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Is it finally time to change up the powerplay?

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Old
02-06-2012, 02:49 AM
  #1
NuxFan09
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Is it finally time to change up the powerplay?

I know, I know, the current first powerplay unit tore it up last season and the Canucks are still 1st in PP% this year (by 0.1%). However, we all know the Sedins have gone cold lately and so has the powerplay in general. Is it feasible that maybe the Canucks could break up the Sedin-Sedin-Kesler combo? I think it is.

First of all, the Sedins obviously should stay together on the first unit. Splitting them up at even strength is one thing but they operate together as the best powerplay duo in the league by far. As far as who plays with them up front, I think it's time the coaching staff rewarded Hodgson for his play during the past month with that spot. It wouldn't just be simply a reward either, I think Hodgson could actually work well there. He has the best skills and powerplay abilities after the Sedins. He's a great passer and he also has a great shot; he's a double threat and opposing teams will learn to respect that. Removing Kesler from that spot means the unit loses a net presence but it gains more skill and quite simply: a different look, which is one of the best remedies when you're struggling.

Moving Kesler to the second unit means the Canucks will have the second unit back that was so successful a couple seasons ago, except now they have additional weapons in Booth and Higgins. Also, a big part of Raymond's 25 goal season that year was his powerplay production on the second unit with Kesler. If Kesler is moved back there maybe the two of them can rekindle that chemistry with the man advantage, which gives the Canucks an extra bonus: a more productive Mason Raymond.

Lastly, I would keep the pointmen on both units the same. Edler and Salo on the first unit makes sense, as one is the team's #1 defenseman and powerplay quarterback and one has the best point shot on the team. I wouldn't mind trying Bieksa with Edler on the first unit from time to time, though. Bieksa in the past has done well on the powerplay with the Sedins. On the 2nd unit, AV has used Burrows on the point along with Hamhuis or Bieksa and that should stay the same.

I guess, basically, it's just one main change I'd make here: Kesler and Hodgson should switch places.

D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Hodgson
Edler - Salo

Booth - Kesler - Raymond
Burrows - Bieksa

^ I like that 2nd unit a lot. You've got the net presence with Booth, which allows Kesler to re-visit his set up role with the man advantage, and you've got Raymond on his off wing ready for one timers and tap ins. I seem to remember him scoring several of those kind of goals during his career year, most of them off Kesler feeds.

Sorry for the long post. Just thought I'd get all my thoughts out in detail. Whatcha guys think?

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02-06-2012, 02:53 AM
  #2
Reverend Mayhem
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I say just make the 2nd unit the 1st unit and let the 1st unit figure it out on their own.

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02-06-2012, 03:02 AM
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12u55
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remove salo add hodgson to the point

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02-06-2012, 03:15 AM
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NuxFan09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12u55 View Post
remove salo add hodgson to the point
Hodgson on the point was something I thought of as well but I get the feeling he operates best on the half wall like Hank. He certainly has the tools to be a pointman on the powerplay, though. Like I said, he's got the bullet of a shot and he's a good playmaker. He's also got the right hand shot.

I don't know, I just kind of like the look of the powerplay units when Kesler is on the 2nd unit. Unless the first unit is absolutely red hot, I actually prefer the double threat over the stacked first unit.

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02-06-2012, 03:22 AM
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denkiteki
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Originally Posted by NuxFan09 View Post
Hodgson on the point was something I thought of as well but I get the feeling he operates best on the half wall like Hank. He certainly has the tools to be a pointman on the powerplay, though. Like I said, he's got the bullet of a shot and he's a good playmaker. He's also got the right hand shot.

I don't know, I just kind of like the look of the powerplay units when Kesler is on the 2nd unit. Unless the first unit is absolutely red hot, I actually prefer the double threat over the stacked first unit.
Could work well except both Hodgson and Sedin like to work the side wall. The idea of Hank setting up Hodgson for his one timer is good but Kesler seems to found his shot again so there isn't a huge upgrade there. Losing the playmaker on the 2nd unit would hurt that unit quite a bit. I actually support the idea of giving the 2nd unit more time and just let the 1st unit figure it out (but NOT in 90s... give the 2nd unit some time to work with...).

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02-06-2012, 03:37 AM
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If you take Kesler off the 1st unit, then who's going to stand in front of the net? PP1 needs that net front presence to draw in defenders and screen the goalie. I don't think any player on that unit would be suited for that position. Although, I wouldn't mind trying booth in that spot if we're bent on making a change; he's scored some dirty goals from there. Otherwise, leave it as is I would say.

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02-06-2012, 03:51 AM
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BoHorvatFan
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Kesler is the only legit net presence this team has. He's the only forward who can handle the abuse of the big defensemen. Our power play is very lucky to have him because it is so perimeter without him.

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02-06-2012, 03:52 AM
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Slapshot_11
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I'd like to see Raymond get some PP time

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02-06-2012, 04:07 AM
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No to Burrows playing the point on the power play! That is one role he isn't suited for.

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02-06-2012, 04:26 AM
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NuxFan09
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Originally Posted by RubberSoul View Post
No to Burrows playing the point on the power play! That is one role he isn't suited for.
What about having Raymond on the point instead?

Booth - Kesler - Burrows
Raymond - Bieksa

^ That just looks like such a great 2nd unit. Also, someone mentioned that the 2nd unit loses its playmaker without Hodgson. I disagree to an extent. Kesler racked up 50 assists a couple years ago. The guy can pass, he just has to get back to that mentality. I mean, scoring 41 goals is going to make you change the way you play, and for good reason. He has a sick shot. I just think he's still capable of being a set-up man and if he could play that role on the 2nd unit then it gives the Canucks a lot more balance than when they load up the 1st unit.

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02-06-2012, 05:11 AM
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serge2k
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How about not sticking a forward on the point at all.

How about they do something besides passing it to the point 10000 times.

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02-06-2012, 06:01 AM
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i don't like having a forward like burrows on the point. he's not a threat to the opposition's pkers. same with raymond. overall i like the idea of switching kesler and cody around. kesler doesnt have to get abused. that could either be booth or higgins job in front of the net.

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02-06-2012, 06:04 AM
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David71
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Originally Posted by 12u55 View Post
remove salo add hodgson to the point
i mentioned that earlier in the cody appreciation thread. hes got a decent slapper/hard wrister. but i prefer him on the 2nd unit on the half-wall. which makes it pretty dangerous. why not have 2 legit pp units. keep the d pairings the same. bieska/hamhuis, edler/salo. but forwards just switch a round and see how it does.

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02-06-2012, 09:09 AM
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ItsAllPartOfThePlan
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Yes. Let us get this PP up to 50%

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02-06-2012, 11:32 AM
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ddawg1950
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Originally Posted by ItsAllPartOfThePlan View Post
Yes. Let us get this PP up to 50%


Never gets old.

But back to reality, I think the recent slump by the Sedins is a factor. The things that used to work, much of it on a near magical level, just hasn't been getting it done. I say, they'll figure it out and the PP will start producing again.

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02-06-2012, 11:35 AM
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Salo is one of the worst power play producers in the league this year. The only reason he's still there is the respect of AV, but I think it's high time they dropped him to the 2nd unit. I know people love Salo -- I do, too -- but he's really not very effective back there.

Salo gets 3 minutes of PP/TOI a game and has 8 points. That's almost impossible with how many goals that unit scores. Hate to say it, but offensively Salo is a bit of a black hole on the first unit right now.

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02-06-2012, 11:43 AM
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Anzes Eyes
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Originally Posted by ddawg1950 View Post


Never gets old.

But back to reality, I think the recent slump by the Sedins is a factor. The things that used to work, much of it on a near magical level, just hasn't been getting it done. I say, they'll figure it out and the PP will start producing again.
Agreed, Remember they have not had a lot of game time PPs since the All Star break. Detroit and Chicago didn't draw many penalties and iced our 1st unit. They just need some more chances to get things going and keep it simple, get shots with some traffic up front.

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02-06-2012, 11:48 AM
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ddawg1950
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Originally Posted by Jonavision View Post
Agreed, Remember they have not had a lot of game time PPs since the All Star break. Detroit and Chicago didn't draw many penalties and iced our 1st unit. They just need some more chances to get things going and keep it simple, get shots with some traffic up front.
You make a point that I think I would like to have made: keep it simple. It's a perfect formula for success to get through this kind of slump. Back to basics.

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02-06-2012, 02:44 PM
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They also need to figure out another way to enter the offensive zone other than the drop pass. Can't live and die by 1 way to get the puck into the zone.

Also, what would help the PP is if the twins got the puck towards the net more for a rebound/deflection by Kesler rather than looking for the perfect shot from Daniel or the point men.

How many times this season has Kesler hand a chance to pounce on a rebound from a shot. Don't need to hammer the puck at the goalie, just need to keep it low so that the goalie takes the shot off his pads and has to kick the puck out to the front of the net and not merely off to the side.

That means the twins when they are on the half wall have to aim for the far pad. Gotta try for the dirty goals. Also, the twins need to learn to move towards the net after they setup the D for a point shot. Need to be quicker at attacking rebounds. Stay on the perimeter too much.

As well, they need to move their feet more Sometimes they are guilty of standing still waiting for the puck to come around to them, which allows the defender to close in and deflect their pass back to the point and are thus able to clear the zone. A stride towards the puck enables the twins to get more on the puck quicker to get it back to the point.

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02-06-2012, 02:55 PM
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A little off topic but man wouldn't it be great if Connauton can make the leap to the NHL while we still have this group of guys for him to play with on the PP? Could be a great PP replacement for when Salo retires.

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02-06-2012, 03:16 PM
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Todds Chiropractory
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I would like to see them try Hodgson and Kesler on the same unit

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02-06-2012, 03:22 PM
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MG needs to replace Ehrhoff's fluid/crafty offensive skilleez via trade somehow on the point. And hope that future player can re-create the chemistry Hoffer had with the top unit for voltron utter redonkulous dominance.

Right handed Pavel Kubina?

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02-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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I agree with the first powerplay unit Sedin-Sedin-Hodgson. I think a second unit with Booth Kesler and Raymond are good.

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02-06-2012, 04:39 PM
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If they were to make a move, I don't see putting Hodgson on the top unit being an effective one. There would be no net presence on the 1st unit and no quarterback for the second. For me it would make much more sense to flip booth or Burrows with Kesler to keep a net presence. Also I feel that the comments about Sal being a black hole offensively are slightly unwarranted. Teams have to keep track of his bomb and as such Edler is given more time and space to move the puck around etc.

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02-06-2012, 05:36 PM
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Ideally we'd...bring back Ehrhoff. To me, the PP has become very 'robotic' and predictable lately. Most of it just feels like pure set plays, and teams have started to really key on the things they know the PP will try to do. Ehrhoff was quite good at throwing little wrinkles in there, and improvising at the blueline. Also lead to some adventures, but his natural offensive instincts and ability to roam really added a dimension that is no longer there. Sure, every so often Edler ventures down to the net front, but again, it's not really a spontaneous changeup like you'd like to see. But *sigh*, that ship has sailed. Unfortunately. :


Working with what is still here, i'm not really convinced that breaking up the Sedins+Kesler unit will really help anything. But if it is going to happen, i'd much rather see Burrows or Booth swapped in there rather than Hodgson. Hodgson operates best when he's anchoring a unit and working the half wall where he can shoot or pass effectively. He's not really suited to net front play, and neither are the Sedins.

It would be somewhat interesting to see Hodgson setting up on the half wall as per usual, but with Kesler playing net front. Maybe get Edler and Salo out there with that group as well. Sort of load up 'Cody's unit', and give them some more opportunities for a while.

I'd also look at revisting Raymond on the point. He's got the speed to retrieve pucks and bring them up ice in a hurry, and has a pretty good knack for gaining the zone. I also recall him being a bit less prone to circling the zone endlessly when he was manning the point, and he actually seems relatively comfortable moving the puck around or getting pucks towards the net when he's up high around the blueline. Hamhuis' PP play has really tailed off IMO, and it wouldn't hurt to swap him out for Raymond and see what we get.

Maybe try a set of units something like:

Hodgson-Kesler-Burrows/Higgins
Edler-Raymond

Sedin-Sedin-Booth
Salo-Bieksa

run the first unit off the LW wall with LH shot one-timers available, as a bit more of an umbrella setup. let Kesler patrol the net front, Hodgson and Edler can play catch on the left side, find seams, and fire pucks on net, Raymond to bring the puck up ice and can leak down the back side for opportunities.

run the second unit off the RW wall where Hank likes to sit, with the RH shot one-timers available. hopefully throwing Booth in there adds a bit of a wrinkle as he's less familiar with the Sedins and might force them to break outside what they're doing a bit more.

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