Canucks: 18 things Jake Virtanen needs to do to return to the lineup

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /
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VANCOUVER, BC – DECEMBER 10: Jake Virtanen #18 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL action at Rogers Arena against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 10, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – DECEMBER 10: Jake Virtanen #18 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL action at Rogers Arena against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 10, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

15. Keep it simple

Virtanen can’t focus on doing too much of what isn’t in his tool belt; he’s special because he can score goals and skate quickly with good size. He needs to remain conscious of his defensive game, but Virtanen can’t allow that to lead to bad decision making in the offensive zone.

16. Be active on social media

If Virtanen shows all the work he’s putting in to get back into the lineup, the media will know what to ask Green about. If he is held accountable for keeping Virtanen out of the lineup — regardless of the work he’s putting in — that could result in some backlash against the coach.

17. Skate HARD

One of the most important aspects of this series will be speed. Green may realize that the team is too slow or needs that pickup more than another shut down forward. That’s what Virtanen is showing in practice, and how he’s skating will show Green that he is what the Canucks need.

18. Score a goal

If Virtanen returns to the lineup and scores a goal, that should ensure that he stays in the lineup.

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There is obviously the injury aspect that could get Virtanen into the lineup as well, but that is out of his control. Canucks fans would love to see him in the lineup, but if he can’t do the work, then Virtanen doesn’t deserve to be into the lineup.