10 crazy ideas to fix the Canucks powerplay

It’s no surprise to fans that the Canucks powerplay is struggling. After an incredible start to the season that saw the team once again lead the league in powerplay percentage, it crashed and burned in the second half of the season. The powerplay was 4-for-42 in their last 10 games, and that’s just an arbitrary round number of games to select. Other than a 4-for-11 outburst against the Boston Bruins, the Canucks powerplay hasn’t truly been good since December.

On Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings, however, the team’s powerplay woes went from troubling to truly disastrous. On two Willie Mitchell holding penalties, the Canucks not only couldn’t score, but also gave up two shorthanded goals to Dustin Brown. It’s gotten to the point that fans everywhere wish the team could just decline the penalty and continue to play 5-on-5, where the Canucks have actually outscored the Kings 4-3 in the first two games.

Considering most people still think of the Canucks as a team that tries to draw penalties and beat you on the powerplay, including the Canucks themselves, it’s not surprising that this power outage has led to an identity crisis in Vancouver. Something needs to change and the Canucks can’t count on the return of Daniel Sedin. According to Kristin Reid, not only will Daniel not be travelling to Los Angeles with the team, he won’t be back for the rest of the series.

The Canucks may need to do something drastic. Here are 10 crazy ideas to fix the powerplay:

1. David Booth has one of the best points-per-60 minutes rate on the powerplay on the team and his straight-forward, drive-to-the-net style may solve some of the Canucks problems in gaining the zone. Put him on the first unit.

2. Last season, Marc-Andre Gragnani led the Sabres in playoff scoring with 7 points in 7 games. 5 of those points were powerplay points. Bring him in on the bottom pairing and use him as a powerplay specialist.

3. Put Zack Kassian on the first unit as a net front presence.

4. Here’s a novel idea: fake the drop pass in the neutral zone.

5. Have Alex Edler spend entire powerplay behind own net with the puck to prevent shorthanded goals.

6. Bring Cory Schneider in…as a powerplay quarterback.

7. Multi-ball.

8. Put a picture of Duncan Keith behind the opposition net to encourage Henrik to shoot more.

9. The Flying V.

10. Tell Alex Edler that you’ve replaced his stick with a magic stick that never breaks and will always score. The boost in confidence should work wonders. When the stick inevitably breaks, you let him know the magic was inside him all along.

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32 comments

  1. sarah
    April 14, 2012

    Trade for Dustin Brown? He’s been doing great on the Canucks’ Power Play

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  2. Anonymous
    April 14, 2012

    Can you imagine MAG on the point? Shorties for all!

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    Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
  3. Paul
    April 14, 2012

    Trade for Cody Hodgson, might get the second unit going

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    Rating: +17 (from 35 votes)
    • Mack
      April 14, 2012

      Not sure why you were downvoted. 2nd unit was clearly better with him on it.

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      Rating: +13 (from 15 votes)
      • Lenny
        April 14, 2012

        I’m certain the Canucks management has interns working here voting down credible critiques of their decisions.

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        • akidd
          April 15, 2012

          you might be onto something there, lenny:)

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        • Josh D.
          April 15, 2012

          Mike Richards would eat CoHo alive in any situation.

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  4. Meph
    April 14, 2012

    Pull the goalie for 6-4, they’ve only scored an empty netter once, but two shorthanded ones.

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  5. TubaNat
    April 14, 2012

    MMUUUULLLLTTTIIIIIIBBBBAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  6. Jezz
    April 14, 2012

    Consider that replacing our first unit entirely with our checking line could be nothing but an improvement for the Canucks’ powerplay.

    Seriously but, get Pahlsson up in there.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  7. Brandon
    April 14, 2012

    I liked seeing Kes at the point blasting them. Edler has a hard shot but he’s not very good at getting it off.

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  8. Phileo99
    April 14, 2012

    Kassian Kesler and Booth, with Hamhuis and Salo on the point. Salo unloads the cannon, and let them fight for the loose puck.
    Henrik, Burr, and Lappy on the 2nd unit with Bieksa and Edler on the point. Lappy digs the puck out, with Burr as the surrogate sedin.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  9. Brent
    April 14, 2012

    The fact that the first 4 are reasonable suggestions instead of your usually irrelevance (and funny!) suggestions makes me think you are somewhat worried as well?

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      April 14, 2012

      Indeed, the 4 to 5 step was a quantum leap from sane and rational suggestions to ludicrous ones. When the seldom flappable Bulies seem flapped, we know things aren’t going well.

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      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  10. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 14, 2012

    While we’re coming up with unusual ideas, how about dressing MAG as the 7th defenceman? Perhaps in Stojanov’s spot. I think for the 6:00 of icetime the other 11 forwards would have to cover, it’d be great to get someone of Gragnani’s ilk into the lineup for power plays and the occasional shift with the top line, while not having to replace someone in the lineup who can actually play defence.

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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  11. Lucky
    April 14, 2012

    “10. Tell Alex Edler that you’ve replaced his stick with a magic stick that never breaks and will always score. The boost in confidence should work wonders. When the stick inevitably breaks, you let him know the magic was inside him all along.”

    That really made me laugh out loud, especially the last line. Thanks for your wonderful posts, makes you forget for a minute there that we’re not winning..

    Oh and Kassian in front of the net is actually a not so crazy idea. Wasn’t he in front of the net when Samme scored last night? Wasn’t that also the case in a game during the regular season? He’s a big guy

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  12. Brent
    April 14, 2012

    Speaking of multiball, just now at the end of the second in Ott NYR there was an extra puck on the back of the NY net and for a short period of time there were two pucks in play! Hilarious!

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    • Lenny
      April 14, 2012

      Can fans behind Luongo throw a puck onto the ice to force the officials to stop the play every time the Canucks are in trouble?

      Ok there is a netting but how about from the sides?

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      • Micheal
        April 15, 2012

        I love it

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  13. swizzler
    April 14, 2012

    First unit powerplay needs more Bure

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    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
    • Canuck In Oz
      April 15, 2012

      Or maybe more cowbell.

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  14. Michael
    April 15, 2012

    “When the seldom flappable Bulies seem flapped, we know things aren’t going well”.

    Flapped? I am unducked. Come get me Mister Cheney. Right in the kisser!

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  15. Warpstone
    April 15, 2012

    How much of the is up to Newell Brown vs AV? I’m surprised that neither of them took the opportunity to try out the Booth or Kassian options late in the season.

    It’s not like they have to stick with Kassian parking in front of Quick, but it would certainly at least force the Kings to worry more about the deep play than picking the Canucks off at the blueline.

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  16. Zing!
    April 15, 2012

    Number 5 won’t work. If you remember last year against Nashville, that’s where he was hanging out when….

    http://video.canucks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=999

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  17. Colby
    April 15, 2012

    Put Kesler on the point, he’s not great at being in front of the net and hes got one of the best shots on the team. Seriously, the guy can blast one timers and he knows how to get open.. Make it happen.

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  18. J21
    April 15, 2012

    Why do Salo and Edler not blast one from time to time knowing full well a King will block it? Make them think twice for the next time, or at least make them pay a price — everyone else does it.

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    • Warpstone
      April 15, 2012

      I’ve always thought Salo’s reluctance was due to being afraid of hurting his own players. Still, yet another reason to a put a relatively fungible player in front of the net and cue up that howitzer.

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      • Colby
        April 15, 2012

        “WIth great power comes great responsibility”…. That counts for superhuman slapshots too.

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  19. Peter
    April 15, 2012

    Why worry about the canucks power play when they’re having problem on 5 on 5!
    Get rid of the head coach that just think about his needs and find a head coach that really think about the team, above one self.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      April 15, 2012

      Because the Canucks have been the better team in this series 5-on-5.

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      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  20. BS
    April 16, 2012

    A couple of good suggestions. Here are a couple more.
    Fire AV from a cannon pointed towards Montreal. As I have been telling you for a year he has no ability to adjust and is a terrible coach. Keeps putting out the same guys and wondering why he gets the same results.
    Put Gillis in the same cannon. This guy doesnt know talent (Hodgson trade for example). He also negotiates poor contracts based on his inability see talent (Lou’s contract is a joke and his play certainly doesnt justify the $10 Mill he is being paid the past 2 years).

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