Vancouver Canucks – What Went Wrong – Part 3 – Forwards

Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler during a...

Image via Wikipedia

This is part 3 in my short series on why the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.  Today I will be looking at the forwards and discuss what can be done to improve the team for another run next year.

I will comment on a line by line basis.

First Line

Very talented unit, except in the playoffs.  I liken Alex Burrows to the guy who played the other wing with Gretzky and Kurri or Bobby Orr‘s defence partner, remember them?  What, you don’t, come to think of it, neither do I.  The guy is not very good and actually may have been a distraction.  Based on his inflated stats from playing with the Sedin’s, maybe they could trade him for a real hockey player with grit as opposed to a yappy diver that people dislike.  He is well on his way to becoming a less talented version of Sean Avery or Matthew Barnaby.  As for the Sedin’s themselves, the Canucks will never win with them so lose them as well.  They could easily bring a number 1 defence guy and some needed 2nd and 3rd line depth.

Second Line

The second line could easily be number one with Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and a third player gained in trade.  Kesler is the type of guy that a team can build around.  Tough, highly skilled and not a yapper.  He will not disappear in a playoff as seen in this year’s run and the 2010 Olympics.

Third Line

This is where the now familiar whine of “we are more skilled than Boston” falls apart completely.  The Bruins first 2 lines matched up very well with the Canucks, in fact the Lucic line dominated the Sedin line for much of the series.  The “we were injured” theory also falls apart as the Bruins were also damaged on the front line, with both Nathan Horton and Marc Savard out.  In all seriousness, the Canuck third line is a horror show and doesn’t even match up with the Bruins 4th line, let alone their 3rd line. Torres on a 3rd line, sheesh.

Fourth Line

More of the same as the 3rd line.  I mean Manny Malhotra as a saviour.  The guy has moved around from team to team since his draft year, never sticking in the bigs for any stretch of time.  Basically a career minor league player who wins the odd face off.

Bottom line, all the self perpetuated myths are bull.  Line for line, I would take the Bruins every time.  Of all the forwards on the Canucks, Kesler is pretty much the only keeper.  They were marginally more skilled on one line, and that line was easily managed.  Their speed is a mirage.  Speed does not win hockey games.  Goal, defence and winning the battles in the corners wins hockey games.  The Canucks have to improve their defence first then upgrade their depth and grit on the forward lines, or they will continue to lose somewhere in the playoffs.

About John

I enjoy travel, sports, music and anything else that jumps up at me for the moment, which is why I blog. There will be lots of music and travel posts and a smattering of sports and humour. I enjoy promoting Canada and am unabashedly a proud Canuck.

Posted on June 19, 2011, in Hockey, Sports and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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