Final Conclusions for the Preseason...

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Postby tantalum » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:25 am

DavidPratt_ wrote:
MarkMM wrote:- Disappointed and surprised with how Slade turned out.


I was pretty surprised. I heard he was awful. How can a guy with his stats in the WHL and his trip to the Memorial Cup last season be that bad?

dp


The jump from junior to any professional league higher than the ECHL is a big big jump. I think it's an even harder jump for goaltenders.
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Postby Goon2 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:20 am

The worst thing that happened to the team this pre-season was Bobby Clarke.
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Postby Jyrki21 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:53 am

Here are my predictions from Offthepost.net:

I keep thinking they should be around 4th in the division, but then that leads to the obvious question of who will be beneath them. The pundits all say Colorado – I'll believe that when I see it. My own gut feeling is Edmonton, but the Oilers players are always scrappy and seem to care about 10x more than ours.

So that leads me to think we will be the cellar dwellers in the Northwest this year, unfortunately.  :| The upside is that means almost nothing... they'll be about 4 points out of 3rd place.

Here are basically my predictions:

Goal: Luongo is good enough, but Vancouver fans learn the hard way that goaltending, believe it or not, has not generally been the team's problem except in the playoffs. I don't think Luongo has much more in the way of a supporting staff in Vancouver than he did in Florida. Unless he has personally improved by leaps and bounds, he will not be enough to do it on his own.

Whoever shall be the backup will be turned upon by coaches and fans alike (even without Crawford) if he ever gives up more than 2 goals. Our fans have had trouble understanding how limited an effect the backup position actually has in the absence of injury. Maxime Ouellet wasn't that bad last year, he simply never played. But fans had to find a scapegoat for the fact that our forwards couldn't backcheck and our special teams were embarrassing.

Defense: I actually think this, and not the forwards, will prove to be the Achilles' heel this year, as it often has been for many teams. Mitchell is a solid pickup, but he's not multi-dimensional. Öhlund and Salo are outstanding, but both are injury prone, and Salo hasn't healed completely from last season, which means the risk of aggravation is great.

The rest of the defense is thinner than last season and, well, we all know how that turned out. While I probably wouldn't have signed Nolan Baumgartner to $1.2 million either, he's a better player than he's given credit for around here. The Canucks desperately miss Marek Malik – players like him were invaluable during the team's best seasons.

I agree with [OTP User Cannots] Luvah about Krajicek – I think the fans turn on him by December.

Offense: Offense to me is more about coaching and asset-managing than anything else. Basically every player in the NHL has some offensive talent. If El Viño wants to accelerate Ryan Kesler's development and make him a 50-point scorer this season, he absolutely could. It's just a matter of rejigging the ice time, and that would come at the expense of a guy like Markus Näslund. I don't know tons about El Viño's coaching style, but I'm not yet convinced based on his comments and line combinations in the avant-season thus far that he's necessarily that good at recognizing the economic reality of opportunity cost and how it works.

I think Näslund will not top 75 points, unfortunately (unless maybe he plays the whole season with the Sedins). He just doesn't have the supporting cast he once did. I expect one of the Sedins to lead the team in scoring. If Kesler, Cooke or Bulis are given a real shot, they can all produce. I don't know they'll be given the shot, though.

Special Teams: In the 36 years Vancouver has had an NHL team, the special teams – both of them – have been relatively atrocious in all but about 3 of them. You know where I'm going with this. :) NHL hockey post 2005 is about one thing, and one thing only: special teams. It is more important than any facet of the game now, including goaltending.

Outlook: I know this comes off sounding bleak, but I actually don't necessarily mean it to. As fans of a single team, we lose sight of the fact our team is not alone in having a lot of holes, because it's a given in the salary capped era. Sure, we suck. But so does everybody else. People will deride the Canucks as a one-line team, but it's going to be hard to find many two- or three-line teams in the NHL anymore! (And that comes back down to coaching, too. El Viño can choose whether or not he wants the Canucks to be a one-line team... Crawford always made the wrong choice in this respect, due to his celebrated favorites-playing).

When you consider injuries, acquisitions, and other unexpected twists, there actually is the potential for anything to happen in Vancouver. Everyone picked the Sabres and Hurricanes to miss the playoffs last season too, and on paper those teams weren't a ton better off than Vancouver is now – it's impossible to be in a cap era.

So I'm guessing as high as 6th in the conference, as low as dead last. It's so hard to tell.
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Postby Cookie La Rue » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:08 am

So I'm guessing as high as 6th in the conference, as low as dead last. It's so hard to tell.

So let's hope the best...Go Canucks Go, i'm in......again.

ps: and to make sure i'm not going to leave if we're doing the unfortunate.
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Postby MarkMM » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:13 am

Jyrki21 wrote:Here are my predictions from Offthepost.net:

I keep thinking they should be around 4th in the division, but then that leads to the obvious question of who will be beneath them. The pundits all say Colorado – I'll believe that when I see it. My own gut feeling is Edmonton, but the Oilers players are always scrappy and seem to care about 10x more than ours.

So that leads me to think we will be the cellar dwellers in the Northwest this year, unfortunately.  :| The upside is that means almost nothing... they'll be about 4 points out of 3rd place.

Here are basically my predictions:

Goal: Luongo is good enough, but Vancouver fans learn the hard way that goaltending, believe it or not, has not generally been the team's problem except in the playoffs. I don't think Luongo has much more in the way of a supporting staff in Vancouver than he did in Florida. Unless he has personally improved by leaps and bounds, he will not be enough to do it on his own.

Whoever shall be the backup will be turned upon by coaches and fans alike (even without Crawford) if he ever gives up more than 2 goals. Our fans have had trouble understanding how limited an effect the backup position actually has in the absence of injury. Maxime Ouellet wasn't that bad last year, he simply never played. But fans had to find a scapegoat for the fact that our forwards couldn't backcheck and our special teams were embarrassing.

Defense: I actually think this, and not the forwards, will prove to be the Achilles' heel this year, as it often has been for many teams. Mitchell is a solid pickup, but he's not multi-dimensional. Öhlund and Salo are outstanding, but both are injury prone, and Salo hasn't healed completely from last season, which means the risk of aggravation is great.

The rest of the defense is thinner than last season and, well, we all know how that turned out. While I probably wouldn't have signed Nolan Baumgartner to $1.2 million either, he's a better player than he's given credit for around here. The Canucks desperately miss Marek Malik – players like him were invaluable during the team's best seasons.

I agree with [OTP User Cannots] Luvah about Krajicek – I think the fans turn on him by December.

Offense: Offense to me is more about coaching and asset-managing than anything else. Basically every player in the NHL has some offensive talent. If El Viño wants to accelerate Ryan Kesler's development and make him a 50-point scorer this season, he absolutely could. It's just a matter of rejigging the ice time, and that would come at the expense of a guy like Markus Näslund. I don't know tons about El Viño's coaching style, but I'm not yet convinced based on his comments and line combinations in the avant-season thus far that he's necessarily that good at recognizing the economic reality of opportunity cost and how it works.

I think Näslund will not top 75 points, unfortunately (unless maybe he plays the whole season with the Sedins). He just doesn't have the supporting cast he once did. I expect one of the Sedins to lead the team in scoring. If Kesler, Cooke or Bulis are given a real shot, they can all produce. I don't know they'll be given the shot, though.

Special Teams: In the 36 years Vancouver has had an NHL team, the special teams – both of them – have been relatively atrocious in all but about 3 of them. You know where I'm going with this. :) NHL hockey post 2005 is about one thing, and one thing only: special teams. It is more important than any facet of the game now, including goaltending.

Outlook: I know this comes off sounding bleak, but I actually don't necessarily mean it to. As fans of a single team, we lose sight of the fact our team is not alone in having a lot of holes, because it's a given in the salary capped era. Sure, we suck. But so does everybody else. People will deride the Canucks as a one-line team, but it's going to be hard to find many two- or three-line teams in the NHL anymore! (And that comes back down to coaching, too. El Viño can choose whether or not he wants the Canucks to be a one-line team... Crawford always made the wrong choice in this respect, due to his celebrated favorites-playing).

When you consider injuries, acquisitions, and other unexpected twists, there actually is the potential for anything to happen in Vancouver. Everyone picked the Sabres and Hurricanes to miss the playoffs last season too, and on paper those teams weren't a ton better off than Vancouver is now – it's impossible to be in a cap era.

So I'm guessing as high as 6th in the conference, as low as dead last. It's so hard to tell.


Good points, only thoughts I have are regarding coaching and speacial teams. I don't think we've really had a fair chance to evaluate Vigneault, he's new dealing with huge player turnover, so my take on the pre-season was that he was really just playing around, trying to get a feel for his players, and not seriously putting together comprehensive line-ups.

Also, I think special teams is something Nonis put special attention on this past year. He's dropped guys who put us in the box a lot, Ruutu, Jovo, etc., while picking up guys who can kill penalties when we do get them, Chouinard, Mitchell. We hurt something awful a lot on special teams (and had to take some penalties as well) because of our lost face-offs, he's moved on guys like Santala and Chouinard. Losing Jovo hurts the power-play, but picking up Krajicek helps, Bourdon might earn some time there, and Salo and Ohlund are keepers. Naslund and the Sedins seem to work very well on a power-play position, and like you said, it will be a test of Vigneault's coaching ability to find us a second unit.

I do think Kesler, Bulis and Cooke will get every chance to show they have upside...because we need them to.
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Postby *CanucksForLife* » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:11 pm

Cookie La Rue wrote:
WCE wrote:
westvandal wrote:I fucking hate the canucks, they're all fags.


:lol:

I missed this gem my first time reading through the thread.

Wow, interesting point of view. :lol:


I actually missed it too. ;D
I Hart Luongo.
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Postby tuzzi44 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:20 pm

*CanucksForLife* wrote:
Cookie La Rue wrote:
WCE wrote:
westvandal wrote:I fucking hate the canucks, they're all fags.


:lol:

I missed this gem my first time reading through the thread.

Wow, interesting point of view. :lol:


I actually missed it too. ;D


I didnt miss it.... I just have a tendancy to ignore idiots... 8-)
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Postby westvandal » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:27 pm

westvandal wrote:I fucking hate the canucks, they're all fags.



woah!

that wasn't me.
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Postby Meerschaum » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:18 pm

westvandal wrote:
westvandal wrote:I fucking hate the canucks, they're all fags.



woah!

that wasn't me.


Sure, sure, Buddy. You didn't kill your wife.

The fingerprints on the gun were somehow planted there by an evil criminal genius out to screw you.

Now, come along quietly to the station. Maybe if you cooperate with the D.A., you can avoid the death penalty . . .
Modo vincis, modo vinceris.
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Postby Sid Dithers » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:38 pm

Training camp didn't solve much, quite honestly. The players we thought were question marks going in (Pyatt, Chouinard, Bourdon, Santala, Schultz, Reid, Flaherty, Krajicek, Rypien) are still question marks, with the possible exception of Schultz, who has probably sealed his own fate with the Canucks. I quite honestly don't know what we can reasonably expect out of any of these guys this year.
Going forward, this doesn't look good. I think it could be a very tough first half of the season, followed by a much-improved second half. But overall, it looks like a team that is going to be hard-pressed to make the playoffs. Lets face it, the minmum you need to be a decent team is:
1. 6 quality forwards. The Canucks have 4, and that may even be three, seeing how Morrison has struggled and doesn't look good at this point.
2. 4 quality defensemen. The Canucks have 3 and a bunch of question marks. DN and AV were obviously hoping someone would emerge as a #4, but frankly, nobody has yet.
3. A quality back-up. Flats was inconsistent at best in the pre-season.

My question is: How can you be up against the cap, yet still be missing these bare necessities? And the above assessment doesn't even allow for injuries. If a key guy or two go down during the year, the team is headed for near the cellar of the Western Conference.
On the upside, the Sedins look fantastic, but they are going to need a lot of help. Hansen looks like a longshot who may pay dividends, and soon. Luongo looks like he may be the real deal, but then he was in FLA , too. Kesler looks like he may be able to bridge the gap in hockey value between the $900,000 and the $1.9 that he got. Its nice to see at least one guy who looks capable of meeting the challenge head-on.
Its up to AV to hold these guys accountable every night. This team has not much room for error, and I think he knows that.
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