You beat me to editing, so I'll just put it here - none of this is meant to completely excuse AV of his share of things. He's made some weird choices, and Gillis has done some interesting things, too. That said, we likely only know about 10% of the story on most things that those guys do, so it's tough to really comment on them.
Last year seemed like a combination of factors. Kelser was hurt, Malhotra wasn't super effective, Lapierre spent a stretch with the Sedins, Higgins and Booth had injuries, Raymond's recovery, etc. Also, Salo was really not the same player after his injury, and he was generally something of an anchor for the defensive group. On top of that, at various the whole team just seemed to be out of gas, both mentally and physically.
It really seems like it has been a long while since there hasn't been some major factor disrupting the team from being able to be configured in the way that they're meant to be. Now obviously that's an excuse to some degree, and they should be prepared to deal with injuries and whatnot, since those are just part of reality, but starting with the 2011 finals, this team has really had a long string of pretty disastrous circumstances that also can't be ignored. Obviously you'd hope they'd deal with them better than they have, but sometimes an excuse is also just a reason.
Barker getting the primary and secondary assists on all of Ballards goals. *
@sportsnetmurph: Barker paired with Tanev. Alberts is the odd man out. #canucks
First line - nothing wrong here. Carry on.
Second line - lots of speed, probably our third if everything goes well. No complaints, we're injured.
Third line - say what? I'm rooting for you Ballard, but I'd have a problem with this line as our fourth line with an entirely healthy team. I know we just had like 3 injuries out of no where, but...well remember Bernier-Wellwood-Demitra/Glass? Yeah, like that.
Fourth - whatever, did you see that third line?
D pairings I have no comment on, but picture line three with our third pairing. Weise and Ebbett all the way up, Ballard and Barker both lurking in the circles and Tanev as the sole man back...is it wrong that I'd want to see this line as our 2pp??