In light of the Canucks’ disastrous trip to Boston, we expect some significant line-up tweaks from the occasionally esteemed Coach Vigneault.
During the last Canucks’ meltdown (the first round near suicide swoon against Chicago), we threw out some ideas for roster changes (see our April 23rd posting where we recommended reuniting Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows and starting Cory Schneider) that ended up working out brilliantly. So once again, it’s time to play Armchair Alain Vigneault:
- While we’re tempted to throw out the “start Cory Schneider” plea again, although things are similar, they are also different this time around. Until the last two games, Roberto was being lauded as a Conn Smythe trophy candidate. He did out goaltend Tim Thomas in two straight games not that long ago. The only reason to start Schneider at this point would be as a wake-up call for the rest of the team. We’d say that card doesn’t need to be played. Yet.
- We would, however, reunite Kesler and Burrows again (on the hope that they restrict their play to between the whistles).
- The most dominant Canuck forwards in the four games of the final have essentially been every member of the third line. That line needs to see more ice time or perhaps broken up with its ingredients spread evenly through the top three lines. In particular, Jannik Hansen riding shotgun with the twins might invigorate the suddenly stone cold Sedins.
- Given the poor play of both Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts in the last game, perhaps it’s time to insert Chris Tanev in either of their places. While the Canucks might miss the physicality that both Ballard and Alberts can bring, the cool headed play of Tanev might be a better option for a defense that looks more than a little discombobulated right now.
- And before the current edition of the Canucks get too lost in this nosedive, it might be worth reminding them of the ’94 version, who after a game one overtime win, lost three straight, getting outscored 12-4 in the process, before rallying to trounce the Rangers in games five and six.
- We would toy with the idea of inserting a skillful Cody Hodgson into the line-up and finding him some quality ice time on the wing, with Mason Raymond rightfully demoted to the fourth line until he can recalibrate his compass to discover where the front of the net might be. If Boston can get some contribution from its number one prospect, why can’t we?
- Sami Salo is certainly struggling with his mobility, but he has proven that he can still shoot the puck, and given the struggles of the power play, it is time for him to see some first unit minutes at the expense of either Christian Ehrhoff or Alex Edler.
The best thing about playing Armchair Alain Vigneault is that the more crap you throw at the wall, the more likely some of it will stick and the more likely you’ll look just as brilliant lucky as Coach Vigneault Enjoy your white knuckle ride tonight.
Tags: Alain Vigneault
, Alex Burrows
, Andrew Alberts
, Boston Bruins
, Chris Tanev
, Christian Ehrhoff
, Cody Hodgson
, Cory Schneider
, Jannik Hansen
, Keith Ballard
, Mason Raymond
, Roberto Luongo
, Ryan Kesler
, Sami Salo
, Stanley Cup Final
, Tim Thomas
, Vancouver Canucks