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Changing of Styles Since the Cup Run

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Old
03-18-2013, 11:42 PM
  #1
Royal Canuck
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Changing of Styles Since the Cup Run

This topic came up in the Canucks vs. Wild GDT, thought it deserved it's own thread.

Since we lost that horrid Game 7 against the Bruins, the past 2 years have consisted of the same question, are we tough enough? and a lot of people said, "We need more toughness". We totally changed our style from a high-octane offense consisting of the guys like Ehrhoff, Samuelsson, and of course the core we have now in the Twins and Kesler, but it was also the smaller role guys like Torres and Malhotra that really completed that team and made us cup contenders.

After that loss, we get rid of Ehrhoff, because hey, we got Salo, a lot cheaper and does the same sort of thing, (but of course less effectively). 2012 roles by, and we still add size and grit in trading Hodgson for Kassian, adding guys like Weise, Booth and Pahlsson to increase our grit and size. We get our "revenge" on Boston, winning 4-2 in TD Garden, but we we're never the same after that game. We get knocked out in the 1st round by the eventual cup champs. 2 straight presidents trophies for nothing.

Now, we find ourselves in 7th in the conference. Salo is gone, Garrison is in to replace him, we've added Sestito, Ebbett and Lain to again "Increase our size". Our whole mentality has changed and it's not working. Who cares if we get knocked over a lot, who cares if we get pushed around a little bit, we won games. We we're one win away from the cup. Guys like Torres and Lappiere in 2011 presented that toughness rather well and I think we blew it up a bit too much.

All those pieces are gone. Samuelsson, Hodgson, Ehrhoff, Salo, all gone. All had great offensive talent, but we threw them away for bigger and stronger guys. You could even go back to Michael Grabner getting dealt, which we got Ballard in return for, who hasn't done a whole lot for us.

The sad part is, there is no going back. We can't just go back to the style we had in 2011, the explosiveness of our team is gone, the electricity nowhere to be found. And I don't think we will ever see a team like that for a while now.

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Old
03-18-2013, 11:44 PM
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NugentHopkinsfan
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I miss the days when Gillis wanted us to be the Red Wings, smooth transition, great special teams, skill above all else, puck possession with limited turnovers. Sure we weren't the perfect team because he failed to bring in better support but it was a style that suited us a lot better.

We are bad in every one of the areas right now. And these ''tough'' guys we have are a joke.

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03-18-2013, 11:44 PM
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roach9
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I think you're right.
I think I can safely say I savoured all I could from our time as an elite NHL franchise.

Now, it's a matter of management recognizing this and SELLING for assets, or indefinitely hanging out around the 7-11th position in our conference, year after year.


Sad state this franchise is in, sad state.

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03-18-2013, 11:48 PM
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Lucbourdon
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It was a complete mess and a overreaction to the boston series.

We had a high flying puck moving offensive team, Now we are scared, and play this fake bruins style.

Bad trades (hodgson/grabner), bad non signings (ehrhoff).

It's just a complete and utter mess

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03-18-2013, 11:48 PM
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monster_bertuzzi
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Worst thing Gillis could have done was change the style, and it will lead his own demise. Watch what Mike johnson had to say about us at trade deadline 2012, and he was spot on. It's always the ex players that know what is up.

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03-18-2013, 11:48 PM
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Royal Canuck
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Just watch the 2011 Run highlights and compare them to the last 20 games of highlights.

Two different teams going two different directions.

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03-18-2013, 11:49 PM
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timw33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_bertuzzi View Post
Worst thing Gillis could have done was change the style, and it will lead his own demise. Watch what Mike johnson had to say about us at trade deadline 2012, and he was spot on. It's always the ex players that know what is up.
What did Johnson say again?

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03-18-2013, 11:49 PM
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Ill just copy and paste the post I made in the gdt.

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IMO the biggest mistake the canucks ever made was change from a high dynamic offensive puck moving team and started to get "tough" because of what boston did.

Guys like ehrhoff,Hodgson,grabner should never have been let go (trade/sign).

people forget we had guys like michael samuelson potting like 25+ goals for us, we had guys like torres on our third line.

This team changed it's identity and ****ed up every since.

I blame gillis and the media pressure.

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03-18-2013, 11:49 PM
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No.... we need MOAR TUFFNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
















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03-18-2013, 11:50 PM
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BrandonL
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I also think this argument is bang on.

Can anyone tell me the last time the Canucks added a dynamic offensive player, either through trade or free agency? Probably Demitra who was at the end of his career.

Both Gillis and AV deserve equal blame. AV for coaching a rigid system that prefers grinders over skilled players. Gillis for allowing this garbage to continue.

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03-18-2013, 11:53 PM
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timw33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Canuck View Post
Just watch the 2011 Run highlights and compare them to the last 20 games of highlights.

Two different teams going two different directions.
Watch the reel of all the goals we scored in 10-11 and watch how huge a season Kesler had and how involved Ehrhoff was.

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03-18-2013, 11:54 PM
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What did Johnson say again?
That we became the best team in the league by out skilling everyone else, and that one series against one Eastern team shouldn't have changed that. So in other words he hated the Hodgson trade for us an the direction Gillis was taking the team...so did I.

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03-18-2013, 11:55 PM
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I also think this argument is bang on.

Can anyone tell me the last time the Canucks added a dynamic offensive player, either through trade or free agency? Probably Demitra who was at the end of his career.

Both Gillis and AV deserve equal blame. AV for coaching a rigid system that prefers grinders over skilled players. Gillis for allowing this garbage to continue.
AV coaches what he is given. When he had talent, we were the top scoring team in the league.

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03-18-2013, 11:56 PM
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Royal Canuck
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We lost our focus on the prize and focused more on being more of a bully than the Bruins.

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03-18-2013, 11:56 PM
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The biggest reason for this teams decline is Ballard and Booth taking up so much salary but not making this team better. Ballard 1 point in 26 games. Booth 1 goal in 12 games.

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03-18-2013, 11:57 PM
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We had a bad start last year too, but had enough race track (games remaining) to turn it around and win the PT. We're just having another bad start.

Quote:
All those pieces are gone. Samuelsson, Hodgson, Ehrhoff, Salo, all gone. All had great offensive talent, but we threw them away for bigger and stronger guys. You could even go back to Michael Grabner getting dealt, which we got Ballard in return for, who hasn't done a whole lot for us.
Samuelsson went down early in the 2011 playoffs and wasn't a factor in the run.

Hodgson is taking advantage of weak depth at C in Buffalo to rack up what would be undeserved ice time on a deeper team. He may be close to point per game in an offense-minded Eastern Conference, but he's terrible defensively and wouldn't fit in here.

Ehrhoff, yeah he racked up points on the PP, but was average at best, often mediocre defensively. He had a pretty terrible series against Chicago in 2010, which not a lot of people noticed because they were too busy complaining about Bieksa. Reality check guys, there are reasons that Buffalo isn't going anywhere with him as #1 D and Hodgson as #1C.

Salo is just getting too old, and was way too fragile. When could you count on that guy to be in the line-up on a consistent basis?

Torres, probably the guy I miss the most out of the bunch. An energy guy who could chip in the odd timely goal.

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03-18-2013, 11:58 PM
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I don't disagree that the Canucks have changed their styles, but the one thing I will take umbridge with is Ehrhoff; I don't think it's as simple as us allowing him to walk because we wanted to cultivate a shift in style. Far from it - the Canucks actively engaged in contract extension talks with Ehrhoff and wanted to retain him.

From all reports, the Canucks offered him a similar dollar figure to what they gave Bieksa - I can't remember the exact terms of the deal, but the cap hit proposed was higher than he ended up getting from Buffalo, IIRC.

I think it was determined at the time that what Ehrhoff was looking for wasn't so much the dollars as it was the tenure, hence his 10-year, front-loaded deal with Buffalo. Given the Canucks' reluctance to sign long term deals in general - and the obstacle in hindsight that Luongo's is proving to be - it forced their hand when it came to that. Did we really want to give that term and money to Ehrhoff, when we'd refused it to, say, the Twins?

So I think the loss of Ehrhoff really had nothing to do with changing styles, but rather disrupting the salary dynamic of the team.

I think the best example - and one that the jury is ultimately still out on - of this change was the Hodgson-for-Kassian deal. Right now, the early return is tough to swallow. Hodgson is a near point a game player in Buffalo (defensive issues or not, I'd love that offense on our team right now) whereas Kassian is battling both consistency and health issues. That trade significantly sapped our secondary scoring last year, and really doesn't strike me as a deal that a contending team makes - it may ultimately prove better for our future, as Kassian has a ton of potential, but it set back this current team's chances of contending for the cup right this moment, IMO.

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03-18-2013, 11:59 PM
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monster_bertuzzi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer79 View Post
We had a bad start last year too, but had enough race track (games remaining) to turn it around and win the PT. We're just having another bad start.



Samuelsson went down early in the 2011 playoffs and wasn't a factor in the run.

Hodgson is taking advantage of weak depth at C in Buffalo to rack up what would be undeserved ice time on a deeper team. He's terrible defensively, and wouldn't fit in here.

Ehrhoff, yeah he racked up points on the PP, but was average at best, often mediocre defensively. He had a pretty terrible series against Chicago in 2010, which not a lot of people noticed because they were too busy complaining about Bieksa. Reality check guys, there are reasons that Buffalo isn't going anywhere with him as #1 D and Hodgson as #1C.

Salo is just getting too old, and was way too fragile. When could you count on that guy to be in the line-up on a consistent basis?

Torres, probably the guy I miss the most out of the bunch. An energy guy who could chip in the odd timely goal.
Here we go again with the defenive hockey. You're clearly missing the meaning of this thread.

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03-18-2013, 11:59 PM
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Royal Canuck
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The biggest reason for this teams decline is Ballard and Booth taking up so much salary but not making this team better. Ballard 1 point in 26 games. Booth 1 goal in 12 games.
Booth was a gamble, Ballard we got for Grabner, who is an offensive player that we could use right now, and he would really play well in the 2011 system. Fast, shifty, good shot.

And yes, I'd rather spend that $8.4M on something else, but that was GMMG's decision to gamble on both Ballard and Booth. He knew when he aqquired Booth that he had a history of injuries and he knew that Ballard had defensive problems, but he rolled the dice and he came up empty.

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03-19-2013, 12:00 AM
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AV coaches what he is given. When he had talent, we were the top scoring team in the league.
I don't accept that argument at all.

AV has always been a huge advocate for defensively responsible grinders on the bottom two lines, from his infatuation with a "shut down line" to insisting that guys on the 4th line can also kill penalties.

This team has been built for the purpose of being able to compete within the system he has designed.

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03-19-2013, 12:02 AM
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Don't really see the personnel as the main driver behind the change in style. The long pass that got us our great scoring by forcing teams on their heels simply is not viable anymore. In 09-10 and 10-11 we could break out with that long pass for most of the game, with few exceptions. Now, we're lucky if we can successfully complete it once a game and the rest of the time a standing forward is chipping it in.

We went through the 10-11 season and absolutely destroyed everyone in the league. It's foolish to think that teams wouldn't eventually catch on and they did. When you're that type of a team you have to keep pushing the envelope, rather than sit back and hope things magically click back into place.

The loose standards on what consitutes interference have also impacted the viability of our transition game. People are pining for a style of hockey that this team (or any team) simply can't employ for the foreseeable future (not that it's stopping AV from trying).


Last edited by Tiranis: 03-19-2013 at 12:15 AM.
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Old
03-19-2013, 12:03 AM
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Royal Canuck
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And yes, I'm still skeptical of the Hodgson trade.

At the time, it made sense, Cody had nowhere to go, but Kesler has played 8 games this year, we could really use him now.

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03-19-2013, 12:03 AM
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It's funny because we won the last game we played against Boston. And not because we were tougher than them, but because someone actually labelled a slapshot into the top corner past an elite goalie. And then we traded him for a "tougher guy".

I do think we should make some kind of shake up move lest we end up like the Flames and watch the team get worse and worse, year after year but excusing it all with "but we went to the cup final not too long ago..."

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03-19-2013, 12:05 AM
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Here is a reel of every goal we scored in 2010-2011:


Last edited by Tiranis: 03-19-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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03-19-2013, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_bertuzzi View Post
That we became the best team in the league by out skilling everyone else, and that one series against one Eastern team shouldn't have changed that. So in other words he hated the Hodgson trade for us an the direction Gillis was taking the team...so did I.
I actually like the forward group quite a lot better as a playoff unit. The problem is the defense is just dreadful.

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