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Some concerns about the Canucks

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12-11-2003, 07:23 PM
  #1
Jon Burke
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Some concerns about the Canucks

1) Nagging injuries. Over the past few seasons, we've been blessed with pretty good health and few "big" injuries. While that hasn't changed this season, there are some concerns. Lindgren, a key member of our penalty killing unit and a solid defensive forward, has not even played. Cooke is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury (according to TSN) and we have seen guys like Naslund, Arvedson, Cloutier and Henrik Sedin be bothered by groin injuries. It is a bit of a concern that Cooke and Lindgren, two of our top defensive players and also very reliable penalty-killers are out with injuries. And these groin pulls are not good either. You can't do much if your groin hurts...

2) Bertuzzi's lack of goal production. Sure, he's getting lots of assists and we're winning games, but Bertuzzi scored 46 goals last season. This year, he's on pace for half of that. That is unacceptable. Bertuzzi is a key part of our offense and our power play, and while he's been piling up the assists, we need 'Big Bert' to be wreaking havoc and scoring lots of goals. And it's not just Bertuzzi who isn't scoring enough, the Sedins have combined for just 4 goals between them. Brad May, who we signed to a lucrative contract (for a player of his abilities), has not even scored. These guys have to step it up.

3) Our pitiful power play. It's unacceptable for a team with the players we have to have a power play that's rated 16th. Bertuzzi has not been as much of a force this season, and shots are forced from the outside. Obviously that's not working too well, so Bertuzzi needs to step it up on the power play as well. He's pretty hard to move and very hard to see around, so I'd like to see himself parking in front of the net, tipping shots and banging in rebounds. The power play has to improve if we're serious about winning.

Thoughts?

 
Old
12-11-2003, 07:28 PM
  #2
deathbear
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i agree.

unfortunately, i dont think much can be done about number 1, and lets face it, injuries havent hurt us nearly as bad as some other teams.

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12-11-2003, 07:32 PM
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Jon Burke
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Originally Posted by deathbear
i agree.

unfortunately, i dont think much can be done about number 1, and lets face it, injuries havent hurt us nearly as bad as some other teams.
Agreed, not too much we can do about injuries, except maybe buy some more bandages...

 
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12-11-2003, 07:41 PM
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may as well thrown in second line scoring there again. As well, quite frankly, I've been pretty disapointed in Arvedson's play. I expected him to produce better offensively. I think he's been giving more than ample time to gel.

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12-12-2003, 02:13 PM
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Wow, I expected a few more replies than this...

 
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12-12-2003, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danrik

[B]2) Bertuzzi's lack of goal production.

Thoughts?

re: bert's goal production: I think Bert has been a major factor in many games thus far and thats what he is to me. An impact player on this team. He does have a lot of assists, because defenders are drawn to him. If we're getting goals from plays that he creates then I dont care really. If 3 defenders converge on him wheeling around the offensive zone, and he passes off to an open teamate for a goal, whats the difference?

I cant really argue with the Sedin line's production. While I walk away from most games thinking they cycled and created chances and stuff, the goals just arent there. Daniel has 3, Henrik has 1. Again, I didnt care one bit when King was burying them, as long as someone was. But now that he's not, they have to be put in by someone.

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12-12-2003, 02:53 PM
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All they need to do is shoot the puck more often. Look what happened in Pittsburgh and Naslund getting a four goal game. It was sickening last night as on the 4 minute powerplay all they did was PASS and then Jovo came up and nailed a wrister and we tied it up. Bertuzzi also shoots way too much into the logo of the goaltender and is the main reason he isn't scoring. He only gets up to play against the big teams just like most of the other players do. A minor trade could help things out just like the schafer/salo and the Carolina deal. If they tried shooting more and less focus on making the highlight reels they would score more and easily have one of the best powerplays again.

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12-12-2003, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by babybruin
re: bert's goal production: I think Bert has been a major factor in many games thus far and thats what he is to me. An impact player on this team. He does have a lot of assists, because defenders are drawn to him. If we're getting goals from plays that he creates then I dont care really. If 3 defenders converge on him wheeling around the offensive zone, and he passes off to an open teamate for a goal, whats the difference?

I cant really argue with the Sedin line's production. While I walk away from most games thinking they cycled and created chances and stuff, the goals just arent there. Daniel has 3, Henrik has 1. Again, I didnt care one bit when King was burying them, as long as someone was. But now that he's not, they have to be put in by someone.
You definitely have a point about Bertuzzi making plays and being a major factor, however, Bertuzzi scored a mere 2 goals in the playoffs last season. He was a factor as he hit MacInnis, injuring him and helping turn the tide of the series in our favor. He was skating hard and throwing hits. You could argue that this is different as Bertuzzi is point-per-game (he wasn't in the playoffs), but I think that the idea is similar. We need our big guns to be scoring goals when we need them. IMO, we've been getting a bit lucky lately, and if guys like Bertuzzi step it up, we could win a lot of games and maybe even win the Cup.

I'll risk a flaming by suggesting that if guys like Bertuzzi, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin don't step it up and begin scoring, we don't have a very good chance of winning the Cup. It's not like we're some defensive juggernaut, so the big guns have to produce.

 
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12-12-2003, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by great_one98
All they need to do is shoot the puck more often. Look what happened in Pittsburgh and Naslund getting a four goal game. It was sickening last night as on the 4 minute powerplay all they did was PASS and then Jovo came up and nailed a wrister and we tied it up. Bertuzzi also shoots way too much into the logo of the goaltender and is the main reason he isn't scoring. He only gets up to play against the big teams just like most of the other players do. A minor trade could help things out just like the schafer/salo and the Carolina deal. If they tried shooting more and less focus on making the highlight reels they would score more and easily have one of the best powerplays again.
I agree, a minor trade like the one we made with the Hurricanes last season could help "stir the pot" and get the power play and the big guns going.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy we're winning, but I think it's a bit concerning when Bertuzzi is on pace for twenty-three goals. It's also a bit concerning that the second line has slowed down significantly after getting off to a sizzling start. Our defensive play has also slipped a bit. We have some concerns that need addressing if we're serious about winning it all.

That's why I think some sort of a small deal would help give these guys a sufficient kick in the rear to start picking it up.

 
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12-12-2003, 09:33 PM
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Morrison's production is up, probably as a result of Bertuzzi. If you watch Bertuzzi, you'll see two or three guys drawn to him every time he pulls his one hand on the stick move. That frees up Morrison and Naslund to pot in pucks. Heck, he could have got into the double digits in goals in the Colorado game if it weren't for Aebischer.

Injuries, well, that's part of the game. The groin injuries can be more easily prevented if guys would STRETCH PROPERLY.

As for the anemic powerplay, the "Mattress" line has cooled off a bit and the 1st unit passes WAY TOO MUCH. They need to get back to putting the puck on net. The pass from behind the goal line to Bertuzzi doesn't work anymore. Crow needs to draw up a new plan.

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12-13-2003, 06:35 AM
  #11
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Analyzing Burtuzzi is a difficult exercise.

He was injured during the playoffs last year. His wrist injury prevented him from shooting the puck. But, is there still a problem? He doesn't seem to be shooting as well as in the past.

You could even say his stick handling looks a bit ragged. Take a look at some of those highlights from his early years with the Canucks. He doesn't seem able to undress defensemen like before. Of course, that's a bit tough when you always have three guys hanging on, plus a stick between your legs.

In the past, he has been more of a bull in a china shop. He has taken the puck and gone straight for the net, causing huge amounts of havoc. I get the feeling he is holding back on the physical play at present. Perhaps he has come to the conclusion that he can't play 82 games at full throttle. Most seasoned veterans learn to pace themselves through the season, leaving something for the playoffs.

In the Colorado game, Bertuzzi was shooting the puck better than he has all season. He was also bulling to the net more. He raised his whole game a notch. Let us hope this is a sign that Bertuzzi has merely been snoozing, and there will be plenty of gas in the tank come the playoffs.

As for trades, this is not the time. Every team his road bumps during the season. Burke can't be making trades at each bump in the road. Let's leave that kind of nonsense to Mad Mike Millbury.

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12-13-2003, 07:41 AM
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The team is winning, and personally that is all that I care about. Of course, it is somewhat disconcerting that many of the things that we, as fans, identified as important for the team to start winning, haven't been happening.

I don't think that Bertuzzi's lack of goals is a problem however. Personally, in the games that i've been able to see (which is admittedly only a quarter of them) he's had a larger impact on the result of the game than ever before. He may not be burying the puck, but he is opening up space for Nassy and Morrison, and leaving them with a lot of time to get the puck off. Bertuzzi, at this point in his career, is becoming a lot like Shaquille O'Neill I think. His presence is going to make those around him look a lot better because he attracts the attention of at least two guys, leaving at least one of his own players open. That's Bertuzzi's real strength right now, I think.

The lack of second line scoring does bother me. The KSS line controls the play, for sure. They cycle brilliantly, move the puck around, and generate chances. As well, I think that the Sedins can be credited for a good percentage of King's goals, as two of them that I have seen have involved the twins passing the puck around the goalie and King just happening to be on the other end of things. That said, they really need to start shooting the puck a lot more, because they do have pretty good shots, and like the adage goes, you can't score if you don't shoot the puck.

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Old
12-13-2003, 02:21 PM
  #13
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Bertuzzi has been a slug. Nazzy is carrying him, if Bert would HUSSEL more often we'd be 1st in the NHL

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12-14-2003, 04:55 AM
  #14
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All I'm gonna whine about is the PP. What a joke.

SIMPLE PLAYS GENTLEMENT. POSSESION IN OFFENSIVE ZONE. POINT SHOT. TRAFFIC.

NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!

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12-14-2003, 06:46 PM
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Secondary Scoring.

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Old
12-15-2003, 09:06 AM
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Bertuzzi's +19 rating, currently second behind Nazzy's +21.
Could it be that his production is dipping because he's backchecking instead of looking for a long-bomb breakaway pass?
I'm okay if he scores 25 goals and goes +40. I figure that's better for our team.

As for the powerplay, those things go in cycles... the Canucks tend to endure a horrible dry spell at least once a year. They do need to simplify things, and once they do, the pucks will start going in.

But as I mentioned in another thread, I'd much rather they struggle now and turn it on in February and March.

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