The Canucks look alright, if you look at their record. They are second in the Pacific Division, attained seven out of 10 possible points and have a 3-1-1 record. It’s only 5 games but it’s enough to give us a sense of where a few questions that need to brought to attention about Willie Desjardins’ nightly lineup. Willie doesn’t have the rookie coach excuse this year, he’s a sophomore now, there is no need for weird line juggles that don’t make sense. Willie needs to start utilizing his talent properly.
WTF #3 Vrbata-Horvat-Baertschi
When the “Lindenning” signed Radim Vrbata last year, the idea was to put him with the twins. Have a first line guy who loves to shoot and can work with the Sedin cycle game. Bring him onto the 2nd line with some idea to get that line going. Not a problem if that line is Vrbata -Horvat- Baertschi. A line that was throwing more shots on net than any other line but just weren’t going in. That’s when the law of averages takes over and eventually something is going go in with the amount of shots that line is producing.
So the game against the Blues, Sven sits, but Dorsett is the guy who takes his place? Derek Dorsett? A 4th line energy guy? Sure Sven hasn’t been great, but he hasn’t been bad either. The fact that he, Vrbata and Bo were producing so many shots is a sign of good things to come. Willie showing a tinge of impatience with some of his young guys who just need a little more time (Sven) . At the same time giving a message to a first line player in Vrbata that he’s not worthy of playing with the Sedins. That’s inexcusable, and frankly just dumb of Willie to not have a thought process. Either put Burrows back with the twins, or Vrbata but never bring up Dorsett or Hansen in these situations, you’re asking them to play way too much out of their elements.
WTF #2 Alex Burrows’ Role
When a guys is making $4+million on your team, has been a 1st line winger with arguably the two best play makers in the last 8 years, why doesn’t he have a permanent home on a permanent line? Willie needs to either play Burrows with the twins or give him some time with Sutter and Virtanen on the other wing. Sutter doesn’t belong with the Sedins, it should be either Burrows or Vrbata or maybe Virtanen. As stated above, I like Vrbata-Horvat-Baertschi together. So putting Burrows on a viable third line isn’t such a bad ask, but he works well with the twins, knows their rhythm, their cycle and can no look drop pass with them like was a triplet. Why punish the guy who could keep the twins consistent throughout the season? Willie again puzzles me with his lack of vision for putting together two top lines. He better figure it out soon or some players will just stop caring where they are in the lineup.
WTF #1 The Power Play Without Yannick Weber
The PP has now gone 1 for 17. For some reason, Willie Desjardins won’t put the guy who has shown that he can put pucks to net in special teams situations. Yannick Weber has played a total of one game since the beginning of the regular season. Putting Alex Edler on the first PP unit instead of Weber who has shown results in the recent past to be a good guy to have on the point with the Sedins.
If Willie wants to continue to be stubborn and leave Edler on the first unit, than put Weber on the 2nd unit PP because Chris Tanev’s shot scares no one. Not you, not me, not big bad NHL penalty killers either. I am not sure when Willie will put Weber back into the line up, but 1 for 17 should be more than enough ‘encouragement’ for a change on special teams PP units. Don’t you think?
These have been a few things bugging many Canucks fans over the first five games. It would be “real good” if Coach Willie can give us a lineup that makes sense from time to time.