Canucks: Early season mailbag through five games

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Five games are in the books and the Vancouver Canucks have already seen the ups and the downs of the season. Vancouver has two regulation losses against  Buffalo and Detroit, but did come back with a nice 4-1 win over Chicago on Thursday. But after five games,  it’s time to run with the first Canuck Way mailbag of the season.

Here are the questions we took from the fine folks of Twitter and our answers.

I am adamant in my belief that the Lotto Line needs to be together right now. Vancouver’s offense has been wildly inconsistent so far, and they flat out need their best players together. Now to be fair, they did try that against Chicago and the line did not look good. But Brock Boeser is still trying to get back in rhythm after missing the first three games with injury.

The other issue is that JT Miller is a wildcard in his own end. He’s not necessarily a bad defensive forward, but he’s not really someone you want on your checking lines. His strength is his offensive game and that needs to be the focal point of his game. The best way to bring out his offense? Pair him with Boeser and Elias Pettersson.

Special shout-out to my younger brother for adding a question here. There just has to be more energy and consistency up and down the lineup. The Lotto Line does need to produce more, but the Canucks also need more offense from the bottom six.

The defense is going to be an adventure. That is unfortunately not going to change because of the personnel they have back there. But if they can at least serviceable production from the bottom three guys, they’ll be okay.

But ultimately, the Canucks special teams must improve. The powerplay has been a nightmare, with the 21.1 percentage not telling the true story. The hope is that by having Boeser and Quinn Hughes healthy that it will work itself out.

The penalty kill though has been dreadful. 71.4 percent isn’t gonna get the job done, and keep in mind that another two goals were scored in the immediate seconds after powerplays expired. The Canucks offer no resistance on zone entries, and they don’t have the horses on defense to make up for it. The Canucks badly need Tyler Motte back, which is hopefully coming soon.

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