Line 2 Futility Taking Its Toll

Let me make this clear. This is not a knee-jerk reaction. But there are times when an issue, even on a kickass team such as Vancouver gets addressed. You know, when you call a spade a spade. The issue I have here (mostly) is secondary scoring. It became evident once again against the Bruins Saturday night. We know that the Kesler-Samulesson-Raymond line needs to provide relief if the Sedins-Burrows line is smothered. That is not happening. The Canucks' line 3 of Hansen-Malhotra-Torres is chipping in as much as they should / can right now but that is not enough (even though I tip my hat to their productivity).You can't look to them to bail out the Canucks consistently when the Burrdins are checked to hell.

Let's just look at the stats.

-The Canucks have lost 5 of their last 9 games. It is literally a win-lose-win-lose situation.

-In the Canucks' last 9 games:

-Daniel Sedin has scored 4 goals and 6 assists and is a +1.

-Henrik Sedin has scored 3 goals and 5 assists and is an even +/-

-Alex Burrows has scored 3 goals and 3 assists and is an even +/-

-Mikael Samuelsson has scored 5 goals and 2 assists and is a -4

-Ryan Kesler has scored 2 goals and 3 assists and is a -3

-Mason Raymond has scored no goals and 3 assists and is a -5.

-Manny Malhotra has scored 3 goals and 4 assists and is a +5

-Raffi Torres has scored 2 goals and 2 assists and is a +4

-Jannik Hansen has scored 2 goals and 2 assists and is a +3.

-The 4th line gets a pass because they rarely play nor do we expect them to steal many games if any at all with that kind of ice time.

-Hey I think Mikael Samuelsson gets a pass as well. I think he is bringing it offensively. Kesler and Raymond are not. Raymond was even demoted to the 4th line against the Bruins and Tanner Glass was promoted to the second line. IMO, line 2 looked more dangerous with Glass on it, which doesn't say much for MayRay, who is struggling. MayRay and Kesler have scored 2 goals and 6 assists in Vancouver's last 9 games and are a combined -8. Not good enough.

-God damn is it just me or do the Sedins and Burrows look perimeter-useless against good checking teams...even on home ice?

No matter. The top line has 10 goals and 14 assists in the Canucks' last 9 games. When that falters it is the job of line 2, in all the ice time that they get to provide the secondary scoring.That right now is not happening.

Management seems fine to give Mason Raymond more time to snap out of it. Knee-jerking here are people calling for Raymond to be traded. Decreased effectivity and demotion aside I am not one of those people. I think Kesler will snap out of it obviously and Raymond will as well.

As for line 4: I saw some solid play from them tonight. If Hodgson's shot doesn't go off the knob of Tim Thomas' stick I could be singing a different tune. But what are we really expecting from Hodgson? Well, time has run out. The Canucks do not play again until after the trade deadline. It looks as though Mike Gillis will try find help for the 4th line center position and CoHo will return to Manitoba. Yet, there are early signs of brilliance from the kid. But it is not this day. Alain Vigneault gave the kid some PP time on top of his 4th line minutes but really, it was always a rush to get the Sedins and Kesler out there on the man advantage. It is not this day for Cody. But it is not Hodgson / line 4 that is the problem. Line 2 needs to step it up and in due time they will.

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