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Why it’s time to reunite the Lotto Line: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
5 months ago
On Friday’s episode, David Quadrelli and Jeff Paterson discussed why it might be time for the Canucks to try working their Lotto Line back into the game rotations. Vancouver is coming off a 2-1 loss against St. Louis on Thursday in a game where their top 6 couldn’t generate much pressure. The idea of reuniting star power on the top line stemmed from fan opinions and would look something like this:
Miller-Pettersson-Boeser
Kuzmenko-Suter-Mikheyev
Joshua-Blueger-Garland
Hoglander-Aman-Lafferty
“Tocchet has gone to it before,” said Quads. “I was waiting for it last night. It felt like, okay, here’s your chance; nobody was doing anything five-on-five except your third line, so get the Lotto Line together. Whisper in Boeser’s ear to get to the front of the net where he’s had so much success; that made sense to me, but it didn’t happen.”
JPat chimed in: “Does it soften the rest of the lineup? Absolutely it does, but the benefits with the lotto line and that third line the way it’s going, maybe there’s enough there to get you through in a game where you didn’t need four goals, just one more to get it to overtime and take your chances. The Canucks have so much top-end talent; I like their chances against anyone in OT.”
Quads and JPat then looked at how front-loading can affect the rest of the team should a lineup of this design be iced in the future:
“At some point, we’re going to have to move the third line higher on the written depth chart,” JPat said. “Right now, I’d take them over Kuzmenko-Suter-Mikheyev. We saw Garland get elevated to PP1; his line has been in lock-step and has been feeling it for 10-12 games now. There’s nothing special in anything they do other than hard work and chemistry; it’s their secret sauce and they’re reading off each other. But- could Nils Hoglander give you what Connor Garland is giving you on that line, and with the way Garland has played, could he not move higher in the lineup? He is a twenty-goal scorer in the NHL; it feels like Tocchet is reluctant to break up that line, and I get it, but Hoglander profiles a lot along the lines of Garland in that the engine is always going and there’s enough offence there if you get him in creative situations, so I suppose it’s a cost-benefit analysis that’s required here.”
“I have to disagree there,” Quads responded. “Garland is the engine of that line, and it’s the one thing that’s really going for this team. I’m not certain based on past history that if you move him up to the top 6, no matter how well he’s playing right now, that it’s going to translate to playing with Pettersson or Miller. It definitely hasn’t yet during his Canucks tenure, maybe for two or three game stretches but it quickly fades away. You’ve got this going; I don’t think you can move off of it.”
You can watch the full replay of Friday’s episode in the video below:

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