GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Pacific

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Re: GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Paci

Postby Sticky » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:53 pm

This one felt like a bit of a shaft... But it all evens out... Right?

Bright light for me was Kesler playing with a little more control... Maybe the beast is on his way back?

Have to admit... I kinda had iso-cam mentality for this one...
I watched Raymond very closely tonight... Because I've been generally very unimpressed with and critical of his play.
A few others on here have defended his play, causing me to question my criticism. The point that I really wanted to think about was raised by Larry G. In the NJ GDT...

"I'll again note one of the most progressive, smart and successful management teams in the league continue to use Raymond. That must say something about him. He's not doing much offensively, so they must love his defense enough to overlook the struggles on offence."
                       
in today's game, 
-Raymond's line iced the puck three times (2 of them committed by Raymond)
- Raymond was on the ice for 4 defensive zone face offs... Only 1 of which was not the result of his line icing the puck
- he received :15 of pk time on the third shift of the Rome penalty, and no pk time on the Higgins penalty,
- only engaged in 3 puck battles all game, and did not win one until OT, during a very good shift(also the only time in the game that he went to the net)
-not on ice for d zone face off after Higgins penalty in favor of Kesler, Higgins, Hansen ... even though that line had only had :30 of rest after trying to kill the Higgins penalty. 
 - once at end of first, and then once again on his second shift in the second period, he is back on the bench for a defensive zone faceoff after a 0:10 shift and a 0:25 shift respectively.

Overall, Raymond's game tonight showed us one very nice defensive play in OT, and one good defensive effort on Fiddler with about 4:30 gone in third. Obviously, it's nice for him to get another goal, and although that one was a bit of a laugher, he was noticeably more active at both ends of the ice after that.
Maybe he just needs a little more confidence to hit his stride, but right now, it doesn't look to me like one of the "most progressive, smart and successful management teams in the league" is too confident in his defensive game (based on the amount of defensive zone starts and PK time they gave him.
They need him to be an offensive threat again, and I'm hoping like hell that we're seeing him starting to fire on all of his cylinders over the last couple of games.
I must admit that I recognized a great use for Raymond's speed that IS being utilized by AV, is changing on the fly... Around 2/3 of his shifts began that way.
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Re: GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Paci

Postby Listercat » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:43 pm

Most defensive zone faceoffs are taken by the Malhotra, Lappy line so that is not a criticism of Raymond or his line mates. Its AV's strategy.

In the NJ game he made 2 very good defensive plays. He had Clarkson stick tied up or he had a tap in. Unfortunately the pass hit hammers skate and went in. On the other he came pack to pick up a loose puck in front before the NJ player could put it in a gaping net.
Raymond has had 2 game winning goals, 4 if you count shootouts. Could have had another today had the team not been gassed. The only players with more are Hank, Danny, Burr & Cody.

AV has said time and again "if you are not contributing offensively you better be doing the job in your own zone". Raymond has done that very well IMO.

It's interesting that people make allowances for Kesler coming back from hip surgury which is a serious injury. Brendan Morrison said it took him a year after his hip injury to feel good again. Raymond who had a broken back and wasn't able to walk last summer is suddenly not effective because he isn't scoring like he did. I guess with Ballard out a new whipping boy is found.

With regard to the OT Kesler was cheating on the play and instead of checking on the Defensive side of the puck was on the outside hoping it would pop loose. He's been watching the Sedins who do this all the time. The puck came to the Dallas player on the far side and Kesler could not get back in time. Game over!
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Re: GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Paci

Postby Sticky » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:34 pm

Raymond deserves (and needs) defending right now. He deserves some allowance for his serious injury 7 months ago.

But a third line winger getting virtually no PK time, and virtually no defensive face offs, probably is not best described as being in the favor of the management team as far as defensive play goes. I would say he is adequate defensively, and is being carried and tolerated through a tough time in his career.

3 puck battle engagements with one win does not a good defensive winger make.

I think he'll come around, but that doesn't mean he's not a "spade" at the moment.
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Re: GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Paci

Postby Hockey Widow » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:51 am

To me Raymond falls along the lines of Grabner. Great offensive potential but not perhaps what we need. Scoring is a premium in the playoffs and he has not shown that he can be a difference maker. His speed is an asset, his defensive game is very solid most nights but he may not be what we need, that something we are missing.

If he is still a Canuck this time tomorrow I am fine with that but if he can be used to get another piece I am fine with that too. Here is the thing, before the Ballard LTIR Raymond was the most logical player to be moved to make cap room. We no longer need to move him to do that but we still need some grit and depth on D. But now we have the cap room so it is entirely possible now that we can make those additions without loosing a roster player.

It seems most of our 4th line grit guys and depth players have been hurt this season and the extent of the Weiss injury and Bitz on again off again injuries are a concern. We have the roster space and the cap room to add without subtraction if we are willing to give up picks and prospects. If that is the way we want to go. Either way I am fine just as long as MG can get those depth players. In fact I'd be thrilled to get Ott and still have Raymond. In fact if I were Dallas I would be more interested in a younger prospect and a pick.
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Re: GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Paci

Postby Arachnid » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:24 am

I have to whole heartedly agree with the defenders of the Rayman, the guy just had his back broken by a beargoon™ Give him a freaking break! Why is it that the fickle amongst us constantly eat their young...the Sedins, Kesler, Hodgson...I'm pretty sure the old guard critics were the ones that demanded we trade Neely back in the day before the message boards... 8-)
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Re: GDT: Feb. 26... Canucks at Stars. (12pm PDT... SNET-Paci

Postby Meds » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:52 am

Well the last two games have simply been about nothing more than aggravating me. Rome with a goal and an assist, Raymond with 2 goals. Figures. :roll:

There is nothing more frustrating in sports than watching a team on its last legs battle hard and hold on to a 2-1 lead going into the last minute only to have the officials screw up and cost the team the game. Obviously I am referring to that blown icing call. First off, the puck was not whipped down the ice by the Canucks, it was directed to a player on the side boards just Vancouver-side of center. That player was interfered with by a Dallas defender coming from the Star's side of center. I should clarify that I do not think that there should have been a penalty on the play, none was committed, the intended recipient of the pass was simply prevented from cleanly making a play on the puck to prevent icing. The puck then continued on and in the end only had enough momentum to make it about 6 inches across the Dallas goalline. The puck went by one Dallas defender, and was moving slowly enough that the other defender could EASILY have made it to that puck. The result was a lucky bounce of a skate on the ensuing faceoff followed by a deflection that tied the game. Total crap.

The Canucks have 7 of a possible 10 points on this trip, and if they even get so much as a point in Phoenix tomorrow nobody can complain about a thing as pulling in 8 of 12 on the road is quite respectable. The team is on its last legs right now, and if it wasn't obvious enough in New Jersey, the last 24 minutes of the game in Dallas really showcased the fatigue this group is feeling as they end one of the hardest road trips I have seen a team endure in recent history having started off seeing the Canucks play 5 games in 7 nights, with games 3 and 4 being against two of the top 5 teams in the NHL. I'm not making excuses, fatigue on a road trip like this is as legitimate a reason for a loss as having multiple injuries.

As for Raymond, I agree with HW. He would probably be more successful in another setting. He's too soft for playoff hockey, and both of his goals in the last couple of games have been markers that Brodeur and Lehtonen would love to have back. When you are on a line with a player who is as smart and good at distributing the puck as Hodgson is, and you aren't going to the net or finding open spots in scoring areas, then you clearly need a fresh start somewhere else.

As for what Arachnid says about the "old guard demanding we trade Neely back in the day".....

I would be surprised if Neely had turned out the same way if he had stayed in Vancouver. I really don't think Burrows would have succeeded quite the same way in a system other than ours. Possibly he would have developed similarly with the Red Wing's. As with probably 95% of the players in this league, Neely's success was as much the result of his talent and work ethic as it was the chemistry he developed with his linemates, most notably Craig Janney. Either way, I think comparing Neely and Raymond is a bit of a stretch.
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