Work has taken over life for the last little while so hockey has taken a back seat. During the last few weeks I haven't been able to break down the minutiae of the Canuck's play but here's the few observations I have made:
Hordichuck. redundant. He doesn't have the foot speed or sense to be an effective forechecker/grinder. His hesitance to stand up for his teammates or intimidate the opposition has taken over his play. Rypien has more than made up for Hordichuk's disappearance and Tanner Glass adds the size element if not the pugilistic prowess. Hordichuck = Expendable
Bernier. Stevie, Stevie, Stevie.... So hard to peg. He has some size but he's not hulking. He's not slow. His hands come and go. Is he an underachieving 2nd liner or a serviceable third liner? I think he will remain a third liner and I choose to be pleasantly surprised when he scores. As long as his contract remains manageable Burner represents the depth a winning squad needs. Any higher expectations will only lead to frustration.
Burrows. I have a theory on Alex's productivity. Burr is most effective when he plays with the highest of determination. When on his game his hustle, grit and beaking give opposition players fits. His rise from the depths of the minors to Vancouver's first line was fueled by playoff level intensity. His ability to play a desperate style in mid January while everyone else is skating in quicksand has allowed him to push past those with more raw talent.
Two problems. One. Maintaining that level of intensity over an 82 game schedule is hard. Maintaining it over multiple seasons seems impossible. Two. The "playoff gear" that Burrows has been able to find in the regular season leaves him with nowhere to go. When the playoffs roll around and everyone else steps up, Burrows has nowhere to go. His hustle is matched by the opposition and his lack of natural ability is exposed.
It's only theory, but I hope his recent lack of production is explained by a hidden injury and not complacency creeping into his game.
More ranting to come...