Canucks Lines Taking Shape?

According to Canucks.com, the team has trimmed 10 more from their roster, leaving them with 25 players, going into Saturday nights game.

Assigned to Manitoba (AHL) are:

Bouck, Tyler RW

Brown, Mike RW

Edler, Alexander D

Goren, Lee RW

MacIntyre, Drew G

McIver, Nathan D

Reid, Brandon C

Schultz, Jesse RW

Tremblay, Yannick D

Assigned to Spokane Chiefs (WHL):

Grabner, Michael RW

That’s right folks, the Canucks decided that 5 natural right wingers are (for the time being) going to be bounced between the big club and their respective minor divisions.

Ive got to admit, as a long time Canucks fan, Im a little concerned about their direction. Based on training camp and line combos thus far, here’s what the Canucks could look like on opening night:

Sedin-Sedin-Naslund

Pyatt-Morrison-Bulis

Burrows-Kesler-Cooke

Green-Chouinard/Rypien-Linden

From the Canucks fan sites, radio, and some TV coverage, it seems that the Canucks are still shuffling lines, searching for chemistry in the combinations. On Sept 29th, Naslund was moved off the Sedin line, paired with Morrison and Pyatt. (Bulis filled out the right side for the Sedins.)

Defensively, I think it’s safe to say the Canucks have been surprised by the play of 21 year old Patrick Coulombe. He could find a place on the Canucks roster as the 7th D man, and could see action against smaller, speedier teams in the league. (Coulombe is 5 ft 9 inches tall, so, he’s not the most physically intimidating presence on the back end).

The big question remains: Is this club good enough to get to the playoffs? (I think the answer to the question: “Are they good enough to win the division” has to be “No”, based on the relative strengths of other teams in the NW division.)

Should deals be made, and if so, how far into the season should Nonis and Vigneault go before pulling the trigger? At present there are a couple of floating rumors that the Canucks may try and dump Chouinard, based on his poor play in camp.

Any thoughts from the Canuck faithful are welcomed….


15 Responses to Canucks Lines Taking Shape?

  1. CaptainInsano says:

    What will the D pairings be?

  2. BruMagnus says:

    First the Canucks suck. They won’t make the playoffs.

    Second, Naslund is a LW.

    Third, Nazi doesn’t play with the Sedins, nor will he.

    I still think Vancouver will try to get a winger in a Hartnell or equivalent.

  3. Tuner44 says:

    First off, lose the snotty attitude. Second, Naslund was a right winger when he joined the league. Third he has played with the Sedin’s this pre season and most surely will get some shifts with them through the year. Yes there was some wrong things about that report, like Naslund started that Calgary game with Morrison and Pyatt and Finished with the Sedins, and there will definitly be line juggling over first few weeks. Finally, when you have that a@@hole attitude about you, do you really think people care about your Hartnell opinion? I’m sure this will cause you to start a pissing match which i won’t engage so i leave you with grow up or stop posting.

  4. jonnygf40 says:

    I agree fully. Naslund ripped it up with the twins the other day, the line combined for 5 points and looked great together. And as you said Naslund was always a RW until he came to Vancouver so obviously that guy has no idea what he’s talking about.

  5. sean2006 says:

    Thanks Tuner.

    I get bored by the inane trash talk and the uniformed opinions. “Nazzy isnt a RW”…Well, when he’s played with the Sedins for a few games, and been on the right side on their line….I guess he’s a RW. (Technically, the Canucks have 6 guys listed a “centres” on their roster.)

    If you’re going to say, “they wont make the playoffs”… feel free to say why. Defence seems like a good place to look at….

    As for pairings, the Nucks seem to have Mitchell with the young kids, Bieksa and anyone who finds the 6th spot. Ohlund and Salo will most likely be together. Beyond that, I think pairings are still being decided.

    Cheers, all.

  6. jonnygf40 says:

    In the last couple of games the pairings have looked like this: Mitchell and Bieksa, Bourdon and Ohlund, and Salo and Coulombe. Most people realize who the rest of the line up is but … Coulombe. I guess this kid has looked so impressive in preseason that he’s beat out the likes of Tremblay, Fitzpatrick, and even the highly touted (partly because of the blockbuster trade to Florida) Krajicek. In the Calgary game this guy was a plus 2 in 16:58 of ice time.
    At 5’9″ and 168 pounds this 21 year old isn’t going to be the fiercest guy on the ice, but I guess he has enough skill to get by. In 62 games in the QMJHL last year with Rimouski and Chicoutimi he had 23 goals and 54 assists for 77 points. Hopefully he can fill some puck logging ice time that the Canucks lost with Jovanovski.

  7. Pedro says:

    Looks like a transition year.

  8. BruMagnus says:

    First off, don’t command me. And yes I realize the irony of that statement. Also, your attitude is none the brighter. Thanks for singling me out and name-calling, I appreciate it.
    Second, how long ago did Naslund join the league? I submit that if you joined the league as a right winger, and then got shifted to left wing for most of your career, and that become your natural position, shifting back would be difficult and a hindrance. Especially consider if one went from center to wing and back. Now that’s not to say it cannot be done, just that it takes a while to get back into it.
    Third, preseason means very little, as I hope most people know. It is a time to experiment with the lines, to see how the young guys fit in. Johnny Sim was preseason leader last season, and was passed around 3 (or even 4) teams last year.
    Fourth, Naslund has tried to play with the Sedins before, and one would think an all-Swede line could be magical, but their styles are different. The Sedins need an Anson Carter, a Fredrik Modin, a John LeClair, someone to bury garbage and who has a nice shot and can find open space for a beauty pass from the Sisters (as they are dubbed here in Vancouver, where I live by the way).
    Naslund just hasn’t worked well with them in the past. However, if he finally has clicked with them, watch out! Naslund could get 100 points.
    However, that would spread the Canucks REALLY thin.

    Sedin-Sedin-Naslund
    Pyatt-Morrison-Cooke/Bulis (possibly the weakest 2nd line in the NHL)
    3rd-4th lines of meager offensive ability, jan bulis MAYBE standing out (though Montreal fans seem happy his weakness [their words] is gone).

    Canucks defense, which was usually pretty strong, is now average-good at best.
    Ohlund takes over as the No.1 d-man… with no Jovo, who’s going to get points? Ohlund isn’t an offensive-minded player. Last season the Canucks did so much better with Jovo in the lineup. One could tell immediately that his presence (and game) was sorely missed and needed when he returned from injury. Now who replaces him? Krajicek! Well he’s going to have to have a breakout year on the 2nd pairing/PP unit to give the Canucks some added goals. Mitchell is a superb defensive dman. Sami Salo could also produce well. He’ll have to be their knight in shinning armor. So the Canucks top 4 are decent. But none are considered a top 10 (or even 20) d-man. Luc Bourdon should join the squad with Bieksa (now that Tremblay has been sent down). They will need to prove they are NHL worthy.

    And then there’s Luongo in net. Defensively the Canucks will do exceptional. I see them perhaps becoming the new Calgary Flames (and to a lesser degree Oilers). Their offensive is abysmal. That is the problem. And it is a BIG problem. How will their special teams be? That is a key factor where they didn’t impress last season. What have they done to improve?

  9. BruMagnus says:

    see above post to address your concerns.

    defense is much better than offense.
    Krajicek will have a breakout year (if the Canucks are good in general), Salo (if he stats healthy) could break 40 points.

    Will Bulis or Pyatt or Cooke break 40 though? Well that’s your 2nd line options with the Sisters and Nazi on top line.
    A team needs at minimum two good scoring lines to make the playoffs and be a contender. Teams like Buffalo and Carolina (who made the Eastern Conference Finals and placed 2nd and 4th in their conferences) had three well-rounded scoring lines.

    And Canucks fans think they could beat a Buffalo or a Carolina in the Finals if they were the team to represent West… talk of delusional.

    The Cup will stay in the East this year… yet again.

  10. BruMagnus says:

    Obviously.

    And hey, did you ever consider why Alfredsson often plays on the 2nd line (where he’ll start this year), or why Hossa wasn’t usually paired with Kovalchuk on the top line?

    It’s because if your team doesn’t have that much offense to spread around, [read:Canucks!], then it isn’t wise to concentrate it all on one line that will just get shutdown by the oppositions top checking line.

  11. BruMagnus says:

    One of the reasons the Sedins did so well was because the ‘top’ line of Nazi-Morrison-Idiot ate up lots of the oppositions top checker’s time.
    It’ll be interesting to see how the Sedins respond to better opposition when they fully become the recognized top line, and take all the punishment that comes with that.

  12. sean2006 says:

    Hey Bru,

    I stand corrected… you do have an informed opinion on the subject. It was a little hard to tell from your initial “the Canucks suck” comment.

    Yes, putting Marcus on the top line means concerns about where the secondary scoring will come from. I agree with your assessment of the D as well.

    A rumor floated by Ben Kuzma (Vancouver Province) a while back had Morrison being shipped out for a cheaper 3rd line center (for cap space purposes) or possibly a winger. Kesler (and his new salary) would then be thrust into 2nd line time.

    The Canucks are looking for heroes this year, and they need to come from unexpected places. Bulis, Salo, Pyatt, and Burrows will be called on to show aspects of their game that have really only been seen in raare flashes. If any of the “newer Canucks” or their additions work into the team and develop some chemistry, their going to get into the playoffs. However, we may know by 30 games in that this year’s squad doesnt have what it takes. Im leaning toward the latter.

  13. BruMagnus says:

    The Canucks need Luongo pull a Dominic Hasek-like Vezina-winning performance in order for them to make the playoffs. Something he has never done.

  14. sean2006 says:

    I agree. Luongo hasnt really carried a sub-par team into the playoffs. Apparently he’ll play 60 to 65 games, (as opposed to 70 games for the Panthers). Dont know if it will make a difference, leave Luongo fresher, or just leave the Canucks to lose a few in front of Flaherty.

    Guys on the bubble, 2 of whom will get sent down….

    Jannik Hansen, Josh Green, Tommi Santala, Rick Rypien, Rory Fitzpatrick, & Pat Coulombe.

  15. BruMagnus says:

    If Coulombe makes the roster, the Canucks are in serious shit

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