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Pyrene

Depth at Defense more Crucial to Canucks than Centre

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With the loss of Kesler for majority of this shortened season, many Canucks fan panic at our lack of depth and inability to score, claiming the Canucks lack the scoring depth. Though the recent playoffs have swerved many to believe that our offensive depth is lacking for a championship caliber team, this is not the case.

The Canucks play a defensive first approach system, relying on quick transitions of the D carrying the puck up the ice and maintaining puck control. Without a core of defencemen who could strip the opposition of the puck and make that first transition pass to center ice, the system easily falters. Looking back at the 2011 playoffs, it is noticeable that we generate a lot of offence off our defense. Without a stable defense, our offense breaks down. For example: how would you expect the Sedins to produce if they were trapped inside our own end their entire shift? Likewise, our scoring ability disappeared the second we lost Hamhuis in the SCF.

Rather than trading Luongo, or whoever it may be for a temporary center, its more sensible to develop depth at D to better support AV's systematic approach of defencemens who can carry the puck up the ice or make that first pass. Beyond our top 4, which is already quite injury prone, there isn't the depth of defencemen that is dependable enough to fill the top 4 role.

Hamhuis / Bieksa

Elder / Garrison

Ballard / Tanev

Alberts

Neither Ballard, Tanev, nor Alberts has the ability to step up to a top 4 role, with Tanev being the most stable of the 3.

A stable defense is the formula for a steady offence. For these past two Playoffs, the Canucks have had a terrible defensive showing, resulting in the lack of goals scored. Rather than spending money on a temporary center, lets focus our efforts into the real issue: our D-depth.

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Ballard can step in as a top 4 in a pinch, even Tanev can. Jim Vandermeer would be a nice addition.

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With the loss of Kesler for majority of this shortened season, many Canucks fan panic at our lack of depth and inability to score, claiming the Canucks lack the scoring depth. Though the recent playoffs have swerved many to believe that our depth is lacking for a championship caliber team, this is not the case.

The Canucks play a defensive first approach system, relying on quick transitions of the D carrying the puck up the ice and maintaining puck control. Without a core of defencemen who could strip the opposition of the puck and make that first transition pass to center ice, the system easily falters. Looking back at the 2011 playoffs, it is noticeable that we generate a lot of offence off our defense. Without a stable defense, our offense breaks down. For example: how would you expect the Sedins to produce if they were trapped inside our own end their entire shift? Likewise, our scoring ability disappeared the second we lost Hamhuis in the SCF.

Rather than trading Luongo, or whoever it may be for a temporary center, its more sensible to develop depth at D to better support AV's systematic approach of defencemens who can carry the puck up the ice or make that first pass. Beyond our top 4, which is already quite injury prone, there isn't the depth of defencemen that is dependable enough to fill the top 4 role.

Hamhuis / Bieksa

Elder / Garrison

Ballard / Tanev

Alberts

Neither Ballard, Tanev, nor Alberts has the ability to step up to a top 4 role, with Tanev being the most stable of the 3.

A stable defense is the formula for a steady offence. For these past two Playoffs, the Canucks have had a terrible defensive showing, resulting in the lack of goals scored. Rather than spending money on a temporary center, lets focus our efforts into the real issue: our D-depth.

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You lost me at Ballard not being a capable top 4 D man. He is absolutely capable of being one and is on teams that don't have a good defense.

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This thread starts and ends with Keith Ballard. From the post above, it's absolutely arguable whether he can step in the top 4 or not, but the fact is that he is being paid as a top 4 defense man. You cannot do anything, until you either move this player or accept that he's not going anywhere.

If you want the Defense to be better, you have to start considering changing the top 4, because in the playoffs. It's mainly the top 4 that only matters, and that problem was addressed when Gillis replaced a injury prone Salo, with Garrison. Now, We'll just have to wait and see how Garrison does.

Nonetheless, Top 4 Defense mans don't grow on trees. Be patient, wait it out, and try to snag one a rental at the trade deadline if the current core isn't meeting expectations. Don't be foolish and do something stupid, because Edler is a UFA next season and It'll be impossible to replace him. You absolutely cannot tie yourself into anything long term.

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Ballard was arguably our best defenseman (along with Tanev) in the Quarter-finals last year. That isn't saying an entire lot as it was 5 games, but he has ability, he just needs an opportunity to play and the right amount of confidence. We could do with a #1 d-man, but we have all-around great depth when our defensemen are in form.

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This thread starts and ends with Keith Ballard. From the post above, it's absolutely arguable whether he can step in the top 4 or not, but the fact is that he is being paid as a top 4 defense man. You cannot do anything, until you either move this player or accept that he's not going anywhere.

If you want the Defense to be better, you have to start considering changing the top 4, because in the playoffs. It's mainly the top 4 that only matters, and that problem was addressed when Gillis replaced a injury prone Salo, with Garrison. Now, We'll just have to wait and see how Garrison does.

Nonetheless, Top 4 Defense mans don't grow on trees. Be patient, wait it out, and try to snag one a rental at the trade deadline if the current core isn't meeting expectations. Don't be foolish and do something stupid, because Edler is a UFA next season and It'll be impossible to replace him.

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Good point. However, its been proven that Hamhuis and Bieksa primarily crack when given higher minutes. Even Salo played 22 minutes a game despite the management wanting to give him less. We just need that stable #5 D that can step into a top 4 role and log minutes without hesitation from the coach

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We have absolutely nothing to worry about on D, as long as we dont have 2-3 injuries there (knock on wood). What we NEED is a power forward who can put the puck in the net at will, crash the net, play nitty-gritty.

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A lot of people forget Ballard had a major concussion last season. He returned in the playoffs and was our best defensman.

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Rather than trading Luongo, or whoever it may be for a temporary center, its more sensible to develop depth at D to better support AV's systematic approach of defencemens who can carry the puck up the ice or make that first pass. Beyond our top 4, which is already quite injury prone, there isn't the depth of defencemen that is dependable enough to fill the top 4 role.

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I was with you until the bolded part, you can't just erase 4/6 d-man to make the argument that we don't have depth. If anything 25 teams covet what we have on the back end. As per your argument about transition and first pass d-men, we have that in Tanev as well. He makes a great first pass, though he's not the puck carrier just yet.

I'm curious as to who you think we could acquire that would be that transitional d-man willing to slot in a 5/6 spot? I'm also curious as to who you think can carry the puck on the rush from the back end?

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Someone that can purely outmuscle the opposition team off the puck. Can do well with the 4th line sortve banging defencemen. With our 5/6dman, neither are really capable of doing that, thought tanev has a nice first pass and ballard and carry the puck thru the middle well. It just not as settling knowing if the other team is working the boards, tanev and ballard dont have the strength to knock them off the puck

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Our D was limping through the playoffs the last 2 years. If they were healthy we might just have a cup banner in the rafters. D is crucial, but scoring 8 goals in the finals is what lost us the cup. We need a Bertuzzi 2.0 that scores at least 40 every year plain and simple.

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How I read your post, is that for AV's system, we need someone who can be a transitional, first pass defenseman who can also carry the puck. If you're creating a separate argument that we need defensive defensemen, who are big and play the boards, well that runs contrary to your initial post. So which is it, transitional d-man that can carry the puck, or a big guy that can hit?

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a lot of people made fun of rome, but he like mitchell played a safe, simple game. ballard has great wheels but like edler, does not play well on the right side...AV said he liked him paired with tanev, because tanev could cover for kb4's defensive gaff's..

it will be interesting to see how well garrison handles playing his off side....salo was a very dependable defensive defenseman...if garrison can fill his shoes, we will be fine. as you mention, injuries to our back end have killed us in the past two playoffs..

we also need to find more secondary scoring...is kesler going to be kesler when he returns or will we ever see him again?

i like booth's game, but he needs to start burying pucks...

there are rumors that gillis is thinking of bringing in arnott as temporary centerman for kes...i'm not sure he has anything left in the tank, but is that big bruising center, he seems to be looking for.

next year will be interesting....can they afford both edler and ballard?

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