Welcome back to another esoteric edition of What Do You Think Thursday — and, for the first time in far too long, we’ve got some actual hockey to talk about.
Last night, the Vancouver Canucks kicked off — and finished out — their exhibition schedule against the Winnipeg Jets.
Next up, they’ve got a best-of-five play-in series against the Minnesota Wild.
And after that? Well, that remains to be seen.
In order to officially escape the plain ol’ postseason and advance to the properly capitalized Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Canucks will have to knock off the Wild — which would then lead to a predetermined “first round” matchup against the Colorado Avalanche. From there on out, it’s the playoffs as usual until whenever — or if ever — the Canucks are eliminated.
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Our question for you today is thus pretty simple.
We’re asking you to call your shot and state now, for the record:

How far do you think the Canucks can realistically go in the 2020 postseason?

What do you think the Canucks’ lineup should be for Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild?

Your lineup cards are below!
Robby-D:
Dang, was looking forward to reading replies, but looks like I came here too soon. I guess I gotta contribute then…
Miller – Pettersson – Toffoli
Boeser – Horvat – Pearson
Virtanen – Gaudette – Ferland
(note: Virtanen’s playmaking has improved and could really work with Ferland’s crash-the-net style)
Roussel – Beagle – Motte
Hughes – Tanev
Edler – Myers
Benn (short leash) – Stecher
PP1: Miller – Pettersson – Boeser – Toffoli – Hughes
PP2: Horvat – Pearson – Virtanen – Edler – Myers (or Gaudette)
Given the Wild’s strength is defense, I’d prioritize scoring. This means that Eriksson/Sutter are last options, while someone like Lind/MacEwen would be a higher priority in the case of injury, depending on if it’s in the top or bottom-six. Yes, if there’s an injury in the top-six, I’d be tempted to try Lind over Eriksson or Sutter, because defensive miscues will be less costly than against, say, the Avs. If Lind gets in, I’d experiment with him in place of Pearson on PP2. The only way I’d have Sutter getting games is if Beagle gets injured.
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If the PP or scoring struggles through two games and Markstrom’s looking good, I’d be very tempted to replace Benn with a black ace and shake up the third line, and maybe the fourth.
speering major:
Miller Petey Toffoli
Pearson Horvat Boeser
Ferland Gaudette Virtanen
Roussel Beagle Sutter
If they don’t win Game 1, MacEwen slides in. The Canucks use the fourth as a shutdown line and they should. I don’t see how they slide in ZM or JV on that line, unless to shake things up. Whichever winger struggles in the bottom-six or the most on a losing night should sit for Zack. Ride hot hands and be quick to adjust with guys who haven’t found their game
D stays the same.
That’s actually a deep and solid forward group if they can stay healthy. If they could upgrade Pearson with a 30-goal scorer they could be among the best (but obv still behind TBL etc). The D is a bit weak for a contender, but if they can stay healthy and Markstrom can do what he’s been doing, they should be ok.
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AlCanuck:
What a great article, thanks a lot guys!
Miller – Pettersson – Virtanen (remember the saucer passing!)
Toffoli – Gaudette – Boeser
Pearson – Horvat – Eriksson
Sutter – Lind – Ferland
I gotta be honest, I don’t know enough about the D to make firm choices, but if Hughes was able to play 30 minutes a night, then I’d say go for it!
We also need to see lots of Myers (25 to 27 minutes a night) and a healthy Edler (23+ minutes). I say Juolevi over Fantenberg, only because Fantenberg is no more than a decent minor leaguer and Juolevi has that stretch-passing upside. Plus, we’ve all seen the video of him defending against Hughes and he looked pretty darn good to me.
This is a total crapshoot. Teams will come in hot or cold, and there’s no time to straighten things out. That means you ride who’s hot, not who has pedigree (JV). Definitely looking forward to it, but this Cup will have an asterisk, IMO.
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Grayvee:
Miller – Pettersson – Toffoli
Pearson – Horvat – Boeser
(Top-six is easy, with only swapping right wingers likely)
Ferland – Gaudette – Virtanen
Roussel – Beagle – Motte
(If anyone looks a little disengaged Zack or if the penalty killers are lacking, Sutter comes in)
Hughes – Tanev
Edler – Myers
Benn – Stecher
(Fantenberg if Benn falters. If injuries happen, a black ace might be better)
PP 1: Miller – Horvat – Pettersson – Boeser – Hughes
PP 2: Virtanen – Gaudette – Toffoli – Edler – Myers
PK 1: Roussel, Beagle, Edler, and Tanev
PK 2: Motte, Miller, Benn, and Stecher
(Throw out Pearson and Horvat as well)
This uses the most talent in each role and keeps a few hungry players looking in. Sutter, Z Mac, and Fantenberg will all play at some point.
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Reme:
The way I look at it, you have this training camp to build chemistry with the lineups. You don’t keep them together at camp just to throw them in a blender for game one. Only make changes if something goes off.
Miller-Pettersson-Toffoli
Pearson-Horvat-Boeser
Roussel-Gaudette-MacEwen
Sutter-Beagle-Motte
Hughes-Tanev
Edler-Myers
Fantenberg-Stecher
J-Canuck:
This will be interesting to see if Green goes with vets or gives young guys a shot.
JTM/EP/TT
Pearson/Bo/Brock
Roussel/Gaudette/Ferland
Sutter/Beagle/Big Zack
Hughes/Tanev
Edler/Myers
Benn/Stecher
Marky
Tough one was not putting Zack on the third line, but Ferland has a track record in the playoffs.
bbraks:
Why does no one put Pearson & TT on the same line? I thought after winning a Cup together and being mates, that they’d sync up and play some “raz daz” hockey. Maybe not to a Sedin level, but you know what I mean…
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Captain Video:
Miller – Pettersson -Toffoli
Pearson – Horvat – Boeser
Roussel – Gaudette – Ferland
Motte – Beagle – Sutter
Hughes – Tanev
Edler – Stecher
Juolevi – Myers
Markstrom
Stephan Roget:
Miller – Pettersson – Toffoli
Pearson – Horvat – Boeser
Ferland – Gaudette – Virtanen
Roussel – Sutter – MacEwen
Hughes – Myers
Edler – Tanev
Benn – Stecher
Markstrom
See you all next week!