Rocking Your Socks Since 2000
Our editor “Q” proposed an interesting idea for an article, in between devotedly watching episodes of the iCarly marathon on his favourite channel, YTV.
Who would be on your All-2000s Vancouver Canucks squad?
Though this year’s team is still on pace for their second highest ever point total, a great deal of the fan base remains quite skeptical of the Canucks‘ chances of winning the Cup this year.
I firmly believe however that they have as good a chance as any other team to take home Lord Stanley, but imagine if we could access the DeLorean and the Flux Capacitor, then skirt the player movement rules (much like the refs conveniently ignore the rule book at this time of year) to build a team to assure the trophy.
Might it look like this?
Starting Goalie – Roberto Luongo; Back-up Goalie – Cory Schneider
Quite simply, Lou is the finest goaltender this team has ever had, doubters be damned. He holds the majority of team records at the position, including wins and shutouts, and has been consistently good from year to year.
For the short-sighted supporters out there who keep dumping on him, it is blasphemy to suggest this, but Luongo has put this team into the top echelon consistently over the past few years.
Think of that incredible stretch of play from December through February this year, when so many of his teammates had yet to find their game.
Nothing else needs to be said about Schneider. His talent, composure and humility have currently pushed him to the premiere position of top NHL back-up alongside Tuukka Rask.
Top Defensive Pair – Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo
Ex-partners Ohlund and Salo bring size and a sense of calm with the puck. They are both very cerebral on their entry play into the zone, and also work well as a shutdown pair.
Second Defensive Pair – Ed Jovanovski, Kevin Bieksa
‘Jovocop’ and ‘Juice ‘are both good skaters who excel as two way players. Additionally, they both have a mean streak to make opposing forwards think twice about setting up in front of goal.
Third Defensive Pair – Dan Hamhuis, Christian Ehrhoff
‘Hammer’ and the German are an ideal third pair. The BC born Hamhuis is a steady, defence first player who counterbalances the more attacking Ehrhoff. Their limited minutes as the third pair would also allow them to contribute more time on special teams, with Hamhuis on the penalty kill, and Ehrhoff bringing his initiative to the power play.
Here’s a little diddy of Christian Ehrhoff’s from late 2009: Overtime goal vs. St. Louis
First Line – Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows
Despite recent struggles, this unit is the finest line to ever suit up for the Canucks. The pure skill and perception of the Sedins is among the best in NHL history, and Burrows provides the finish and grit to round off the effectiveness of this combo.
Second Line – Markus Naslund, Ryan Kesler, Todd Bertuzzi
Here we find the ideal second unit. Kesler brings speed, grit and determination, Bert has size, hands, good skating and the physical presence. Nazzy provides the patience and the finish. I believe Kesler would be an even more effective centre here than Morrison was with the same partners.
One of the best Nazzy Tributes out there: “Morrison to Bertuzzi, Naslund…scores!”
Third Line – Chris Higgins, Brendan Morrison, Trevor Linden
Speaking of Morrison, his versatility offensively and defensively would see him be a key lynchpin on the third group. Trevor, who had slowed down a bit by the 2000s, would be the veteran leader of the bottom six forwards and Chris Higgins is the do-it-all skater who can move anywhere in the line-up.
How about this: Trevor Linden’s Final NHL Period
Fourth Line – Manny Malhotra, Max Lapierre, Jannik Hansen
This trio would be a superlative checking group , that could still chip in offensively. Manny is one of the greatest face-off men in league history, while the great Dane‘s speed and work ethic trouble any opponent. Lappy provides a similar work ethic and the pest factor to get under the skin of opponents.
Well readers, that’s my line-up. I would love to hear your take on this. Feel free to leave your comments and line-ups below.