Watching Bourdon Skate - Not What I Wanted To See

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Watching Bourdon Skate - Not What I Wanted To See

Postby WCE » Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:27 pm

From having watched him at a few practices, and now a pre-season game I will stand behind my opinion that Bourdon still has not completely recoverd from his ankle injury. His skating motions when turning with speed are not fluid; he is very choppy, and it is very noticable.

Right now with where he is in his development, I don't think it is wise to keep him up at the NHL level with such a handicap. It is hard enough for a 19/20 year old d-man to break into the leauge. Trying to do it with that sort of injury is not going to be successful venture, IMO.

I can't see it doing anything but hurting his overall development.

Bad news, but reality from what I can tell. And this is coming from a very big Bourdon fan, and someone who thought that he was going to be able to come in and establish himself very early in his career.

More rehab, healing time, playing dominant minutes in the Q and at the WJC is a much better route to go at this point.
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Postby Jyrki21 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:31 pm

After so much promise in last year's preseason, I remember thinking, "FINALLY, the Canucks have their first draft pick since Pavel Bure (or Öhlund, I suppose) who can be an impact player right away." Apparently not, from what I've been reading... :(
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Postby levelheaded » Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:08 pm

Jyrki21 wrote:After so much promise in last year's preseason, I remember thinking, "FINALLY, the Canucks have their first draft pick since Pavel Bure (or Öhlund, I suppose) who can be an impact player right away." Apparently not, from what I've been reading... :(


I actually thought Bourdon could step in last year, more so then this year even. He has a ton of talent, and I expect he'll be a top tier defender 10 years down the road. For now, I don't feel like pushing him. He is obviously having problems dealing with the mental aspect and the pressure of the NHL. One more year of growth and development with Moncton won't hurt him one bit. He needs to calm down and be completely ready to step in. He puts too much pressure on himself, and it's hurting his chances of making the team. Sometimes stepping in right away isn't a good thing, and I think Bourdon would be a prime example of that.
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Postby gobi » Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:45 pm

Yeah, it sounds like Bourdon isn't ready yet. Trying very hard not to make mistakes which only cause him to make even him or try to do too much to impress the coach. I think one more year in WHL will help.

On the other hand, I heard AV is really high on Coulombe. Very good positionally, rushes well, and good with the puck. He sounds more NHL ready than Bourdon. I wonder if he is the dark horse to make the team.
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Postby tantalum » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:58 am

Wouldn't surpise me at all if Bourdon was not fully recovered. It was one serious break and I think it is probably very similar to a knee injury: 18 months to full recovery. Really he just had pins removed a few months ago and when he came back to play the last bit of playoffs and the memorial cup he was not even near 100 %. He was playing in quite a bit of pain and many suggested at best he was 70%.
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Postby the Cunning Linguist » Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:49 am

That's a real shame about Bourdon. But if they send him back to the juniors, he'll no longer be available to the team unless it's because of injuries, right?
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Postby rikster » Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:58 am

If Bourdon's problems are because his ankle is not 100% healed, keep him in Vancouver...

If he is struggling with the mental game, keep him in Vancouver to be tutored by Ohlund and Mitchell rather than whoever in the Q...

If he is adjusting to the speed of the NHL game, keep him in Vancouver...

If he doesn't have the skill sets to play in the NHL, send him back to the juniors...

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Postby WCE » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:08 am

rikster wrote:If Bourdon's problems are because his ankle is not 100% healed, keep him in Vancouver...


It's still more than a few months away from being fully healed. Why keep him up here where that injury is going to destroy his confidence?

He will be taking shortcuts and not growing in his development.

If he is struggling with the mental game, keep him in Vancouver to be tutored by Ohlund and Mitchell rather than whoever in the Q...


That's fine to say that a few vetrans will be able to get him through the rough times. But it is a very rough time for the vast majority of young d-man. This situation is compounded by the fact that a serious injury is preventing Bourdon from using one of his best assets. Unless Ohlund and Mitchell know how to heal his ankle quicker, I don't see what they have to do with the equation.

If he is adjusting to the speed of the NHL game, keep him in Vancouver...


He does not have the chance to adjust as long as his injury prevents him from skating properly.

If he doesn't have the skill sets to play in the NHL, send him back to the juniors...

Take care...


I think for Bourdon it is more a case of:

If he doesn't have the capablity to use his skill sets, send him back to the juniors.
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Postby jchockey » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:23 am

Bourdon isn't 100%, but he's still a helluva better skater than that stump Marc Chouinard.

This idea may be a bit farfetched, but considering I have not yet seen a Canucks game or know how Bourdon's injury is right now, why not keep him on the roster and come February 16 (his 20th birthday) send him to the Moose?

Keep Bourdon on a leash and let him play every third game or so with Coloumbe subbing in here and there. But make sure Bourdon doesn't go over the rookie GP limit - you just never know what's going to happen. Ohlund was a Calder finalist in his rookie season.
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Postby tantalum » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:12 am

The problem I see is that because of his decreased skating ability and the things that go with it, he could put himself into situations where he is going to come out on the losing side and perhaps get another severe injury. It could happen in the Q as well but it is less likely with guys 40-50 pounds lighter and much slower. If the honest assessment is that he will not endanger himself because of the injury then if he's good enough to make the team he makes it.

But I think the canucks have to be sure on this. Bourdon is the future of the franchise on the blueline and you don't screw around with that.
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Postby Grizzly » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:15 am

One of the problems I see is that Vancouvers roster on D isn't all that deep ... if Bourdon is assigned to the minors because he isn't ready ... who have we got that can step in and play now ... and ... would that player be adequate or offer more than what Bourdon can now ? If we don't have anyone would it just be better then to keep Bourdon around under the care of Ohlund (as noted by Rikster) ... I would think also that the rehab facilities and training etc. would be better at the NHL level too where they could keep a closer eye on him.

I haven't seen him play yet so I am not commenting on a right or wrong decision here ... just discussion ... I guess I am probably more disappointed in hearing he isn't ready ... was looking forward to see him playing.

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Postby Fred » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:18 am

watching Bourdon against the Ducks last night what struck me was the fact he was frequently out of position and often chased his opposition/puck around his zone. Does he have a bad ankle I really don't know and unless your on the training staff not likely to know either. But does he run around a lot ... deffinitley

One thing that was evident in a defensive line that included Salo, Ohlund and Mitchell it looked very susceptible, only Bieska was missing. There is a problem there
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Postby tantalum » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:47 am

Grizzly wrote:One of the problems I see is that Vancouvers roster on D isn't all that deep ... if Bourdon is assigned to the minors because he isn't ready ... who have we got that can step in and play now ... and ... would that player be adequate or offer more than what Bourdon can now ? If we don't have anyone would it just be better then to keep Bourdon around under the care of Ohlund (as noted by Rikster) ... I would think also that the rehab facilities and training etc. would be better at the NHL level too where they could keep a closer eye on him.

I haven't seen him play yet so I am not commenting on a right or wrong decision here ... just discussion ... I guess I am probably more disappointed in hearing he isn't ready ... was looking forward to see him playing.

Grizz


If Bourdon isn't ready he gets sent to the Q I believe. And because he is there his $1.3 mil cap hit (850k + potential bonuses) is free to go elsewhere. No doubt Nonis would have to acquire someone to fill in the gap on the top 6. But the money should be there to do it if Bourdon is gone.

But perhaps a lot o fhis problems is simply the same problems others are having right now...adjusting to a new system.
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Postby rikster » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:54 am

One thing that was evident in a defensive line that included Salo, Ohlund and Mitchell it looked very susceptible, only Bieska was missing


I don't think that once the regular season starts you will find a stat sheet with Mitchell getting less ice time than Bourdon and Krajicek got...

To compare, Robin Reghr and Dion Phaneuf each played over 30 minutes against the Nucks in their meeting...

When the regular season starts, the big 3 will take up most of the ice time with maybe Bieska right up there as well...

Bourdon had almost 20 minutes of ice time last night, interestingly he was a plus 1 on the night while Ohlund was a minus 2....

I see Bourdon eased into the season and his ice time monitored closely, especially if he is still nursing a bad ankle...

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Postby Meerschaum » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:16 pm

I've been concerned about Luc being beaten on the outside a number of times in the pre-season - but I haven't been able to get a handle on whether it's his skating or just his positioning. I'm thinking it's a little of both.

On a number of plays he's clearly taken himself out of position looking for the hit - which is something that only experience at the NHL-level will change. Even Pharneuf (who was older and considerably more experienced than Luc coming into the NHL) was guilty of that quite a bit last season.

Also, Bourdon's miscues have been intentionally magnified by his playing time these first few pre-season games. As a 5/6 (or even 7), he'll be seeing a lot less ice time and a lot fewer top offensive players.

But, I agree with WCE that Luc's gait certainly hasn't been as fluid as I remembered from the pre-season last year or from the WJHC games I saw him play in. It's not dissimilar to what we saw from him in the Memorial Cup - when he was obviously less than 100%. It wouldn't really be that surprising if his injury from last season is still hampering his play, considering the magnitude of what the guy faced. He's actually lucky to still be playing.

If his struggles are mainly positioning - I'd say keep him around the big club. Because playing against juniors in the Q isn't gonna help him adjust the the speed of the NHL.

If it's actually a health issue - however - it's probably best that Luc heal up in junior. As he's less likely to compound the damned thing playing against teen-agers.
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