Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Pyrene

Depth at Defense more Crucial to Canucks than Centre

64 posts in this topic

AV said yesterday that they are looking for a puck moving d man.

I read that as offensive d man.

As long as there is no highly capable offensive d man with Hamhuis and Edler in the apparent lurch,Vigneault may be expressing the organisations immediate need.

Kesler is a long ways off so another top 2 NHL center is also needed.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our top-4 is one of the best in the league, but our center position is currently not good enough to win a Cup. Our defence needs one more big, physical veteran guy who can play 20 minutes to play on our 3rd pairing, however we need one 40-point scorer at the center position to be viable for a Cup. Looking at Cup winners down the list, they all have more than 4 NHL centers who can play on the wing. I believe Boston had something like 7 against us, and even L.A was stacked with centers.

Ideally we need players who can step up in case of injury. That 40-point center would be able to replace Kesler, and a veteran defenceman can jump up in case of inevidible injury to our top-4 defence who all have injury history.

We missed our chance at Hecht but Arnott as a 30 point guy wouldn't be too bad. Pavel Kubina would be perfect for our bottom pairing too. These are easy signings that give us this much more playoff-ready, physical lineup:

Sedin - Sedin - Burrows

Higgins - Kesler - Booth

Hansen - Arnott - Raymond

Kassian - Malhotra - Lapierre

Edler - Garrison

Bieksa - Hamhuis

Kubina - Ballard

Tanev

Alberts

This suddenly gives us a much bigger, more physical lineup. Now, no matter what combination or permutation of lines and pairings, we always have one or two physical giants on the ice to protect our skilled guys. That's how you win Cups nowadays - the perfect mix of skill and physicality on the ice at the same time. L.A did it with guys like Williams/Kopitar/Doughty/Mitchell, Boston did it with Krejci/Lucic/Chara, Chicago did it with Kane/Toews/Seabrook/Keith. These are high-end skilled players playing with high-end tough guys who ensure the stars survive the grind of the playoffs. We definately didn't have this in 2011, where there'd be the Sedins and Burrows on the ice with our offensive defencemen Ehrhoff and Edler who aren't tough enough to protect the twins. Now, with either Bieksa, Garrison or Kubina on the ice at the same time, no one would get into a scrum with the twins.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's up to the players in that role to step up. Best bet will be the trade deadline to pick up a rental. I am actually comfortable with Tanev and Ballard because they have proven to be solid before, and they continue to get better on this team. Not a lot of teams have the luxury to have a consistent bottom pair. You play the big boys in the playoffs because they are getting the big boy money. Injuries happen to every team, hockey is a game of luck.

I've always said, that they key to success for a defense core is to sign defensive minded guys because they always step up in the playoffs just simply because they are better in match up games, and because they are defensive minded guys, they are much more affordable. Unfortunately, the puck movers have taken over. Why do you think a guy like Grossman is so highly regarded? There's really not a lot of those guys anymore. Should have kept Mitchell when they had a chance, but what can you do. 3.5M for him looks like an absolute steal right now compared to when he was signed.

On the bright side, with the new CBA, I'd imagine the prices will drop a bit.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a lot of guys who can play solid D, but not all of them fit into AV's system. Problem is we don't know if they will or not before we get them, unless they are young guys who we can bring along understanding what they will need to be good at to fit into our NHL club. That's where the Ballard issue starts and could be the same for garrison, but thankfully he can still contribute on the PP and he has had some time before the season to practice with some of the guys. Ballard is a tremendous hockey player and would be an asset on many teams, but our team plays a style that doesn't suit his game and the side of the ice he is on either.

We do need another top 4 D man in our line up in case of injury and that could be Tanev and Ballard could figure it out his year, the trick is waiting it out and seeing how it goes or bring in someone new and try with them. We know that we can win two presidents trophies with essentially this Defence, but is it good enough for the playoffs or if we have an injury? If we can pick up another smart puck moving Dman who's a good passer with a decent shot and who is young we will be in good shape on D.

Gardiner and Bozak and a pick for Lu would be awesome.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our D is middleweight at best. We will get thumped out in the playoffs again without some kind of heavyweight reinforcement.

Side note: How is it that Kesler is still injured after 8+months??? I am really concerned about the canucks doctors. Hodgson, Willie Mitchell now Kesler. Who knows what other blunders they have made?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playing without quality centers, no back checking or winning any faceoffs. The defencemen will tire themselves

chasing the other teams quality centers around for the puck. It will be difficult to maintain a fast transition game without

a center controlling the neutral zone.

Relax canuck nation there might be a solution, so long as Gillis doesn't panic and pull the trigger early.

Why not play both top notch goalies on a tight leash. The

goalie wins he is in, two bad goals and yank him.

Trade one of them when they are more valuable later. Aquire a top

notch center and a rugged

defenceman, control the middle of the ice and win a stanley cup.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What the heck, Ballard totally has the skill set of a top 4 defencemen. Easily. He's also proven to play in the top pairing role in Florida despite his crappy team, he was still a plus 14. A.V just needs to give him more confidence.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we can get a replacement for Rome a guy who is reliable when there is an injury on the blueline then we'll be fine.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*sighs... yet another topic about the Canucks " lack of defensive depth ".

We have great depth. Which has been proven over and over again. Especially in that season couple years back where we used something like 12 different defencemen in a year. With the absence of Salo, we probably won't need to test the depth to much.

With regulars like Edler, Hamhuis, Bieksa, Ballard, Garrison, Alberts, maybe Joslin

and guys in the minors: Tanev, Sauve, Connauton etc.. we do have good depth. However the strength of the top six can be questioned.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a lot of guys who can play solid D, but not all of them fit into AV's system. Problem is we don't know if they will or not before we get them, unless they are young guys who we can bring along understanding what they will need to be good at to fit into our NHL club. That's where the Ballard issue starts and could be the same for garrison, but thankfully he can still contribute on the PP and he has had some time before the season to practice with some of the guys. Ballard is a tremendous hockey player and would be an asset on many teams, but our team plays a style that doesn't suit his game and the side of the ice he is on either.

We do need another top 4 D man in our line up in case of injury and that could be Tanev and Ballard could figure it out his year, the trick is waiting it out and seeing how it goes or bring in someone new and try with them. We know that we can win two presidents trophies with essentially this Defence, but is it good enough for the playoffs or if we have an injury? If we can pick up another smart puck moving Dman who's a good passer with a decent shot and who is young we will be in good shape on D.

Gardiner and Bozak and a pick for Lu would be awesome.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ballard is a top 4 guys on many or most teams; just not the loaded Canucks. And we are LOADED on D, not the opposite with Ballard actually being a great depth asset in case Hamhuis or Edler gets hurt (or Edler walks in free agency next summer).

I would like to see a puck rushing D added to our repertoire? I would not be sad to see him traded if we could add that skill set. Or convert him into play making or size shortcomings up front. But depth on D hardly looks like our biggest concern.

Sammy Salo is, however, a right D. Teams would probably all pick Ballard if their need was a left D, Salo on his natural side. It's not as simple as Sammy is plain better. And I do not believe Garrison comparisons even come up for the same reason; he was recruited to play the right side on our PP and move bodies in front of the net.

I'd like to see Ballard step up to a top 4 role replacing either Garrison, Salo, or Edler.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people are starting to understand; Though Ballard / Tanev / Alberts would be great 5/6 defensemens, they don't nessesarily fit into AV's system. AV's system is structured around a guy that can retrieve the puck in our end, and a guy that can transition it into the other end. Sometimes they can be the same guy (Hamhuis). However, point being is that Neither Ballard / Tanev / Alberts play too solidly on our own end, which leads to our top 4 being played more in defensive zone faceoffs, as the coach is less willing to put 5/6 defencemen on the ice. More minutes = playing more fatigued = poorer play / injury.

I really do think we have the depth at offence to play well. JS can slot in for Kesler while he's injured. Its just that we are often times hemmed in our own zone because the Sedins may end up playing with the 3rd pairing as the top 4 are too relied upon to play with the other lines. Just my 2cents.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep thinking of Ehrhoff and how valuable he would have been in the the LA series. He was our best puck-moving D-man and I'd argue he still is if he was on our team.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ballard can and I bet will. Garrison and Ballard will probably play together sometimes, and they will have chemistry I bet. I hope he can move to the right side for Edler, and Ballard.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would argue the issue is not defensive depth, but defensive balance. We have four top-4 left-side D: Hamhuis, Edler, Garrison, and Ballard. Unfortunately, we only have one top-4 right-side D: Bieksa. Chris Tanev isn't ready for top-4 duties and he's the only other native right-side D in the lineup. Even Alberts is a left-side D.

I personally think that with Ebbett and Shroeder available, the need for a 2C is secondary to the need for another right-side D.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would argue the issue is not defensive depth, but defensive balance. We have four top-4 left-side D: Hamhuis, Edler, Garrison, and Ballard. Unfortunately, we only have one top-4 right-side D: Bieksa. Chris Tanev isn't ready for top-4 duties and he's the only other native right-side D in the lineup. Even Alberts is a left-side D.

I personally think that with Ebbett and Shroeder available, the need for a 2C is secondary to the need for another right-side D.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep thinking of Ehrhoff and how valuable he would have been in the the LA series. He was our best puck-moving D-man and I'd argue he still is if he was on our team.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canucks should get ehrhoff back

Kassian with the twins gives us an amazing top three lines, fill in with whats left on the 4th line

Daniel Sedin / Henrik Sedin / Zack Kassian

David Booth / Ryan Kesler / Alexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins /Maxim Lapierre / Jannik Hansen

Mason Raymond /Manny Malhotra / Weise Dale

Kevin Bieksa / Dan Hamhuis

Jason Garrison / Alexander Edler

Keith Ballard / Chris Tanev

Roberto Luongo

Cory Schneider

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your logic makes sense in that we could get by without a center if Kesler comes back for the playoffs. Even if we are kind of weak at in the 3/4 center postion. However, you've missed the fact that when healthy we need a second line right winger far more than we need a 5/6 defenceman that can fill if injuries occur.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.