Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
What should the Vancouver Canucks do with Andrei Kuzmenko?: Canucks Conversation
2 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed what the future might hold for Andrei Kuzmenko and were later joined by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
The show started off with a quick recap of last night’s 6-5 defeat against the New Jersey Devils, in which the Canucks were out-matched five-on-five. The Canucks surged in the 3rd period, scoring three unanswered to tie the game at five, only to fall short of the comeback after Jesper Bratt scored the go-ahead goal with 34 seconds left in the 3rd.
The guys then moved into their Kuzmenko topic after the 27-year-old had one of his worst games as a Canuck and has just four goals and 15 points through 23 games this season. After tallying 39 goals and 74 points in his inaugural NHL season, Kuzmenko is on pace for just 52 points this year.
“He’s been really unfortunate not to at least get a point here or there, based on the number of scoring chances he’s been involved in,” said Harm. “When you’re an offensive player who’s struggling for confidence, you need the production to start coming to feel better about yourself. This is also the type of stretch that one-dimensional offensive players sometimes go through. If you’re a versatile two-way forward, when you struggle offensively, it’s not as noticeable. The problem with Kuzmenko is he’s a one-dimensional player.”
Harm suggested Kuzmenko be moved to the 4th line and Hoglander be given some top 6 minutes, keeping Kuzy on the power play for now as a potential nudge to get him back to his scoring ways.
“He’s the type of player that can come back,” Harm continued. “I really think that once he gets a few in, you’ll see him rattle off a stretch where he’s above a point per game. The bigger concern is he doesn’t seem like a Rick Tocchet player. Tocchet doesn’t seem to trust him or want to use him in a high-leverage role, and that’s problematic.”
“You need to find some solution; you can’t have this guy toiling on your fourth line forever, although I do agree that has to be the way to try to get him back,” Quads responded. “We’ve heard every coach say it; if you’re gonna score 40 goals, you’re gonna get some leeway defensively. But if you’re not going to help the team offensively and you can’t defend, all of a sudden you’re a liability.”
“It’s conceivable that he can improve in some departments,” Harm answered. “Even though he’s an older player, this is still only his second NHL season. It takes time to make some of those adjustments.”
The guys were then joined by Hockey Insider Frank Seravalli, who talked about Pettersson and more from other teams in the Pacific Division.
The show was wrapped up with some more discussion by Quads and Harm about the team’s top 6 forwards and what some potential changes might look like in order to shake up the offence.
You can watch the full replay of today’s show below:
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