With Taylor Pyatt relegated to the fourth checking line with Johnson and Hordichuk, and Mason Raymond inserted into the third line along side Chubby Wellwood and Hands of Stone Bernier, Viggy has given us the updated version of the Unemployment Line.
A month ago, when I tagged the Pyatt, Wellwood, Bernier line the unemployment line, my reasoning was through their uninspiring play, they were all playing themselves out of a job and on to the unemployment lines. But, with the new version, we see that Wellwood and Bernier seem to have been given new life into an otherwise uninspiring mid season career path with the Canucks.
The infectious energy of Raymond (the same could be said for Burrows teaming up with the Twins too) seems to be rubbing off on Bernier, who is finally throwing his body around and creating some chaos, while 'swinging for the fences' whenever the puck is in his area. Chubby seems to have new life as well...chugging along after loose pucks and creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates. Although they haven't been able to cash in on all those chances, there is so much more energy on the ice from this bunch than in the past. You cannot deny the hustle put forth by all three of them whenever they are on the ice.
As the Canucks inch closer to the playoffs and continue to win with confidence, this third line will become essential to the success of the team in the post season. Certainly the stars (Twins, Kesler, Sundin, Luongo) have to and will pull their weight when the playoffs start, but it is always the unsung heroes of a team that bring it over the top.
With the Canucks sporting two legitimate lines (RPM, Triplets), the Unemployment Line is beginning to show something that it could be the line that other teams in the playoffs will need to worry about. They are difficult for teams to match up against, due to the speed and chaotic cycling of their game. Teams will be forced to put a bigger checking presence on the line, freeing up the Triplets and RPM to do their thing.
Yes, it may be the season for everyone to step into the Unemployment Line...and right now, that isn't looking like too bad of a spot for the Canucks.