Lotto Line has to be on the money.
There is a lot to like about this line. Miller is a strong forechecker, a two-way player, and the leader of the line. Boeser is a goal scorer that can also do much more than score and of course, Pettersson is an elite playmaker with a deadly shot and also a solid two-way player.
Last season, the Lotto Line took some time to get going and they eventually did. However, it didn’t last long as Pettersson went down with a wrist injury that eventually ended his season.
In 2019-20, the line was consistent all season showcasing their forechecking and swift moving of the puck and of course, scored plenty goals. Per NaturalStatTrick, the trio had a 58.38 % Corsi for, 66.67% goals for, 58.40% expected goals for, and 54.41 % High Danger Corsi for. Yeah, those are pretty good numbers.
In 2021, the Lotto Lines had a 51.78 CF percentage, a 51.61 GF percentage, 55.34 xGF percentage, and a better 57.70 HDCF percentage. There was a drop-off in Corsi for, goals for, and expected goals for but expect those numbers to be higher in 2021-22.
With a healthy Pettersson, the Lotto Line has to hit the jackpot consistently.
Quinn Hughes has to have a better season defensively
The runner-up in Calder voting in 2019-20 had a poor defensive season last year despite putting up great offensive numbers.
Quinn Hughes was often turning the puck over and getting beat easily on the rush and the board battles. As a result, he was one of the worst players in the entire league defensively.
Obviously, the Canucks can’t have that this season. Brad Shaw is known for helping out young defencemen improve and he could be a factor for Hughes. He won’t have the same impact Ian Clark has with Demko but he could help teach Hughes some important defensive lessons.
Travis Hamonic was Hughes’ partner for the majority of last season but the situation with him is still unclear other than the fact that he is not opting out and is expected to miss the start of the season per CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal.
Other options for partners for Hughes are Tyler Myers, Tucker Poolman, and Brad Hunt.
Whoever his partner is, Hughes still has a lot to learn on the defensive side. Being only 21, (He will be 22 on October 14.) there is still lots of room for growth.
Hughes is going to be the biggest piece of the Canucks blue line for years to come and next season is an opportunity to make everyone forget how poor he was defensively the previous season.