Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canucks?

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Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canucks?

Postby Farhan Lalji » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:46 pm

Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canucks?

Now - before anyone gets on my nuts about this being a "reactionary post" to the fact that we are currently down 2-0 in our series, please let me assure you that it's not. I still think that this series is far from over and that the Canucks do have a good a chance as any.

Having said that - I do wonder if Mike Gillis (and most hockey pundits for that matter) misdiagnosed this teams' needs in the off-season and even this season?

All throughout the summer, all I heard was how Boston physically dominated us and intimidated us, etc., etc............and to be quite frank, I didn't agree with the diagnosis at all.

If you look back at last year's series and analyze the box stats, you will notice that the Canucks actually outhit the Bruins in 4....of those games. 1 of those games had the exact same # of hits, and Boston outhit us in 2 of those games. So - maybe Boston 'gooned it up more' between the whistles but as far as the actual game went, we actually out-hit Boston......and even if Boston DID get higher quality hits, it's still negated by the fact that half our team was playing injured. Oh - and we also outhit Boston on January 7th by the way.

A lot of people seem to forget the fact that while Boston might be the most physically imposing team in the league, Nashville and San Jose are also top 5 in the league in terms of physicality.......and at full health, we had absolutely no problem dealing with them (as we proved).

However - I think it's fair to say that for whatever reason, the Canucks simply cannot produce consistent offense when it matters most. Outside of the San Jose series last year, the Canucks had a very difficult time consistently producing offensively. Which leads me to my point: Did Mike Gillis royally fuck up at this year's deadline when he traded away Hodgson? If you look at how the Canucks were producing before the Hodgson deal, and how they've produced afterwards, perhaps the answer is obvious?

Hodgson wasn't exactly lighting it up while he was here, but his ability to score key goals WHEN IT MATTERED MOST was pretty damned remarkable. He scored 2 goals in that game against Boston on January 7th, and he also produced against Chicago in some of our games against them.....but I digress.

The point I'm trying to make is this: Perhaps the Canucks shouldn't have traded Hodgson for two "green" pieces that may help us at some point in the future. At this stage, the Canucks and Gillis should have been looking for people that could have helped us now. However - if you ARE going to make a Hodgson deal (because of daddy issues), then you'd better damn well ensure that you're not losing anything on offense.

I don't know what's in store for the playoffs this year, but I do think that Gillis has a chance to correct the mistake he made at the trade deadline this summer when the inevitable Schneider or Luongo trade occurs (most likely Schneids)

The Canucks biggest need never was in the toughness department......as we proved with a healthy line up against San Jose and Nashville. The Canucks' biggest need was offense.......or atleast guys that could produce offensively when it matters most (and unfortunately for us, the Sedin twins never have and probably never will be those types of guys as long as they are facing an elite shut down pairing).

Regardless of what happens this year, I hope the Canucks use one of Luongo or Schneider in a package (one of these guys will get dealt) for a player that can give us that extra scoring punch when it matters most.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby Farhan Lalji » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:03 pm

Farhan's suggestion:

-In the off-season, package Schneider with whoever or whatever to get an elite center of some kind.

-Trading Schneids for a defensemen does nothing but ensure that we try and win games 1-0 and 2-1 instead of the way we win when we are at our best (i.e. 5-2, 4-0, etc.).

-Kesler should be our shut down guy moving forward. Look at how Kesler played against Toews and Joe Thornton last year. Look at how Kesler played at the Olympics in 2010. THAT is the real Ryan Kesler. THAT Kesler is the type of guy that not only shuts down opponents better than anyone else on our team, but is also a guy that can be a threat offensively when committing to defensive play first. It's just the way Kesler plays. When you put Kesler in a "offense first" type role, the guy acts like an idiotic one dimensional puck hog......while also attempting to injure players when he gets frustrated.

-I believe that the Canucks will be at their absolute best if they have 3 lines that can consistently and regularly score......just as they did last year (regular season), and when Hodgson was here earlier this season.

The Canucks are not built to be a team that can and should consistently win games 1-0 or 2-1. If anything, the overcommitment on defense will have an adverse effect and put too much pressure on our goalies and forwards (leading to huge goals against......as evidenced by our loss against the B's last year).
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby benivolent » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:27 pm

Farhan Lalji wrote:Farhan's suggestion:
-Kesler should be our shut down guy moving forward. Look at how Kesler played against Toews and Joe Thornton last year. Look at how Kesler played at the Olympics in 2010. THAT is the real Ryan Kesler. THAT Kesler is the type of guy that not only shuts down opponents better than anyone else on our team, but is also a guy that can be a threat offensively when committing to defensive play first. It's just the way Kesler plays. When you put Kesler in a "offense first" type role, the guy acts like an idiotic one dimensional puck hog......while also attempting to injure players when he gets frustrated.


^THIS.

Kesler and his current line does not have the creative ability to "out offence" the opposing line, but thrived on counter chances by creating opposing team offensive turnovers. Focus on the shut-down, and score off the frustration. How many times have we seen Kes score off a wrister through a d-man off the rush 10 feet inside the blue line? This year, not many. Him and Booth think take it to the net, but what that line needs is the take it to the net guy who makes the extra move to suck the d-man in, and then pass it to Kes or Booth.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby Farhan Lalji » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:37 pm

benivolent wrote:
Kesler and his current line does not have the creative ability to "out offence" the opposing line, but thrived on counter chances by creating opposing team offensive turnovers. Focus on the shut-down, and score off the frustration. How many times have we seen Kes score off a wrister through a d-man off the rush 10 feet inside the blue line? This year, not many. Him and Booth think take it to the net, but what that line needs is the take it to the net guy who makes the extra move to suck the d-man in, and then pass it to Kes or Booth.


I know a lot of people will scoff at this idea of mine (as they have in the past), but I truly do wonder if the Canucks could possibly get an consistent 40+ goal scoring center if they packaged Kesler and Schneider in the off-season.

That way you have the Sedin line and said "consistent 40+ goal scoring center" anchoring two lines. A team with an elite shut down defensive pairing will have to focus their efforts on one line......leaving one of the lines more free to dominate.

I realize that these are all topics and discussions that should be taking place in the summer, but this consistent LACK of offense from the Canucks is highly disturbing. As it turns out, there is no "on and off switch" as some other posters on here claimed. If the Canucks come back to win this series, it won't be because of a "switch" of some sort. It would be because the Kings bitchslapped them to reality and the Canucks will have been forced to dig deep.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby benivolent » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:45 pm

Farhan Lalji wrote:
I realize that these are all topics and discussions that should be taking place in the summer, but this consistent LACK of offense from the Canucks is highly disturbing. As it turns out, there is no "on and off switch" as some other posters on here claimed. If the Canucks come back to win this series, it won't be because of a "switch" of some sort. It would be because the Kings bitchslapped them to reality and the Canucks will have been forced to dig deep.


Agree - the idea of trading Kes is intriguing, depending on who we got back, but what about moving Kes to the wing with having a creative centreman? Alternatively, a crafty winger - In the Olympics, wasn't he playing with Parise?

Hopefully the guys will dig deep and come back. The on/off switch might be there, but only for effort. There is no on/off for habits and systems. And while we saw them win the president's trophy, it just doesn't seem like they've worked the process that will make them successful in the playoffs. I hope i'm so wrong on that one.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby Waffle » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:13 pm

Which one of these forwards are you thinking of Farhan? I only see four 40 goal scorers in the whole league this past year.

Forwards

Stamkos....60
Malkin....50
Gaborik....41
Neal....40
Ovechkin...38
Kovalchuk...37
Kessel...37
Hartnell....37
Perry....37
Moulson....36
Vrbata...35
Ryder....35
Cole....35
Michalek...35
Spezza....34
Eberle...34
Sharp....33
Pacioretty...33
Iginla...32
Tavares...31
Parise....31
Couture...31
Pavelski....31
Ryan....31
Pominville....30
Sedin....30
Marleau...30
Nash....30
Kane....30
Clarkson....30
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby Strangelove » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:16 pm

Seriously Farhan, can we save the off-season threads for the off-season? Image

We've got a hockey game set for tomorrow! :thumbs:

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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby mathonwy » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:24 pm

Strangelove wrote:Seriously Farhan, can we save the off-season threads for the off-season? Image

We've got a hockey game set for tomorrow! :thumbs:

Seriously Farhan.

Image
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby porp » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:19 pm

mathonwy wrote:
Strangelove wrote:Seriously Farhan, can we save the off-season threads for the off-season? Image

We've got a hockey game set for tomorrow! :thumbs:

Seriously Farhan.

Image


Well, at least we got this:

benivolent wrote:
Farhan Lalji wrote:Farhan's suggestion:
-Kesler should be our shut down guy moving forward. Look at how Kesler played against Toews and Joe Thornton last year. Look at how Kesler played at the Olympics in 2010. THAT is the real Ryan Kesler. THAT Kesler is the type of guy that not only shuts down opponents better than anyone else on our team, but is also a guy that can be a threat offensively when committing to defensive play first. It's just the way Kesler plays. When you put Kesler in a "offense first" type role, the guy acts like an idiotic one dimensional puck hog......while also attempting to injure players when he gets frustrated.


^THIS.
Kesler and his current line does not have the creative ability to "out offence" the opposing line, but thrived on counter chances by creating opposing team offensive turnovers. Focus on the shut-down, and score off the frustration. How many times have we seen Kes score off a wrister through a d-man off the rush 10 feet inside the blue line? This year, not many.


I agree. The players sometimes don't look like their playing as a team, with everyone trying to be the Lone Wolf. Then again, maybe the past success was from playing into AV's system; now that the system has been analyzed and countered, and AV hasn't changed it, the players are feeling frustrated.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby Reefer2 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:07 am

This stuff should be saved for off season, I don't like the makeup of the team, didn't like the trade said it was the wrong time to do it and was told tird line scoring was a luxury. I really did have a laugh at that one.

Tomorrow at 7:30 I will be on the couch and practicing every voodoo ritual I know to make the hockey Gods happy so that it is 2 - 1 on Monday and then 2 - 2 and the Nucks get home ice advantage back.

It aint over until the fat guy (now some what skinny) stops singing the national anthem.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby Rokker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:09 am

I do think making the Hodgson deal for 'futures' was an error considering the Canucks win window is now. If the second line was producing consistent secondary scoring maybe but not the way things were going with even the first line and PP off was bad timing. I can't imagine Gillis actually thought Kassian would contribute from the get go.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby mathonwy » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:39 am

Rokker wrote:I do think making the Hodgson deal for 'futures' was an error considering the Canucks win window is now. If the second line was producing consistent secondary scoring maybe but not the way things were going with even the first line and PP off was bad timing. I can't imagine Gillis actually thought Kassian would contribute from the get go.

He better not have.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby SKYO » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:52 am

Rokker wrote:I do think making the Hodgson deal for 'futures' was an error considering the Canucks win window is now. If the second line was producing consistent secondary scoring maybe but not the way things were going with even the first line and PP off was bad timing. I can't imagine Gillis actually thought Kassian would contribute from the get go.

Yeah I can see Hodgson on the stanley cup, unfortunately not with us.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby SKYO » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:59 am

Mike Gillis best go to the room tomorrow and say anyone of us can get fired, from me to the coach and to all of you getting traded, on Sunday all of you better play the best games of your life.
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Re: Farhan's $0.02 - Has Mike Gillis misdiagnosed the Canuck

Postby FAN » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:59 am

I don't think Gillis misdiagnosed the team's needs in the off-season and even this season.

Secondary scoring and a better 4th line were considered team needs and Gillis went out to find suitable linemates for Kesler and have a competent 4th line. To that effect Gillis re-signed Higgins to possibly play with Kesler and gambled on Sturm. On paper the Canucks potentially had the Sedins and Kesler flanked with wingers who can play on both a scoring line and a shutdown line. As for the 4th line, Lapierre was re-signed and Gillis brought in a few 4th line hopefuls that looked to have the size, skating, and skill to play on the 4th line. If you add in the fact that Gillis signed Ebbett and replaced Torres with Sturm, Gillis actually did very little to address the toughness and grit issue other than potentially having more 4th line options. Surely, few Canucks fans thought Gillis made moves to better compete with the Bruins physically during the off-season. With the Sturm signing a bust and Samuelsson looking like he lost a step, Gillis packaged the two for Booth who Gillis figure could be a long-term linemate for Kesler. It's hard not to think of the Booth addition as an upgrade to what the team had last year (since Samuelsson was injured). Overall, I think Gillis went for versatility as he went for guys who can move up and down the lineup with ease giving AV as many options as possible.

Flash-forward to the trade deadline, I felt Gillis might have jumped the gun a bit trading Hodgson for Kassian especially since Hodgson, at times, provided much needed secondary scoring. When the Pahlsson trade went down, I salivated at the thought of icing a 3 scoring lines and a 4th line of Malhotra, Pahlsson, and Lapierre and the option of playing Hodgson with Kesler while having a shutdown 3rd line. Clearly, the idea of adding shutdown center of Pahlsson's calibre was the right idea. The Canucks really missed the pre-eye-injury Mahlhotra in the playoffs. But then the Hodgson trade happened. I felt it was a gamble on Gillis' part since Hodgson was clearly ahead of Kassian in development and there was no one who can replace Hodgson's offensive prowess as the team's 3rd line centre. I do agree with Gillis that if he was to trade Hodgson it better be for a young guy, but I wasn't a fan of Kassian at the time of the draft as I felt Kassian's offensive upside was limited. A great prospect but I did felt Gillis could have gotten more. Besides Gillis could have waited and made the same deal.

But did Gillis misdiagnose the team's needs at the trade decline? I don't think so. I think Gillis knew what was in the Hodgson exchange and there is a consensus that the refs have been letting players get away with more obstruction (Brian Burke agrees :D ). It's only going to get worse in the playoffs where refs are more likely to swallow their whistles. If the idea is that that team will go nowhere if the Sedins and Kesler's line aren't going offensively, then the trade made sense as Kassian gives AV another forward who can potentially be placed anywhere in the lineup.

Gillis provided the team with options and I think Gilis had the right idea in adding pieces that allow the team to match up against different teams better. The reason the Canucks are on the verge of being swept by the Kings is that the Kings' top guys have simply been better than the Canucks' top guys. You can't win when the Sedins (well Daniel isn't available) and Kesler aren't producing. Maybe Hodgson could have helped the team win Game 3, but the Canucks had no business winning Game 1 and 2 with or without Hodgson.
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