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The Case For WellKrog

Posted 4:07 PM ET | Comments 0
Current thinking seems to put Vancouver's top 2 lines as:


The Dimitra line above played as the first line last night against San Jose, and did pretty well (although they finished -1 as a line for the game).

If this line plays together for the whole year I suppose they max out with the following point totals:

M. Raymond 20 goals 45 pts. (a nice breakout year for his 1st full NHL season)
T. Pyatt 45 pts. (Pyatt's best year ever)
P. Dimitra 60 pts.

Most Canucks fans are hoping for better from Dimitra, but while his skill will obviously make Raymond and Pyatt better, I just don't see them helping maximize Dimitra's point totals.

Pyatt is an effective professional hockey player, with a pretty good shot, decent hockey sense, okay speed once he gets going etc. etc. All in all, an avarage or slightly above average player. Nothing wrong with that.

Raymond has the potential to become a 30 goal 60 point guy in the next couple of years. But not this year. This year I see him taking a big step forward in his development, but like all young players he will have his ups and downs.

So the total amount of points I see this line maxing out with is 150 pts. Better than last year's jumble of second line(s), but not good enough.

What I would like to recommend is dropping the young Raymond and adding a tagteam of Wellwood and Krog. After all, no one really expects Wellwood to play a full season (and Dimitra is going to miss a bunch of games too), so having Krog available to plug into that line only makes sense.

WellKrog is the 4th best offensive player on the team, and with his vision and high hockey IQ he will be able to help Dimitra maximize his production. So I see the new second line maxing out with the following point totals:

Dimitra 70 pts
Pyatt 45 pts
WellKrog 65 pts

For a total of 180 pts.

With the Sedin line hitting 200-220 pts that gives the Canucks two pretty effective offensive units. But there are also residual benefits to putting WellKrog on the second line.

1. The defacto 3rd line becomes M.Raymond/R.Kesler/A.Burroughs. No longer just a shutdown line, it becomes a brash, nuclear powered, in your face line that nobody in the league is going to want to play against.

2. WellKrog is a top notch Power Play specialist. The Canucks PP efficiency rating immediately increases by 3 percent wih him in the line-up.

3. WellKrog is clearly the Canucks first and best option in the shootout.

So how serious is the Canucks brain trust about increasing the offense? Obviously, WellKrog is not exactly an Alain Vigneault type of player, but assuming Wellwood continues to gradually improve his fitness level (he's bound to what with games, practices, workouts, and riding the bike), and Krog somehow convinces Gillis to tell Manitoba to get lost, and keep him in the Show, this Tag Team could have a dramatic effect on the Canucks watchability factor this year.

Filed Under:   canucks   wellwood   krog   sedin   kesler   dimitra  
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