WDYTT: The next coach and is the Kuzmenko-Pettersson-Mikheyev line a long-term solution?

Photo credit:© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
1 year ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet not currently under a severe weather advisory.
Speaking of being advised, teams around the NHL should be advised that there’s a new, dominant first line on the loose, looking to rack up points and burn down metaphorical villages. That line belongs to the Vancouver Canucks, and it contains Andrei Kuzmenko, Elias Pettersson, and Ilya Mikheyev.
We already covered earlier in the week that the Kuzmenko-Pettersson-Mikheyev unit was quite literally the most productive line, minute-by-minute, in the entire league. It’s been an impressive run for any line, never mind one in which two of the players are brand-new to the organization, and fans would no doubt like to see the success continue.
But will it?
Coming into the season, few projected that this combination of players would even skate together. And it took a while for even Bruce Boudreau to fall upon the right combination. Sometimes, a line like this comes together and plays so well that they stick around for years to come.
Other times, a line flames brightly and then flickers out, like a candle in the wind, and then it’s back to the roster-blender.
What will be the fate of the Kuzmenko-Pettersson-Mikheyev line? Will they be together forever, or on to new linemates by the season’s end?
This week, we’re asking you:
Do you believe that the Kuzmenko-Pettersson-Mikheyev line is a long-term solution as the Canucks’ top line?
Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:
If/when Boudreau is fired, who is your preferred replacement as Canucks’ head coach?
You answered below!
BeerCan Boyd:
I don’t know who the right choice to replace him would be, but if JR fires Boudreau after dragging his name through the mud for the last year, you can kiss goodbye to any thoughts that a guy like Trotz, or any other respected veteran coach would agree to come here.
So, I guess we’ll get to see JR and Allvin’s boy Yeo take the reins. If you think the team looks bad now, in the immortal words of BTO, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Boudreau needs to go. Playing the same six guys over and over again with horrible results is insanity. He’s let the inmates run the asylum. How does somebody like Miller play 25 minutes a night? Bruce is absolutely brutal for the young guys development, not to mention team culture. Heard him talking about putting guys on the same line because they’re friends. Friends? WTF.
Bruce was never the right choice, but he was a relief from Green, although, if anyone thought that a defensive structure would improve under Bruce, they obviously don’t know much about his coaching style.
Bruce has always been a coach who overplays his top offensive players, whether they can handle some of the responsibilities or not, while also never holding those said offensive players accountable for miscues.
As far as a suggested replacement for him, Brunette might be a decent choice long term, but if looking to try get some actual structure and discipline onto this team, Bob Hartley might be the best option, of those available, as I doubt very much that Trotz has any interest in coaching this team.
Until some players are moved / traded. A new coach won’t make a difference. These guys have too many bad habits from the last coach.
Hockey Bunker:
If they are firing the coach, right after the Montreal game in early December is ideal with lots of practice time for two weeks.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Boudreau is not the problem, Allvin and Rutherford are. Coaching the Canucks right now is like trying to build a house with lots of hammers but no saws. Management has not given Boudreau the right mix of tools (players) to work with. If the fire him, then promote Cull because you are tanking anyway.
While there are arguments for making the decision sooner, I would prefer to wait to let Boudreau go. This team isn’t going anywhere this year and I think it’s better to go through a thorough process in the offseason to find the coach. If a coaching change is needed this year, let Yeo become the interim coach. There is absolutely no reason to settle on a coach during the season.
Bring back AV. 100% my pick. Last time he came in, our team was trending very similar and he was a key cog in turning that around. As I am writing this, however, the transition from the West Coast Express years to the Sedins and being back on top of the division was a much more realistic 3-5 years. How is it we have been in the same cycle now for 10? (That is a rhetorical question, people.)
My choice is Francesco, and I wonder if JR will have the guts to fire him..
Bring Torts back.
David Williams:
The current roster needs a demanding coach. Would have traded Miller, but that ship sailed. Horvat should be moved for the good of the organization, the team has floundered under his leadership, although I cannot solely blame him. The overpaid and underperforming defensemen need to be traded or bought out, since their cap and on ice example is not good for team success. Only Pettersson, Hughes, Höglander, Podkolzin, Schenn, and Demko should be untouchable. I expect Boeser, Garland, Bear, Lazar, and Joshua have potential to live up to their contracts. Future could be positive, but only if management does their job.

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