WWYD Wednesday: What More Can Micheal Ferland Do?

It’s hard not to love Micheal Ferland. Well, besides Canucks fans who seemingly believe he is the worst human ever to fans/players of the opposition night in and night out assuming he may murder someone. But he’s nearly universally beloved by Flames fans. 

He’s the type of modern NHL player that gets admiration from traditionalists, from stats oriented fans/analysts, and from his teammates. All of this is warranted and against numerous odds he’s become an NHL regular: a feat in itself that should get more attention.

But seeing him played in a situation that plays to his underlying impacts rarely happens. What’s up with that?

Maybe it’s parity, maybe at the end of the day Glen Gulutzan knows that he needs Ferland in limited minutes because there is a dire need from the third/fourth line to try to run at the same pace as other lines against the comparable competition. It makes sense on paper obviously and it’s an easy assumption to fall back on.

The reality being that it is stifling – to varying degrees – what Ferland is capable of doing: shooting the puck and finding a way to drive play, even if he suffered from bad luck last season. This is where it gets confusing and it speaks volumes that he hasn’t been provided an opportunity – which he’s rightfully earned – to be provided more minutes.

For a team that has struggled mightily on generating goals this year maybe it’s a possibility for Gulutzan to explore. There’s enough evidence to suggest it might not be a bad idea and what do you have to lose at this point? If he succeeds, he does what some expected. If he doesn’t, he’s still a functional NHLer who does provide a noticeable impact (with the eye test and statistically) when on the ice.

So, what do you do, and how would you play Micheal Ferland moving forward? Should he be on the left wing with Sam Bennett? Should he be up there with Sean Monahan? Would you be comfortable moving Matthew Tkachuk off the Mikael Backlund/Michael Frolik line to reform the all-Michael line?

Sound off in the comments.

  • Kensington

    Speaking of the Nucks how many still think we robbed them on the Sven for Hunter trade. Looking more and more we got fleeced!

    Sorry it was Sven for a 2nd my mistake

  • DoubleDIon

    Ferland belongs with Backlund and Frolik on a shutdown 2nd line in my opinion. But Tkachuk has better finish and is a good fit there too. I think with time Tkachuk is going to be an offensive catalyst and will be effective away from the Mikes, but right now he fits well there. I’m fine with Ferland on the 4th line and getting additional minutes on both special teams.

  • It would be interesting to see Tkachuk on another line, just to see if he really is a driving force or not. Move Ferland to the Backlund line, feed them the toughest match-ups possible and then let Tkachuk help out one of Monahan or Bennett at ES instead.

  • knappsacked

    When johnny returns:

    Johnny-monahan-versteeg
    Ferland-bennett-brouwer
    Tkachuk-backlund-frolik
    Shinkaruk-stajan-hamilton/hathaway

    I dont want bouma to come back from injury.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I like the chemistry between Bennett and Ferland but not as much with Bennett in the middle. Of course this means one of them will have to play RW. I would put Janko in th middle on this line.

    Of course, there is always the potential line of moving Bennett back in the middle flanked by Tkachuk and Ferland would be fun to see.

  • Albertabeef

    What about playing Tkachuk or Johnny on the right. I know Johnny has played that position and succeeded. Ferland must stay on the left wing for point production. But I’d be curious to see a first line change to Ferland-Mony-Tkachuk and see if it sparks Mony’s game. These were all top line guys in junior hockey and what’s made them successful. Line two of Johnny-Sam-Brouwer when JG comes back. Throw anyone in with the Mike’s as the shutdown line. Easily role those three lines and throw the 4th in from time to time.

  • Derzie

    Line combos are out of my domain but as long as Ferland gets rewarded for strong play, I’m happy. We have seen him struggle on top lines so a steady increase in time and line placement would be great. His hitting is otherworldly. So much power in such a small space. He does need to catch people to hit them so speed lines may disarm him a bit.

  • Lucky 13

    Never tamper with the 3 M line. Monny has looked good with Versteeg and Brouwer. Some experience on Monnys line will help him, same way Bennett is benefiting from Staj .

    As long as Ferly plays on his productive left side, I don’t care where he’s slotted, as long as the above stays intact.. which basically leaves him where he is currently playing, Ferlands game is complete and I don’t know how you tamper with this at the moment, without disrupting the apple cart somewhere else

  • Ole YELLEr

    I’d like to see something like
    Bennett Monahan Tkachuk/
    Ferland Backlund Frolik/
    Versteeg Stajan Brouwer/
    Shinkaruk Janko Chiasson

    Hopefully all of our top 6 picks can be an effective scoring line until JH returns. It would also give the 3 mikes a chance to gel as I can see them being our shut down line for the foreseeable future.

  • wot96

    We ostensibly need two right wingers. Why not try Monny and Ferly at right wing, at some point? Ferly might mesh well with Johnny Hockey and Bennett when Johnny gets back and putting Mony on the wing might well help him simplify his game and get back to shoveling the puck in.

  • Justthateasy

    A few days ago I said Monahan should stay after practice and work on his shooting trying not to miss tonight. On Monday he finally got one but he still needs to perfect his shot if he is going to hang back and wait in the open space.

  • Just.Visiting

    Ferland has earned more minutes that he is getting, and he’s at a stage of his career at which we need to understand his potential more fully than we can by giving him limited minutes on an energy line.

    I’d move him with the Mikes.

    In conjunction with that (and as noted by a poster above), I’d move Matt to the right side, where he had great success in junior.

    He should be a first line winger for a long time here, and so should JG. The only way that this can happen is if one of them switches to the right side.

    Given that every other experiment on the right side has not worked well, I don’t know why we wouldn’t at least try this one.