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04-01-2005, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DRL
very true, both teams look like contenders, i have jus noticed a lot of doom and gloom posted about the avs by a handful of people and jus wanted to point out that even with a cap and the avs current lineup that they look to be in great shape.
I don't hold those views really... I think the Avs will find a way to make it work. If there are cuts the payroll, I think they will sign a couple of key players that will make it work, and/or have guys from within that make a mark, as they usually do.

You can't discount a good organization. While the work will be harder than it has before, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt of figuring out a way to stay competitive.

at least IMO.

Originally Posted by DRL
as for d i wasnt taking into effect niedermayer signing, obviously with him the nuck have the best d on paper hands down, but as of right now it would be the avs and i think the nucks appear to be in the same boat as the avs and have a 2nd line that needs some serious scoring punch, so most likely they'd spend the extra cash on a forward, especially since no one knows the bertuzzi verdict yet
I don't see the canucks 2nd line, as is, any worse than the Avs. Svatos is totally unproven. He's no more a 2nd line certainty than King is. Cooke has at least played in that role (took Bert's place on the top unit down the stretch and in the playoffs), and played well. IMO Cooke is a much better 3rd liner - he's a good checker and that's just a better role for him, but he's proven that he can play on the 2nd line.

The Sedins both had solid years in the SEL, and showed further progress as top 6 forwards. I'd be more comfortable having them as my 2nd liners than Konowalchuk and Damphouse - but it's close enough IMO that no one line is much better ... add Cooke/King vs. Svatos, and I think at worst, the canucks 2nd unit is as good as the Avs.

The 3rd and 4th line again are no different. You have Gratton, we have Linden. I'm sure you'd perfer Gratton, but I'd rather have Linden. You've added Lappy and Laaxonen, if we sign a top 6 foward you could thrown Cooke and King on that role, even without a signing you could use one of them and either Kesler or Chubarov.

Either way, I think it's pretty even.

The defense, without Niedermayer, is:

1) Jovo-Ohlund vs. Blake-Foote - Blake and Foote are better right now, but Jovo and Ohlund are still getting better and are still among the elite dmen in the league. Add in durability and I'd take Jovo and Ohlund... but either way it's not that far off - certainly not the foundation of a "a much stronger defense corps" as you said before.

2) Sopel-Salo vs. Liles-Skrastins - again this is a difference of opinions here, but you have to admit that it's close and can go either way. Salo has been solid for us, and has basically become our most all-around reliable dman after Ohlund. I think that he's very comparable to what Skrastins has been able to bring to Colorado. Liles was a welcome surprise to the Avs last year, and looked like he had the makings of a solid PP QB type player. Finished with 10g and 34 pts for the Avs. Sopel however plays a bigger role for the canucks, as he's also on the #1 shutdown pairing, and finished the season with 10g and 42 pts to lead the canucks defense and be our PP QB, and plays just under 6mins a game more than Liles does.

Liles actually is more like a #5 guy for the Avs. Gets PP time, but is actually 6th in icetime on their blueline. Whereas Sopel plays every game on the #1 pairing against the opposition's top lines, and outscored Liles as well.

I'd personally take Sopel and Salo over Liles and Skrastins, but again it is at least close enough that no one's top 4 right now is "much better" than the other's.

3) Malik-Allen vs. Vaananen-Boughner.

again I think it's pretty close, and could go either way. I like Vaananen the best out of these 4. But I'd take Allen and Malik before Boughner. Vaananen did have a tough season last year, as did Allen for Vancouver. Both showed signs of consistent play, but both had their faults. Vaananen however is basically the Avs #4 dman, at least through icetime, while Allen is our #6. Malik, say what you will about him, but he was reliable, playing with Jovo on the 2nd pairing. As useless a stat as +/- is seen as at times, he led the league in it. At worst that shows that he's a dman that doesn't hurt us when he's on the ice most of the time. I don't think you can say the same about Boughner.

Either way, whichever ones you perfer, Malik/Allen combo is at a similar level as Vaananen/Boughner.

Sauer is your depth guy here, and this is where you have an edge IMO. Although in a #7 role I feel totally comfortable with guys like Bieska (who's been playing well this year), or even Baumgartner. Our defense is more durable than the Avs, and I don't think the value of the #7 for the canucks is as much a concern as it would be for the Avs.

Basically, throughout the lineup, from the top scoring line, to the backup goalies, I think you can argue either way with the 2 lineups. As a canuck fan I'm more confident going up against the Avs for a 05/06 season than I was the season prior - of course without knowing what changes can happen between now and the start of next season.

Our lineup continues to get more experiened, and we have no one, other than Linden and May that are really past their primes or well into it. Last season the canucks finally won the division, and we aren't any weaker right now. While Naslund's future is uncertain, so is Forsberg. At least the rest of our core are all at or below 30 still and all signed. Bertuzzi's situation is also a concern, but I don't think it's nearly as big a concern as has been made out many times on these boards.

When you add the finances, no question the canucks are in a better situation. The Avs have more UFAs right now, and still over a $40mill payroll mark. The canucks are all signed, except Naslund, or are RFAs, and will remain RFAs, even if the new CBA lowers it's age by a year. And we're at a good salary level right now - $43mill complete. A rollback and we're set, and one of the bigger buyers on a free agent market. No rollback on a $40mill cap, and we have $3mill to cut, while teams like the Avs are in much more trouble.

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