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Defense Adequately Adressed?


Ugli Fruit

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Frankly, I wasn't really worried about running out of players that were capable defenders, but players who could play at a playoffs level. When we ran out of depth in June 2011, our D backups didn't quite cut it.

With the additions of Barker and Vandermeer (I see Barker as an experiment, and Vandermeer as a failsafe), have we dealt with the usual issue of our defense deteriorating near April? Sure, we're fine headcount-wise, but quality-wise?

Hamhuis-Bieksa

Edler - Garrison

Ballard - Tanev/Barker/Vandermeer

I see the 6th spot being contested by those three and Alberts/Joslin possibly making an appearance here and there. Depending on how Garrison turns out, we can potentially have 3 two-way D-pairings, with at least one of them being defensively solid and another being a good puck-mover.

Let's say AV hates on Ballard and takes him out. Our 3rd pairing is still very good for any standard. The only problem is that 2 of the D-men I mentioned above are total question marks. Garrison and Barker are all but unproven to our system and if they really crap the bed, we suddenly don't have any more depth than we did a year or two ago.

In any case, does Gillis now turn his attention to the Center position or does Luongo meet his fate?

I did check the forum, sheesh :lol: I didn't find anything like this, just a locked thread on a signing

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I personally think it would be cool to experiment with Barker as a forward. Remember when AV did it with Bieksa for a few games? Random though, probably not at all what they have in mind with him, but I kinda like it.

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Barker is not slow... :sadno: In junior he rushed the puck, including at the WJC's, also in Chicago. He actually might be a sorely needed talent if he works out, as all our current D are predominantly passing defenders not carriers.

Injuries, playing behind Seabrook, Campbell and Kieth, also apparently alcohol are reasons he has not "made it" so far. And why he is cheap, and a low risk pick up.

But only premium athletes go 3rd overall my friend.

PS. This potentially makes even our 2knd PP very lethal; cant see him playing wing (on his off right side where we need a winger).

Edler / Garrison First PP

Barker / Bieksa 2knd

I have a feeling his footspeed would be a huge issue with movie him to forward.

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I think the addition of Vandermeer, just adds more depth which will be important.

Hamhuis - Bieksa

Edler - Garrison

Ballard - Tanev

Alberts, Barker, Vandermeer

Then we also have Connaution. Depth is key and looks like we have it, now if we can just add a bit more depth upfront (Hopefully sign Langkow) then we will be good to go, and we also have a possible Lu trade which should help if we need more guys.

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I find it interesting that Hamhuis was injured with a groin tweak.

How could this club replace Dan and whom would play with Kevin that is skilled enough to protect Schneider from having his lunch handed to him ?‏

Kassian, Booth and Hamhuis hurt. Gillis laments no preseason games

January 13, 2013. 4:27 pm • Section: The White Towel

Posted by:

Jason Botchford

It’s the first day of training camp and already the Canucks injuries are mounting.

Just wait a week or two, as the NHL asks its players to go from 0 to 60 with no exhibition games.

Zack Kassian showed up to camp with back problems, while David Booth and Dan Hamhuis have the dreaded groin tweaks.

None are thought to be serious, but this is just Day 1.

GM Mike Gillis acknowledged the lack of preseason games is putting his players at risk.

“I think so, yeah,” Gillis said. “I think there is this buildup toward the regular season that you get from playing one exhibition game and then having a couple of nights off.

“Then, playing, perhaps, two more and then a couple nights off. Without that experience, there’s nothing like game conditions in the NHL.

“You can’t replicate them. So to jump right in, I think injuries are going to be the biggest factor in this 48-game schedule and how you manage them.

“If you get lucky enough, not to have some serious ones, you’re going to be OK.”

Gillis said if the team could have it would have tried to find a team to play an exhibition game against.

Back from injuries, Hamhuis and Kassian wonder what went wrong

January 14, 2013.

Dan Hamhuis and Zack Kassian needed a day to get over respective groin and back issues. Who knows how long David Booth will need to get over a groin issue that required an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) procedure Monday afternoon?

“We’re not sure how serious it is,” said Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

While the second line has been thrown into further disarray (Ryan Kesler is rehabbing offseason shoulder and wrist surgeries), at least Kassian’s return gives the club another option when it opens play Saturday. And it keeps the top pairing of Kevin Bieksa and Hamhuis intact.

Kassian’s back flared up a couple of weeks ago while playing for the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. He injured a facet joint which is any one of four projections that link one vertebra of the spine to an adjacent vertebra. On Monday, he was on the second line in the second day of camp.

“It was nice to get through the practice and I felt good,” said Kassian. “The skate test we had (Sunday) was stressful on the lower back and the legs and I didn’t want to take any steps back, so they kept me off the ice. Guys were joking around about my back because they don’t know what it is and I don’t even know. But it’s getting better every day and I want to take steps forward with it.

“I had been off for eight or nine days and the pace today was higher and we were moving the puck around pretty good, but it felt good to be out there. It’s going to be a matter of how my back feels when I wake up.”

Hamhuis had skated Friday at UBC and has worked with local power-skating instructor Barb Aidelbaum to prepare for camp. It seemed odd that a player who goes the extra distance with his skating would have a setback.

“My groin was a little bit tight and was sore on Friday, so we we’re just being precautionary because it’s a short camp and Saturday is going to come quick,” said Hamhuis. “We gave it an extra day of rest and it felt good today. It could be any one of a number of things. I tried new skates last week and the pace picked up, but those things (injuries) happen over the course of a year.

“Rest and recovery is going to be important and that’s why we got on this right away.”

bkuzma@theprovince.com

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