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One of our forwards playing defence: Is it a viable option?

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02-17-2011, 11:05 AM
  #1
Vanucks
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One of our forwards playing defence: Is it a viable option?

So as we're all aware, our defence is currently looking like a freaking morgue.

Thankfully, some of the guys should be back by the playoffs, so this isn't a long-term concern. However, in the short term, we're in a bad place. Between the salary cap limiting us and the fact that we've now taken every half-decent (and then some) defenceman off of the Moose, it got me thinking: is it time to get creative?

I'm curious what you guys think of this as an idea: having one of our forwards play defence. I'm not talking about the Sedins or anything, but maybe a defensively-sound third of fourth liner. Hansen comes to mind for me... not that he's been bad playing forward lately (in fact, quite the opposite), but I could see him filling in on the back end for a few games. A good skater, he'd just need to keep it simple. Of course, we'd need to call up a forward to replace Hansen, or whoever moved back to defence.

Now, this situation isn't completely unprecedented. Years ago in the playoffs (2004 or 2005, I think?), the Flyers D was completely decimated by injuries, and Sami Kapanen played defence for a few games and did an admirable job.

Playing a guy out of position is something AV has done before, too. Remember when Bieksa took a few games on the wing early last year?

Does anybody think this could work? I wouldn't even consider this unless we were desperate, but I think we're getting to that point right now.

Thoughts?

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02-17-2011, 11:08 AM
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Tiranis
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Good defensive forwards who have no experience playing as defencemen don't make any better defencemen than bad defensive forwards, they're all going to be equally bad at it.

Kapanen, afaik, had experience playing as a defenceman prior to those playoffs.


Last edited by Tiranis: 02-17-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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02-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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Barney Gumble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanucks View Post
Playing a guy out of position is something AV has done before, too. Remember when Bieksa took a few games on the wing early last year?
There's a huge difference from switching from defense to forward vs forward to defense at the NHL level IMHO. Not an option or at least it's behind "dumpster diving" via the waiver wire in terms of alternatives.

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02-17-2011, 11:11 AM
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ItsAllPartOfThePlan
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Get Bam Bam back there.

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02-17-2011, 11:12 AM
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Trolt
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not everyone's a federov.

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02-17-2011, 11:14 AM
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Vanucks
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Alright then, I've been put in my place. Sorry guys..

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02-17-2011, 11:16 AM
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Tiranis
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Originally Posted by Vanucks View Post
Alright then, I've been put in my place. Sorry guys..
It's just not something that's going to help us right now and in a week or two, by the time Hansen has had time to try it out in practice, Ballard or Hamhuis should be back.

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02-17-2011, 11:19 AM
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Barney Gumble
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Alright then, I've been put in my place. Sorry guys..
Basically it's like signing a UBC Thunderbirds goalie to a one-day contract. Something that you'd only do as a last resort - and only for one game (or less).

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02-17-2011, 11:24 AM
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ItsAllPartOfThePlan
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Hasnt Burrows played D for one game under AV?

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02-17-2011, 11:29 AM
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We have some good defensive forwards, Hansen, Kesler Malhotra especially. What they should do is play more of a shutdown role instead of pushing offensively. The transition game from D to forwards is going to be off anyway.

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02-17-2011, 11:30 AM
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Barney Gumble
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We have some good defensive forwards, Hansen, Kesler Malhotra especially. What they should do is play more of a shutdown role instead of pushing offensively. The transition game from D to forwards is going to be off anyway.
Yup - solid team defense will help mask/hide any flaws on the blueline. Might not be exciting to watch but it does work.

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02-17-2011, 12:02 PM
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ttam103
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Take the best back skating bottom six forward and make him a part time D

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02-17-2011, 12:05 PM
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Bucky Katt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsAllPartOfThePlan View Post
Hasnt Burrows played D for one game under AV?
It has been mentioned by Shorthouse & Garrett numerous times during various games that Burrows is the forward that the Canucks would use on defense if necessary. However, that seems to be more of an in-game emergency situation not something they would plan to do from the start of the game.

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02-17-2011, 12:18 PM
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IMO, has to be done. Just look at the minutes:

* Ehrhoff: 30. Can't plan on more than that.
* Salo: 22. 4th game back, no way to give him more, IMO.
* Rome: 22. never played that much in his life.
* Tanev: 22. Max. so far was last game at 18

Leaves you with 24 minutes between Sauve and Oberg, 12 each. Or 24 for Sauve alone. No way.

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02-17-2011, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Outside99 View Post
IMO, has to be done. Just look at the minutes:

* Ehrhoff: 30. Can't plan on more than that.
* Salo: 22. 4th game back, no way to give him more, IMO.
* Rome: 22. never played that much in his life.
* Tanev: 22. Max. so far was last game at 18

Leaves you with 24 minutes between Sauve and Oberg, 12 each. Or 24 for Sauve alone. No way.
I would say the same thing if you want any of our forwards playing defense. No way.

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02-17-2011, 12:45 PM
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Ehrhoff could be taken of the point on PP, Samuelsson already got one spot (Edlers). Raymond could fill in, so that you don't mess with the lines to much. Then Kesler could fill a bigger role on PK, he is great on breakaways.

In the end you would play few D-men on special teams, that is not good but so is the situation too.

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02-17-2011, 01:18 PM
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ZyggZagg
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The answer is no, at least for now. However, I am curious about at what point that changes. How many more defencemen would we have to lose to be forced to have a forward on defence?

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02-17-2011, 02:09 PM
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JonnyCash
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I think Tanner Glass was going to play D last season.

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02-17-2011, 03:12 PM
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VanEric
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The first thing that comes to mind is the All-Star Game where they had Eric Staal mic'd up and he was saying how bad he is at skating backwards.

I think we all just assume that since these guys are in the NHL, they must be good at skating backwards.

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02-17-2011, 05:00 PM
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biturbo19
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it's a stupid idea IMO. think about it like this...

even an incredibly raw defenceman straight out of Juniors has more experience playing on the blueline than our NHL forwards. d-men spend years honing their specific skillsets to play that position, whereas moving an NHL forward back there...they'd have a practice or two at best to refine those skills to an NHL level. not going to happen.

it's the sort of thing you maybe look at as an in-game full-on-panic option if guys go down within a game. and even then as a last-ditch desperation move, it's going to be a disaster even when used sparingly.

this is the NHL...not beer league.

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02-17-2011, 05:15 PM
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Get Samuelsson back there. It will be like power play every time we hit the ice.

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02-17-2011, 08:35 PM
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JuniorNelson
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Since Gillis is in denial, I think we'll see this this season. We are out of Dmen and into the non-callups already.

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02-17-2011, 08:39 PM
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burrows would be good for playing D.

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02-17-2011, 09:11 PM
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Reverend Mayhem
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Better than Aaron Rome. What a mess.

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02-17-2011, 09:36 PM
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BigZ65
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Too bad you guys can't sign Mark Flood.

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