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Did the Sedins help the West Coast Express line thrive?

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07-16-2014, 09:10 PM
  #1
discordant concord
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Did the Sedins help the West Coast Express line thrive?

How much of Naslund's, Bertuzzi's and to a lessor extent Morrison's success can be attributed to the Sedins?

The Sedins got a bad rap during this era, but were they still effective at taking the pressure off the first line, or was the first line simply that good?

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07-16-2014, 09:28 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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The Sedins didn't break 40 points each until 2003-04, the last (partial) year of the WCE.

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07-16-2014, 09:37 PM
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Hardyvan123
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The WCE was really that good when healthy and the Sedins emergence as PPG guys after the lockout was totally unexpected by almost everyone.

If there had been a thread on these boards in 04 saying that Henrik would win a Hart and that Daniel would follow Hank as the art Ross leader in back to back years people literally would have asked the OP what he was smoking.

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07-16-2014, 10:03 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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the answer is no.

but a lot of us canucks fans would have loved to see either the sedins hitting their prime earlier to provide good secondary scoring for the WCE, or naslund staying elite longer and sticking around to contribute to the sedin/luongo era.

but then again, even though the WCE team would have definitely been more competitive with a second line threat, that team didn't have the goalie, coaching, or depth on D to ever really contend. and really, even if naslund was still a 40 goal force in his mid-30s, that was still before the canucks were really ready to contend. but i guess if i go full-on fantasy scenario and imagine what could have been if naslund had had freakish, gordie howe-like longevity and was still putting up top 5 numbers in his late 30s from demitra's spot in the lineup when the sedins were winning art rosses, kesler was racking up selke noms, and luongo was still a top five guy...

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07-16-2014, 10:12 PM
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JetsAlternate
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The first line was simply dominant. They could skate circles around the opposition, and the chemistry between Naslund, Bertuzzi and Morrison was sublime.

The Sedin line was unimpressive; Daniel only scored 20 goals once in his first four seasons in the NHL. The most assists Henrik could achieve in any given season during that period was 31. In terms of scoring, there were several players who were on par with the Sedins prior to the lockout. In 2002-03, arguably the team's best year during that era, Matt Cooke and Trevor Linden outscored the Sedins. In 2001-02, both Linden and Cooke were again both ahead of Daniel Sedin in scoring, as was Andrew Cassels.

The Sedins were underwhelming. They were slow and had not yet developed even into strong second-line players yet. Their breakout year was the 2005-06 season.

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07-16-2014, 10:44 PM
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SillyRabbit
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The West Coast Express was simply that good.

The Sedins had no effect whatsoever on their success.

In fact, they were below average 2nd liners at the time, and the Canucks were regularly thought of as a "1 line team."

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07-16-2014, 10:55 PM
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Big Phil
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No, the Sedins weren't good enough yet, as others have mentioned. Had they even been 50 point guys those years we may have seen a different Canucks team.

That top line was just dominant, the best in the NHL for a little bit. They could have used some secondary support though, which they didn't have. Or a deeper defense, or someone other than Dan Cloutier in net.........................geez the Canucks were sort of disorganized back then too weren't they?

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07-17-2014, 07:40 PM
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The Sedins weren't even really used as second liners until after the lockout, regularly receiving only about 13-14 minutes of ice time a game. They weren't particularly impressive, but they did score as a decent rate relative to their ice time. But no, the top line was just that good. They took a decent step forward in '03-04, but by that time the top line was already starting to crack as Bertuzzi decided he was a finesse player for the majority of the year and flat out stunk, Moore ended Naslund's run as an elite scorer and Bertuzzi put the final nail on his own coffin as an elite player after attacking Moore. It's a shame the line didn't last a couple more years to overlap with the Sedin breakout, or the Sedins didn't break out a couple years earlier, as it would have given the team a great top six that might have been enough to go on a playoff run, but as other said, defensive depth and goaltending were question marks anyway.

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07-17-2014, 07:57 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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one still wonders though whether crawford having had more faith in the sedins in '02 and especially '03 might have changed anything. if nothing else those two were probably better second pp options than the guys he oftten gave that icetime to.

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07-18-2014, 07:02 PM
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monster_bertuzzi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
No, the Sedins weren't good enough yet, as others have mentioned. Had they even been 50 point guys those years we may have seen a different Canucks team.

That top line was just dominant, the best in the NHL for a little bit. They could have used some secondary support though, which they didn't have. Or a deeper defense, or someone other than Dan Cloutier in net.........................geez the Canucks were sort of disorganized back then too weren't they?
Has anything changed?

That Van team from 2001-2004 had everything, except a competant starting goalie and a #1 C.

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07-18-2014, 07:31 PM
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Not much. Probably close to zero.

Naslund was a superskilled player. Amazing shot, great skater, great stickhandler. Bertuzzi was probably the top powerforward in the game. Morrison was a good two way guy.

The Sedins looked like they were 13 and barely played. It's not like they were taking tough minutes from them.

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07-18-2014, 07:37 PM
  #12
Dolemite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discordant concord View Post
How much of Naslund's, Bertuzzi's and to a lessor extent Morrison's success can be attributed to the Sedins?

The Sedins got a bad rap during this era, but were they still effective at taking the pressure off the first line, or was the first line simply that good?
Both.

Before they became first liners they made a name for themselves by getting better than the previous season.

This is also what the Canucks lack in lines 2-4 right now.

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07-19-2014, 04:30 AM
  #13
The Panther
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I was living in Vancouver during 2001-2004, and saw the Canucks quite a bit. They were a one-line team (as everyone says) with one or two really good defencemen (notably Jovanovski).

This evident weakness in depth, plus Mark Crawford's inexplicable loyalty to Dan Cloutier, sunk them in key moments.

Bertuzzi was like a folk-hero in Vancouver before he steamrolled Steve Moore, and Dan Cloutier was his best friend. (I used to see them sitting together with their wives at downtown sushi restaurants in Van.) I do wonder if Bertuzzi's relationship with Cloutier pushed Crawford into trusting a fairly Junior-A level goalie far too much...?

Anyway, the Sedins were effective puck-cyclers during this period, but that was about it. The fact that they constituted the 2nd-line is why the Canucks could not win.

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07-19-2014, 04:34 AM
  #14
JetsAlternate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
I was living in Vancouver during 2001-2004, and saw the Canucks quite a bit. They were a one-line team (as everyone says) with one or two really good defencemen (notably Jovanovski).

This evident weakness in depth, plus Mark Crawford's inexplicable loyalty to Dan Cloutier, sunk them in key moments.

Bertuzzi was like a folk-hero in Vancouver before he steamrolled Steve Moore, and Dan Cloutier was his best friend. (I used to see them sitting together with their wives at downtown sushi restaurants in Van.) I do wonder if Bertuzzi's relationship with Cloutier pushed Crawford into trusting a fairly Junior-A level goalie far too much...?

Anyway, the Sedins were effective puck-cyclers during this period, but that was about it. The fact that they constituted the 2nd-line is why the Canucks could not win.
In doing some research for another post about Peter Forsberg, I actually dug up a pretty relevant article to corroborate this:
Quote:
Naslund happy to have peers' respect: Wins Lester B. Pearson: [National Edition]
O'Connor, Joe. National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 13 June 2003: S6.

...

But intimidation is not an issue for Naslund. Indeed, his 48 goals -- 12 of those game-winners - - and 104 points, make him the player Vancouver opponents dread.

"If you got an ounce of brains, and Markus Naslund has the puck, I think you are afraid," said Brian Burke, the Canucks' general manager.

"We have only got five players left in Vancouver that I inherited, but thank god I inherited him."

Alas, one thing Burke did not inherit was a blank cheque, and a directive from the Vancouver ownership to go out and sign anyone he wanted. And the absence of depth beneath the Naslund-Bertuzzi- Brendan Morrison troika was evident in the final game of the regular season, when the Canucks collapsed against Los Angeles, letting a division title and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs slip away.

Naslund addressed the crowd following the game and admitted Vancouver had "choked." He also promised that he would not have to use the C-word in the playoffs.

And while the Canucks would rally from 3-1 down to knock off St. Louis in the first round, the Wild did the same to them in the second.

"I don't think we are done yet, I think we are a team that has a chance of winning the Cup, and I truly believe that," Naslund said yesterday. "But we might need to upgrade the scoring a little bit."
Quote:
Works Cited

O'Connor, Joe. "Naslund Happy to have Peers' Respect: Wins Lester B. Pearson." National Post: 0. Jun 13 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

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07-19-2014, 05:31 PM
  #15
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discordant concord View Post
How much of Naslund's, Bertuzzi's and to a lessor extent Morrison's success can be attributed to the Sedins?

The Sedins got a bad rap during this era, but were they still effective at taking the pressure off the first line, or was the first line simply that good?
None. They were still ineffective young players stashed away on a second line on a famously "one line team"

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07-19-2014, 07:58 PM
  #16
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None. They were still ineffective young players stashed away on a second line on a famously "one line team"
Agreed. Though this has always been one of my big ifs. What would that team have done if the Sedins had a much steeper development curve? Even with Burke's eye for goaltending talent and the lack of defensive depth, I could see them making more noise in the playoffs.

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07-19-2014, 08:22 PM
  #17
leftwinglockdown
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The Canucks would have been a pretty scary team if the Sedins became 70pt players while the WCE was still in their prime. The WCE was so good that it masked a lot of holes in the Canucks lineup during that era but the post-season exposed them for what they really were and that was a top heavy team with not much depth.

A one-two punch of the WCE and the 05-06 to 07-08 Sedins would have been pretty dominant. They might have gone a lot further than they really did, even with Cloutier in net.

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07-19-2014, 08:28 PM
  #18
archangel archangel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discordant concord View Post
How much of Naslund's, Bertuzzi's and to a lessor extent Morrison's success can be attributed to the Sedins?

The Sedins got a bad rap during this era, but were they still effective at taking the pressure off the first line, or was the first line simply that good?
ZERO. WCE line was on it's last legs. 05/06 is the only season where you can say the Sedins challanged the WCE line and then it got dismantled

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07-20-2014, 03:22 PM
  #19
vadim sharifijanov
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another what-if about the sedins and WCE failing to match up their primes: you hear about young future stars coming into the league under a superstar/former superstar and progressing faster due to the influence. jagr under mario (and trottier, francis, etc.) is maybe the clearest example. but bourque under park, sakic under stastny and later lafleur, lidstrom had so many guys, larionov helped bure tremendously, etc.

maybe some of the blame for the sedins coming along so slowly needs to fall on naslund and bertuzzi?

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