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Rutherford views the top 6 as an area of need


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I know there's all sorts of chatter about this and saying the Canucks need help up front is as easy as saying the team that scores more goals wins, but I figured it deserved a thread considering this came from Rutherford himself 

 

https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2820310/rutherford-top-6-forward-on-canucks-deadline-radar

 

Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford identified the top of the club's forward group as a potential area of need leading up to the March 8 trade deadline.

 

"I think as we speak, if we were able to add another top-six forward, that would give us a better chance," Rutherford told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun earlier this week. "And you know, we'll watch the defense as we go along here. But you know, for the most part, our defense has done a pretty good job."

 

The Canucks lead the Pacific Division and are second in the league standings at 28-11-3 midway through the campaign. Vancouver's surge under head coach Rick Tocchet has put it in a position to buy ahead of the trade deadline, as a trip to the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2015 appears inevitable.

 

Although the Canucks lead the NHL in goals (164), their success has come from a top-heavy attack. Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, and Brock Boeser dominate the top line and operate at better than a point-per-game pace for the season. However, Vancouver's next most productive forward is Ilya Mikheyev at 22 points. Blue-liners Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek rank third and fifth, respectively, in team scoring.

 

The Canucks have already made a handful of trades since training camp opened in September. In four different deals, the club shipped out Tanner Pearson and Anthony Beauvillier and acquired Sam Lafferty and Nikita Zadorov.

 

The wheeling and dealing from general manager Patrik Allvin has left the Canucks with approximately $332,000 in cap space, according to Cap Friendly.

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8 minutes ago, Pears said:

That kind of says they plan on keeping the lotto line together and are looking at a legit second line center. 

 

Yes, but it goes deeper than that imo, I don't think management wants to ice one top line, two third lines, and a fourth line. Our second liners have produced as much as our third liners, which can be looked at as encouraging, problematic, or both. 

 

https://www.capfriendly.com/depth-charts/canucks

 

The problem with icing the lotto line come playoff time is that other teams, particularly teams who get further into the playoffs, will probably have quality forward depth as well, which is when having a super line could be a problem. It's easier to shut down a single, very effective top six line than two quality top six lines imo. 

 

Canucks have gotten good showings from depth forwards this season but their offense is undeniably top heavy, from the defense as well. 

Edited by Coconuts
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3 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

Yes, but it goes deeper than that imo, I don't think management wants to ice one top line, two third lines, and a fourth line. Our second liners have produced as much as our third liners, which can be looked at as encouraging, problematic, or both.

 

Reading between the lines (pardon the pun), it perhaps suggests that even they are questioning the effectiveness of their Russian signings, or perhaps the fit with the current coaching staff of those signings.

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6 minutes ago, 5forFighting said:

Without moving money, there is no room to add. That means someone from the roster with a sizeable contract goes. 

 

Unless they add a Phil Kessel or Corey Perry. 

 

Garland or Kuzmenko would be my guess, unless they're interested in Montreal's Monahan, who carries just shy of a 2M cap hit. 

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14 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

 

Garland or Kuzmenko would be my guess, unless they're interested in Montreal's Monahan, who carries just shy of a 2M cap hit. 

Garland and Kuz Missile are both way better players than Monnohands. Rutherford said a “top six” forward. That’s clearly not any Haberdoodle. 
 

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6 minutes ago, Miss Korea said:

Oh boy Trader Jim is back at it

 

You hear that, Canucks players?  Nobody is safe with this guy in charge...

We play in Buffalo tomorrow. Could Middlestadt be switching rooms with Kuz Missile? 

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1 minute ago, Alflives said:

Garland and Kuz Missile are both way better players than Monnohands. Rutherford said a “top six” forward. That’s clearly not any Haberdoodle. 
 

 

Not this season, Monahan edges them both in points and plays a more valuable position. 24 points in 41 games on a lousy Montreal team. 

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1 minute ago, Tusk said:

this article shows they dont know fuck all..... "their success has come from a top-heavy attack. Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, and Brock Boeser dominate the top line and operate at better than a point-per-game pace for the season."

I mean they have been on the lotto line what, 4 games now?

Excellent point! 
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3 minutes ago, Tusk said:

this article shows they dont know fuck all..... "their success has come from a top-heavy attack. Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, and Brock Boeser dominate the top line and operate at better than a point-per-game pace for the season."

I mean they have been on the lotto line what, 4 games now?

 

On a line or not, that doesn't change the fact our offense has been top heavy. 

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5 minutes ago, Tusk said:

yeah but on TWO lines up untill a week ago.

 

One line or two, that doesn't change the fact that our second line wingers have roughly the same number of points as our third line wingers. Our forward depth has been better this season, which reflects in point totals across the board, but that doesn't mean the lack of production from the second line isn't problematic. 

 

Pettersson hasn't been able to get more out of Mikheyev and Kuzmenko, we've seen Di Gueseppe line up with Miller at times this season, the Canucks need more from their top six and that's likely why management views it as an area of need. 

 

If they stack their talent their depth is left wanting, if they don't their depth is still left wanting. 

Edited by Coconuts
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I think there is enough time before TDL to maybe put JT on with the ruskies for a few weeks. I bet he can get them going. Leave petey with brock and sub in a bunch of guys on the wing for now.

I really think the Kuz/Petey/Mik was just under-performing. I still think its the right line, but they need a break and then come back together.

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53 minutes ago, Pears said:

That kind of says they plan on keeping the lotto line together and are looking at a legit second line center. 

Dhaliwal reported today they're looking for a winger mostly, although I'm sure they won't pass up a great C opportunity if it presents itself. 

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10 minutes ago, Rip The Mesh said:

Garland would be my 1st guess strictly because of his pay cheque however Mikheyev would bring something pretty good in return, maybe someone

more dynamic with a "team first" attitude and a willingness to rough it up when needed.

 

Maybe, I think they're content with Garland on the third line for now, but I could see them explore moving him during the summer. I think Mikheyev stays.

 

5 minutes ago, Tusk said:

I think there is enough time before TDL to maybe put JT on with the ruskies for a few weeks. I bet he can get them going. Leave petey with brock and sub in a bunch of guys on the wing for now.

I really think the Kuz/Petey/Mik was just under-performing. I still think its the right line, but they need a break and then come back together.

 

I think Kuzmenko would probably be the odd guy out, he just doesn't seem to fit with Tochett hockey, regardless of what's been said in the media. 

 

I don't think it's that he's underperforming in a big way, I think he's just come back down to earth and we're seeing a player closer to what we should probably expect. He was always due for regression based on an inflated shooting percentage, the same way Boeser likely is this year. But the biggest difference between the two is that Boeser shoots a helluva lot more, his overall game is also better than Kuzmenko's imo. 

 

Boeser has 27 goals on 116 shots through 42, which amounts to a 23.3 shooting percentage.

Kuzmenko has 8 goals on 55 shots through 36 games, which amounts to a 14.5 shooting percentage. 

Brock has more than doubled Kuzmenko's shots which works in his favour, even if he regresses he's more likely to maintain a higher scoring pace if only because he shoots more. 

 

Maybe Miller could get more out of Kuzmenko, but I wouldn't expect a "return to form" that resembles last season's totals. I think there's a good chance Kuzmenko simply had a career season right off the hop. 

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3 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

 

 

I think Kuzmenko would probably be the odd guy out, he just doesn't seem to fit with Tochett hockey, regardless of what's been said in the media

 

Maybe Miller could get more out of Kuzmenko, but I wouldn't expect a "return to form" that resembles last season's totals. I think there's a good chance Kuzmenko simply had a career season right off the hop. 

first of all, its the MEDIA that has been saying Kuz doesnt fit Tocc hockey. not the team, not tocc, not kuzy's agent, not Kuz.

 

Second, when someone has a great season there is alot of pressure to follow up. That takes a bit to roll off your back and let you get back to work. Sometimes a change is all it needs, like Petey going up to JT and Brock line. 

 

Third, If JT was on that KUZY MiK line he would be like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. The whole line wins.

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21 minutes ago, Rip The Mesh said:

Garland would be my 1st guess strictly because of his pay cheque however Mikheyev would bring something pretty good in return, maybe someone

more dynamic with a "team first" attitude and a willingness to rough it up when needed.

 

One problem: NO!  TRADE!  CLAUSE!  A modified one, with a 12 team no-trade list, but still a big problem.

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4 minutes ago, WillisD said:

Fuk this year's been fun. I'd like to see a guy with some edge and toughness along with scoring brought in. Tall order. I wonder if there's anyway we could pry Kadri from the shames. 

If the Flames would retain 2 mil per then sure. As long as it’s Kuz Misdile straight across. 

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