Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

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Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 pm

Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Yes, you read the title of this correctly........and yes, the title of this thread was meant to be obnoxious in nature.....much like my posting style I guess, but I digress. :)

Take a look at the standings, and have a look at our "Goals For." Now, take a look at Los Angeles' and Boston's. our GF is quite close to their's. Their GA however, is significantly lower. Check it out.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?ty ... av-stn-div

Here's why I bring this up: Perhaps all of us are looking at this all wrong? Instead of us "creaming our pants" at the idea of getting Evander Kane, Brayden Schenn, or *insert top 6 forward here* to improve our offense, perhaps the Canucks are better off accepting the fact that MAYBE we have a better chance of being a defensive juggernaut than an offensive one?

The way our team is configured, I think our team has far more potential to be as good defensively as an LA or a Boston, as opposed to being as good offensively as a Chicago or a Pitsburgh.

Our offense is already on par with LA's and Boston's. If we make a more concerted effort to be as good defensively as them as well, perhaps we will get back to the upper echelon this year?

My suggestion is this: Put Kesler and Burrows together, and keep them together. Throw Hansen in with them as well. I honestly think that the two of them......or three of them, have the potential to be the best shut down line in hockey.

As for the team in its entirety, my suggestion is this: don't stress about the offense.......focus on good defensive habits. We'll eventually get our goals, but we don't have to be an offensive machine either. Lets go back to our 2006-2007 mindset. Next year or the year after, when Horvat and Shinkaruk become impact players (knock on wood), we can then open up our style again as we did in 2008/2009.
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:55 pm

P.s.____________We gained some ground on both Minnesota and Phoenix tonight.

Especially in the case of Phoenix, that is the team that we will most likely be trying to competing with for the last playoff spot. Chicago, Anaheim, St. Louis, San Jose, Los Angeles = forget about them. Colorado, Phoenix, Minnesota, and Dallas will be our biggest rivals for those last playoff spots IMO.

Once a team gets in, anything can happen. 2012 Kings and 1994 Canucks are good examples.

One other thing that this Canuck core has going for them, is that we're facing all of our adversity in the regular season. In recent years, our scoring woes, mental fragilities, bad calls, etc., wouldn't show up until the post-season. We're facing them head on right now however......meaning that it gives us a lot of time and opportunity to address those needs before the playoffs (if we make it).

One more positive note - The refs seem to be warming up to us as of late. I don't know how long this will last, but maybe they're buying into the fact that a Tortorella-lead Canucks team will play the game the right way?
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby Cookie La Rue » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:21 am

SHUTOUT HOCKEY!!!!!!!!
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:37 am

Cookie La Rue wrote:SHUTOUT HOCKEY!!!!!!!!


pssst........you mean, SHUTDOWN HOCKEY. :P

In all seriousness though, why wouldn't it be a good idea for this team to emulate themselves after the 2006-2007 Canuck team?

That team was also extremely offensively limited, but won games by shutting down and outworking opponents.

The key difference between this team and 2006-2007 team however, was that the 07' team were self-accepting of their limitations, played within themselves, focused on their team strengths, and didn't seem overly stressed when they weren't scoring goals. Most importantly however, that team seemed to have a very good attitude. One thing I notice with this current batch is that they get down on themselves very easily.........and tend to place more focus on what they CAN'T do or AREN'T doing, as opposed to what they can do really well.

Another thing to keep in mind was that Luongo was at his best as a Canuck (and possibly career wise) when the Canucks were playing their 2006-2007 style of hockey.

At the start of the 2008-2009 season, many pundits labelled the Hansen-Kesler-Burrows line as the best shut down line in hockey (the line disbanded later in the year as Burrows moved up to play with the twins, while Kesler moved up to play with Demitra and Sundin).

As it relates to Kesler and Burrows, seriously...........play them together!...........all the time! (with Higgins and Hansen alternating between them).

Why have both Kesler and Burrows be average to slightly above average goal scorers when they could just as easily form the best shut down line in hockey?

Down in Los Angeles, no one gives a flying poo if Mike Richards is scoring goals at a prolific pace. Why? Because - they know that he's arguably the best shut down center in the league.......and he gets paid based on that. Why not treat Kesler and Burrows the same way?

The Canucks seem to be making the same mistake with Burrows and Kesler as the Oilers did when they had Mike Peca (before they wised up and started using Peca in the CORRECT way when the 2006 playoffs started). They are NOT natural goal scorers! Yes - they can put the puck in the net, and yes, they are better offensively than most players, but they are the absolute king pins on defensive hockey. Kesler won a Selke trophy for Christ sakes. Play to that strength!


Brown Knight's suggestion.

(With 2006-2007 mindset).

Sedin-Sedin-Booth (or Kassian)

Hansen-Kesler-Burrows (potential to be best shutdown line in hockey.....but can score on turnovers)

Higgins-Richardson-Santorelli (very good shut down line hockey.....might be able to chip in the odd goal)

Kassian-Sestito-Weise (*police/enforcer line) If not Kassian - then Booth.
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby Art Vandelay » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:28 pm

What a thread. :|
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:47 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:What a thread. :|


I mean, that's fine if you don't like or agree with my original post, but what specifically don't you agree on?

Obviously, in a perfect world, we'd be scoring as many goals as we were during the 2010/2011 regular season, but this isn't a perfect world.

All I'm proposing is that instead of the team having such mental anxieties over not being able to score (along with management perhaps contemplating the idea of moving a Top 4 defenseman and/or a current core player up front for a scoring forward), perhaps it's advisable to emulate the style and mindset of our 2006/2007 team.

That team was also as offensively challenged as we were, and had far less talent on their roster. However - that team ended up getting 105 points and made the 2nd round of the playoffs. 2 seasons later when our young guys developed, we opened up our style of play again.

What is wrong with that idea?

Luongo was at his best when the Canucks had that style of play.

I also believe that Kesler and Burrows are among the best defensive forwards in the league, and that maybe we should be maximizing them in that way.

Last but not least, I think this current verison of the Canucks has a far greater chance in being one of the best defensive teams in the league rather than being one of the best offensive teams.

What specific part of my post do you disagree with?
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby Topper » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:43 pm

By request;

I really do not understand the proposed style of play. Are you suggesting Kesler, Burrows and Hansen form a traditional 3rd line checking role as Kesler (only played 48 games that season, his first torn labrum injury), Burrows and Cooke/Pyatt/Bulis did where the match ups are:
1st line vs 3rd line
2nd line vs 2nd line
3rd line vs 1st line
4th line vs 4th line?

Or as are you suggesting they form a 2nd line scoring threat that matches up against the opponents top line? Isn't this what Torts is doing?

This thread needs a coordinator.
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby Art Vandelay » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:49 pm

This thread needs an enema. Too many blueberries jammed in the small intestine.
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby ukcanuck » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:02 pm

Alcohol is actually a solution, spending all your time trying not to allow the other team to score however is stupid. why bother coming out the dressing room then? cant score on us if we stay in ere mate..

Getting drunk would better, doesnt matter if we dont care..
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:08 pm

Topper wrote:By request;

I really do not understand the proposed style of play. Are you suggesting Kesler, Burrows and Hansen form a traditional 3rd line checking role as Kesler (only played 48 games that season, his first torn labrum injury), Burrows and Cooke/Pyatt/Bulis did where the match ups are:
1st line vs 3rd line
2nd line vs 2nd line
3rd line vs 1st line
4th line vs 4th line?

Or as are you suggesting they form a 2nd line scoring threat that matches up against the opponents top line? Isn't this what Torts is doing?

This thread needs a coordinator.


Dear Topper,

Thank you for honoring my request and posting your thoughts in this thread. I am also of the opinion that this thread needs a superhero coordinator of sorts. A friendly neighborhood coordinator! :::cue Spider-Man theme:::

But I digress.....

In response to your question, you nailed it: I am suggesting that Kesler, Burrows, and Hansen form a traditional 3rd line checking line role as Kesler, Burrows, Cooke, etc. once did. And yes - if you can get a match-up out there against opponents top lines, you can then free up the twins to go against other lines. However - they can be more than that. Think back to the start of the 2008/2009 season where Hansen-Kesler-Burrows were a traditional 3rd line shut down line, but were also scoring quite frequently on turnovers.......and were pretty much getting second line minutes.

I think that's what Mike Richards and his line is doing for the Kings if I understand correctly.

Kesler is a former Selke trophy winner. Burrows is also one of the best defensive players in the game, while Hansen and Higgins ain't too shabby in this area either. Lets use that to our advantage.
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:12 pm

ukcanuck wrote:Alcohol is actually a solution, spending all your time trying not to allow the other team to score however is stupid. why bother coming out the dressing room then? cant score on us if we stay in ere mate..

Getting drunk would better, doesnt matter if we dont care..


The extremely untalented and mediocre 2006-2007 Vancouver Canucks team used this model and finished with 105 points that year. Not too shabby by any means. They made it to the second round.

This current Canucks squad is of a similar mold to that team from back then..........but has more overall talent.

In think this current Canucks team has far more potential to be one of the best defensive teams in the league rather than one of the most offensive.

That's my point.
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby rats19 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:14 pm

what is it about this strategy, it seems to elude the powers that can make the decision
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby ukcanuck » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Second round and bore the crap out of everyone ...

I had a friend post his $245.50 ticket stubs on Facebook the other day...

250 bucks to watch dump and wait and clutch and grab hockey.


You can see that at your friendly neighbourhood beer league game for free..
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby Hockey Widow » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:35 pm

A respectable PP cures all of our problems right now. That's how close we have been in so many games. One extra PP goal each of the last 12 games and check the standings.

In fact I'm going to suggest we put Sestito on The PP to stand in front of the net. Have Edler and Garrison pounding away from the point and the other two forwards should be the two who are best at puck retrieval. Like Higgins and Kesler. What we got to lose?
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Re: Should the Canucks become a more DEFENSIVE team?

Postby The Brown Knight » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:05 pm

rats19 wrote:what is it about this strategy, it seems to elude the powers that can make the decision


Great question rats.

There probably is some ultimate flaw in my line of reasoning, but tis why they are the coaches while I'm some dude on a message board. :P

If I had to guess however, my guess is that the Powers-that-be still see these guys as being capable of being offensive juggernauts since many of our current players were a part of that 2011 cup run squad. [The problem with that line of reasoning in my opinion, is that the NHL at present is a lot different than the type of game we saw during the regular season that year].

The other big thing I see, is that our Powers-That-Be see Ryan Kesler as an offensive juggernaut due to his performance in the 2011 regular season, and his performance in the Nashville series that year. They also overrate Burrows' offensive skill due to his success with the twins (and 35 goal season that one year).

My personal opinion is that both Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows will always be at their best (without the twins) when they are being used as shut down guys that can potentially score on turnovers. This is the Ryan Kesler that we saw during the 2010 Olympics. This is also the Ryan Kesler that we saw during the Chicago series in 2011 when Manny Malhottra was out injured. And the ironic thing, is that this is also the Ryan Kesler that we saw during the Nashville series. In the Nashville series, Kesler scored tons of goals as a result of his "defense first" mindset. Offense came as a result of his primary focus on defense. He wasn't "trying" to score as his primary mission.

In the 2012 playoffs, the Canucks should have used Kesler to shut down Dustin Brown, instead of putting him in a primary scoring role. What happened was that the Richards line completely shut down Kesler to the point where Kesler had a deer in the headlights look.


So, long story short:

1) I think Management/coaching still believes too much in this core's offensive prowess since most of the core from 2011 is still here......and as result, haven't considered their old 2006/2007 strategy.

2) I think Management/coaching erroneously believe that both Kesler and Burrows can be formidable offensive players where offense is their primary focus as opposed to a secondary focus. They believe this way about Kesler due to his 2011 stats (while not considering what truly made him successful that year), while also overrating Burrows' offensive prowess without the twins.
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