Canucks: Analyzing their 5-on-5 play so far this season

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Brandon Sutter down

The Canucks fourth line has one job, and that’s to shut down the opposition’s best line.

For a large part of the season, the shut down line has been Tyler Motte, Jay Beagle and Tim Schaller. This line has only has a 38.31 Corsi For percentage%, and they’ve been outscored 8-3. To be fair, this line only starts in the offensive zone 19.7 percent of the time.

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Having a fourth line centre like Beagle is great, since he brings some physicality, and like Miller, he wins a ton of faceoffs. Motte led the Canucks last year with 200 hits, but other than his physicality, he has a heavy wrist shot that we get to see from time to time.

Brandon Sutter replaced Schaller on the line after coming back from injury, but they’ve only played 30:16 together. It’s difficult at this point to say if there’s been an improvement or not. There are a few things I like more about Sutter then Schaller.

For one, Sutter adds more speed to this line, and he has the ability to score double-digit goals. He’s more defensively sound than Schaller, too. It would be great to see this line click more, and hopefully they’ll get more puck luck.

Bonus lines

While the line of Peason-Horvat-Eriksson has been effective,  there was two wingers that had some great chemistry with Horvat for the little time they got to play together.

Those wingers were Leivo and Virtanen.

Though Leivo is sidelined for most of the remainder of the season, it would be interesting to see if this line can reconnect before going into the playoffs. This line has only played 19:43 together, but during that time, they racked up a 71.43 Corsi For percentage, they’ve outscored opponents 2-0.

I understand that it would be crazy to think they could keep that pace up long-term, but even if it Their CF% fell down to around 53 percent, it would still be good enough.

Now, let’s take a look at the defence.