding expectations is why. DeSmith is great. Garland has found a new level of tenacity and all that line excels. Boeser is putting in the work and the goals. Myers has been passable as a second pairing RHD, and on it goes.
The Canucks are looking like they believe they can beat anyone and they all play a role to make it so. That seems more valuable than any one player.

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