Canucks: Is the 2021-22 roster better than the one in the bubble?

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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The offseason continues to drag for the Vancouver Canucks. Not much news to talk about and the roster is pretty much set. It is raining at the time of this writing and that’s a sign Canucks hockey is close to returning.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a poll on the Canucks subreddit asking if if the 2021-22 Canucks roster is better than the roster that played in the bubble for the 2020 playoffs. The post gained a ton of discussion and there were even a couple of Youtube videos discussing this topic.

At The Canuck Way, we like to share our opinions no matter how much you disagree and dislike them. We are here to create discussion and debate. So, let’s dissect the bubble roster and the current Canucks roster and see which one is better. For the bubble lineup, I’ll use the lines from the Canucks game 7 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

We are going to look the roster’s on paper as the current one hasn’t played together on the ice yet.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the forwards.


Bubble lineup:

J.T. Miller- Elias Pettersson- Brock Boeser

Tanner Pearson-Bo Horvat- Tyler Toffoli

Antoine Roussel- Adam Gaudette-Brandon Sutter

Tyler Motte-Jay Beagle-Jake Virtanen

Extras: Zack MacEwen, Tyler Graovac, Loui Eriksson


Projected 2021-22 lineup:

J.T. Miller- Elias Pettersson- Brock Boeser

Conor Garland-Bo Horvat- Nils Höglander

Tanner Pearson- Jason Dickinson- Vasili Podkolzin

Tyler Motte- Brandon Sutter- Matthew Highmore/Phil Di Giuseppe/Zack MacEwen

One thing that remains the same is that the Lotto Line  of J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser will (likely) stay together. In the bubble, and in the 2019-20 season they showed great chemistry and was one of the best forward lines in the league. They had a very good 58.38 Corsi for percentage and 66.67 goals for percentage. Expect similar numbers next year if they can all stay healthy.

The bubble Canucks also had a decent second line with Tanner Pearson, Bo Horvat and Tyler Toffoli.

The current Canucks second line has some tenacity and skill to it with the acquisition of Conor Garland and Nils Höglander heading into his sophomore season. Garland could fill the goal void that Toffoli left behind and provides a great balance of skill and grit. Höglander was first in Corsi For last season at 50.43% and hopefully he can avoid the sophomore slump. Both will be great wingers for Horvat.

Adam Gaudette didn’t really work out as a third line centre mainly due to his defensive play. Brandon Sutter didn’t provide much as a winger and Antoine Roussel spent more time going after Ryan Reaves instead of providing depth scoring.

Tyler Motte carried the fourth line with his energy, work ethic and speed while Jake Virtanen had a disappointing playoffs and Jay Beagle was mainly known for winning faceoffs.

The bottom six the Canucks currently have is better. They have a legit third line centre in Jason Dickinson who is very good defensively for instance. Vasili Podkolzin comes in and he could provide some offence along with a solid two-way game. Pearson’s game may be declining but he has proven he can still store and hopefully he’s got some more left in the tank. The third line doesn’t really look like a scoring line but that will depend on Podkolzin and Pearson.

The fourth line is slightly better with Sutter back in his natural position and has a bit more skill with the likes of Matthew Highmore, Zack MacEwen and even Will Lockwood. Phil Di Giuseppe can provide some defense.

The bubble Canucks had a legit first line and second line, and a below average bottom six. The 2021-22 edition still has a legit first and second line, and a better bottom six.  The third and fourth line have improved since and so has the forward core in general with a legit top nine.

The edge: Current Canucks