We all love putting together line combinations.
Here are three potential Vancouver Canucks line combinations that don’t get mentioned a lot but could be interesting to see actually put into practice.
The Canucks used Loui Eriksson in the top six, and Tyler Motte could be equally effective in a shutdown role, if that’s the direction the club chooses to take the Horvat line once again.
This line definitely lacks offensive upside but Motte’s ability to score goals shouldn’t be joked about. He was a Hobey Baker candidate in his final year of NCAA hockey with Michigan and had a hot hand in this most recent playoff run.
Motte would bring his aggressive forecheck to this line and could help retrieve a few more pucks for Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson to get shots on net.
The effort level is never lacking on Motte, that’s the type of player that seems to work on multiple lines.
This line would probably not happen without a few injuries to the top six, but if the team is in a real slump during a Motte hot spot, maybe Travis Green would promote the gritty winger up in the lineup to try and spark something.
Eriksson-Jasek-Lind (with Comets)
Loui Eriksson’s two-way game could help players like Kole Lind and Lukas Jasek have success in the AHL.
I’m completely fine with the Canucks coming into opening night with Eriksson down in the minors. This story has run its course, there are too many wingers battling for a roster spot and Eriksson is not ready for any battle.
Lind and Jasek both took steps in their games last year with the Comets. No matter what the playing schedule is for the Comets, guys like Lind and Jasek need to continue to improve and get games in.
The Loui Experiment is over for me. I’ve seen enough.
Send him to Utica, or maybe Abbotsford…
You know what, if the Canucks are willing to give Jake Virtanen a shot with JT Miller and Elias Pettersson, they should be willing to give an opportunity to Adam Gaudette too.
The streaming sniper has high-end finishing ability as he has shown during his time on the second powerplay unit. Throughout the playoffs, I kept seeing Gaudette bring a ton of effort and intensity to every shift that he had. He definitely made some defensive blunders but he was also one of the only Canucks to get up in Ryan Reaves’ face in the Vegas series.
Playing with Miller and Pettersson is a spot that any NHL player would sign up for. Brock Boeser has proven to be the best third for that group but the team will want to balance some of the top six scoring and Boeser may find himself riding on Horvat’s wing at the beginning of the 2020-21 season as a result.
Having Gaudette on the Miller-Pettersson line also means that Jake Virtanen would not be in the top six. This also means that the bottom six centres are likely Jay Beagle and Brandon Sutter.
Gaudette played 1:52 with Miller and Pettersson last seaosn and they were outshot 5-0. That’s just a tiny sample size though, so who knows what this trio would be able to do with an extended period of play together.
It’s definitely something to think about.
Do you have any strange trios? Let me know in the comments.