Bitz Recalled

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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby donlever » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:21 pm

You mean here?

...the winning, treat the players well and with respect kind of market?
A different goddamn hockey talk messageboard!
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:22 pm

Back on track here.... I hear Volpatti is skating again . Could be another option for the 4th line though I think both Kassian and Bitz are better options. This team could have 16 or 17 NHL forwards for the playoffs and 9 d -men.

Sedin Sedin Burrows
Higgins Kesler Booth
Lappy Sami P Hansen
Bitz Ebbett Kassian
Weise Manny Raymond
Volpatti Reinprecht

Bieksa Hamhuis
Sami Edler
Tanev Ballard
Rome Alberts
Gragnani

That is a lot of depth.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Hank » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:29 pm

I know everyone expects a bounty for Schneiderman, but I'd rather keep the treasure that we got right now. If we get nothing but a couple of under-inflated tires for Lu, I'd be happy.

Blob, I'd also put Duco up there before Volpatti. Really impressed me during his coffee breaks up here. I like him better than Wiese in the 4th line role.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:32 pm

Hank wrote:I know everyone expects a bounty for Schneiderman, but I'd rather keep the treasure that we got right now. If we get nothing but a couple of under-inflated tires for Lu, I'd be happy.

Blob, I'd also put Duco up there before Volpatti. Really impressed me during his coffee breaks up here. I like him better than Wiese in the 4th line role.


Agree on both counts Hank. As tant says if Luo shits the bed or even if the optics suggest he cost the team in this years playoffs i have no idea how Gillis brings him back and I don't think Roberto would want to play here again. i think he has value either way and both T-Bay and the Leafs would come calling if he waived his NMC.

Duco showed some snarl and grit in his short stint here. He can defintely play here in a limited role. I can't see Dale Weise playing much at all in the post season unless he starts to play with some more fire.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby RoyalDude » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:23 pm

I like Volpatti cause he can pack a punch and has the ability to knock guys out, (Say Hello to my little Fist, Winchester!)
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Strangelove » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:43 pm

RoyalDude wrote:I'm a troll for saying anything untoward against Kassian.

Regarding Skill vs Toughness. I saw a game last night - St. Louis vs Detroit in the madhouse of St. Louis where the Blues were throwing all kinds of toughness at the Red Wings every shift, even Babcock commented about the tough play of the Blues. The end result, Skill won in the end. Skills sells tickets, skill wins games.

RoyalDude wrote:I like Volpatti cause he can pack a punch and has the ability to knock guys out, (Say Hello to my little Fist, Winchester!)


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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Hockey Widow » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:53 pm

After the last game MG was asked about trading Cory in the off season. He said something along the lines of it not in the plans and that they want to try everything they can to keep him. But acknowledged that if it happens it happens. He really sang the kids praises. I go back to my earlier rumours. The Canucks like this kid and want desperately to keep him. They just love everything about him. They fielded at least two calls on deadline day about Luongo. He was not on the trade block either but to me it signals that the Canucks will listen to offers re Luongo and are very forward thinking on this. Of course they could be pumping Cory's tires to up the anti :D

So much depends upon the playoffs, the result and Luongo's personal life. It will be a deciding factor if his wife's return to Florida is permanent. He loved his time in Florida and the team has improved significantly under Tallon. He may be quite happy to go home. Of course Tampa has a great team too and if their defence can get and stay healthy with Luongo in the nets they could go a long way.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Fred » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:58 am

Reasonable assessment of 4th line options by Canucks Army

With Zack Kassian injured and out of the lineup with the dreaded "upper-body injury," the Canucks called up hulking winger Byron Bitz from Chicago yesterday. Bitz impressed with his pugilism and surprising array of back-hand saucer passes during his eight game call up earlier this season and he'll find himself back in the Canucks lineup tonight. Observers have long expected that Bitz would join the team for the postseason, and now that he has, it'll be very interesting to see how Vigneault handles his fourth line personnel.

Clearly, Gillis prioritized beefing up the fourth line over the past ten months, and while a rash of injuries to the likes of Aaron Volpatti and Steve Pinnozotto derailed that plan somewhat, the team has inarguably shored up the quality of their depth forward group. Between Manny Malhotra, Maxim Lapierre, Zack Kassian (assuming his injury is relatively minor), Byron Bitz, Dale Weise and Andrew Ebbett, the Canucks boast a reasonably impressive stable of forwards who can successfully fill in on the fourth line. It's a bonanza of depth compared to the meagre offerings the team boasted last season when Vigneault's options were limited to the likes of a raw Cody Hodgson, Victor Oreskovich, Jeff "the backchecker" Tambellini, Tanner Glass, a wounded Manny Malhotra in the finals, and Alexandre Bolduc's bionic shoulder.

Let's break down the fourth line options one by one, and discuss what each brings to the table and, perhaps, takes off of it. We'll begin with the lynchpin, Manny Malhotra:

Malhotra

While he's taken some heat from ignorant analysts for his lack of offensive production and his team low plus/minus, Malhotra has played some of the most uniquely difficult minutes in the league this season, and has handled his role successfully. If Canucks fans as a whole had a firm grasp of advanced statistics, Malhotra would be the hands down winner for the team's unsung hero award (I wouldn't call any of the trio of more likely winners: Higgins, Hamhuis or Lapierre unsung, really). There were months of the season, where Malhotra's offensive-zone start rate barely eclipsed 1% - now that my friends, is unsung.

Malhotra is going to be a mainstay on the fourth line all postseason long. He's among the league leaders in face-off percentage (again), and he leads all Canucks forwards in short-handed ice time for a reason. Malhotra wins defensive zone draws, he clears the zone, and he gets off of the ice; It's a unique role, and one that has been essential for one of the leagues better defensive clubs.

Lapierre

If the team is healthy (a big if the deeper you get into the postseason), Lapierre will certainly hold down a spot on the fourth line. As the attrition begins in earnest, however, Lapierre will probably be the first of this "depth forward group" to bump up the lineup. His versatility could see him centering the third line if Pahlsson is injured (or ineffective) and he could even play in the top-6, for a short run of games, if it's required. Entering the postseason, and assuming Daniel returns to the lineup, Lapierre is the other guy who you can pencil in on the fourth line for the long-haul.

Lapierre has re-invented himself this season, he's reigned in the sort of play that earned him a bad reputation around the league, and has played hard, physical hockey. He's the team's leader in hits, he's played well in tough minutes, he's won more faceoffs than he's lost and he's even dropped the gloves seven times this season. His evolution as a professional hockey player has been a joy to watch, frankly, and with his grinding game and secret offensive upside, he'll continue to be among the team's most useful bottom-6 forward options this Spring.

Lapierre's offensive play is a bit of a wild card heading into the postseason, and I'll be curious to see if he gets a shot as pivot on the second unit power-play. While much of his recent hot-streak has been percentage driven, he probably deserves a chance in that role. I hypothesize that he could have some success there, especially once he morphs into playoff Lappy.

Weise

Dale Weise has had a very strong rookie campaign, but it's escaped notice among Canucks fans and the Vancouver media. As an NHL rookie, Weise has dressed in 66 games, been deployed in a unique way (the extreme way Vigneault uses his fourth line isn't practiced by any other NHL team) and he's generally played safe, low-event hockey.

That Dale Weise has started 80% of his shifts in the defensive end, and finished nearly 50% of his shifts in the offensive end, is a testament to his ability to move the puck forward. Weise's presence on the ice this season has also had a cooler effect, as he's successfully sucked the offense out of the game at both ends of the ice. When you're a fourth line forward, playing difficult minutes, that's really valuable (and something AV in particular like to see from the bottom end of his lineup). Weise has the lowest goals/against per sixty rate of any Canucks regular this season, and when you consider the minutes he's played and his deployment - that's pretty impressive.

Admittedly, Weise doesn't bring the imposing physical dimension that Bitz does, he's not as good an energy guy as Lapierre and he's not the possession player that Andrew Ebbett is. However, his ability to move play forward and make the sort of good on-ice decisions that prevent goals against is very useful for a fourth line winger. It's not the sort of skill that fans often appreciate, but it is the sort of skill the Canucks' head-coach most certainly does (see Rome, Aaron).

Bitz

In his eight game call up earlier this season, Byron Bitz reached fan-favorite status in no time. He's just a massive dude, he's articulate, he can beat up the opposition's toughs and he showed some surprising touch when he was put with the Sedins.

He's also a great story, having come all the way back from hernia related health issues that nearly cost him his playing career. He says he's feeling better (though he was ravaged by flu symptoms for most of the past month) and It's hard to isolate his impact by the numbers, since he played all over the lineup during his earlier eight game stint.

When I spoke to him in mid-March, he discussed the differences between playing on your average fourth line and playing on Vancouver's "defense-only" fourth lines. He spoke about "taking pride in your defensive play" and understanding your role. Bitz is a smart guy, and a fantastic depth option. However, though his eight game performance indicates that he should be able to fill a fourth line role well - Weise has a larger sample of success playing those difficult minutes this season. Bitz's playoff audition begins tonight!

Ebbett

Andrew Ebbett's play this season, in fifteen games, has been really interesting. Like all Canucks skaters who've primarily been deployed on the fourth line, his Ozone start% is a league outlier (~30%). Where Malhotra, Weise and company, haven't managed to keep their heads above water in this role, however, Ebbett has.

Ebbett's corsi and fenwick are both positive, which, is pretty remarkable considering his usage. Fifteen games isn't a big sample, and Ebbett's a diminutive forward who doesn't bring the physical dimension that Kassian, Bitz and Weise do, but he's the best at "driving play" in difficult minutes among all of the fourth line options.

He's also able to center the second unit power-play, and had an extremely strong performance there on Tuesday night against Anaheim. Against some teams, it's virtually assured that Vigneault will opt to matchup size with size, however, don't be surprised if Ebbett's possession skills and power-play ability keep him in the lineup (provided he stays healthy) this postseason.

Kassian

Zack Kassian's performance with the Canucks has been a mixed bag, which, isn't a surprise given his age and professional experience. On some nights, he's looked dynamic - he's got a massive body, uses it well to protect the puck down low, and possesses an impressive array of graceful, pirouette-like moves for a man his size. On other nights, he looks lost in the defensive end, and on zone-exits in particular.

Kassian is a long-term project, which, the Canucks understood when they acquired him from Buffalo. If he's able to recover quickly from his injury, he's the most naturally skilled of all the fourth line options. He's also the least experienced, and his defensive game is especially raw. When the games matter, will Vigneault trust him in the lineup over Bitz, Weise and Ebbett? That's a situation worth watching closely if the team is able to win a round or two this Spring.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Fred » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:28 am

cheers
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:27 pm

Fred wrote:http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/hockey/vancouver-canucks/Canucks+expect+Byron+Bitz+bring+more+experienced+punch+back+lineup/6419060/story.html



And your point is ???

I'm surprised you didn't quote the whole fucking article to prop up your argument ?

Just curious ,is the Easter Bunny that cruises to your neighbourhood lacking a pair of ears ?

I will debate the facts with the Canucks fans all day long but if you really believe that Byron Bitz is a better hockey player today than Zack Kassian you probably believe that the NDP would be the best option to govern BC. :lol: :lol:



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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Fred » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:19 pm

Is there such a thing as a Easter Ass :D

U can dish it Blob ....but
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:27 am

Fred wrote:Is there such a thing as a Easter Ass :D

U can dish it Blob ....but


Freddie i can take anything you can dish amigo.

You still haven't said what makes Bitz a better option than Kassian. Kassian has better hands, better wheels, better hockey sense, is a better hitter and a better fighter.

For my money i would like to see both of these guys on the 4th line, especially against the Kings who aren't especially quick but are a big team.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby tantalum » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:36 am

From the two games Kassian has missed I'd say it's pretty clear cut that he is a better option than just about everybody not name LaPierre for the 4th line.
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Fred » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:01 am

Blob Mckenzie wrote:
Fred wrote:Is there such a thing as a Easter Ass :D

U can dish it Blob ....but


Freddie i can take anything you can dish amigo.

You still haven't said what makes Bitz a better option than Kassian. Kassian has better hands, better wheels, better hockey sense, is a better hitter and a better fighter.

For my money i would like to see both of these guys on the 4th line, especially against the Kings who aren't especially quick but are a big team.


Bitz is better at this stage because he has more experience and a mature game. I think you might recall I also said that I'm hoping Kassian comes back next season with certain level of self expectations. He will ultimatley be a better player, or we hope he will, but we're playing for the Cup now ! Kassian looks confused to me almost like he's out of his depth. I hope he hasn't reached the top of his develomental mountain. Right now all we can do is hope. He has some abilities no doubt

Any one else notice Samuelsson has now out scored Booth in less games and has a better +/- while Marco Sturm the next coming when he was signed last summer ( we feel he has recovered and can be a good player again ) is a disater ?
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Re: Bitz Recalled

Postby Jovocop » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:07 am

tantalum wrote:From the two games Kassian has missed I'd say it's pretty clear cut that he is a better option than just about everybody not name LaPierre for the 4th line.


It's a bit unfair. Lappy is a first/second line winger now. ;)
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