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Why Does The Media And Many Fans Still Consider Our Defense Suspect?

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Rindiculous

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I read somewhere that OEL is the only defencemen with at least 500 minutes been and only been on the ice for 10 or less goals. 
 

If anyone has that stat I’d like to see 

 

Nevermind it’s in the OP

Edited by Devron44
Reread the OP.
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26 minutes ago, IBatch said:

Probably should have.   But he was a head coach for quite some time ... he did come in the right way ... 2008 is quite a lot of time he put into his craft, and given other teams also wanted to hire him understand why we did.   I don't think our teams overachieved or underachieved overall while he was here - but am glad he's gone and JB too.  We needed finishers in both regards.   Time will tell if he's a good or bad or average NHL coach once he gets another gig.   One thing he did well was keep the effort level up.  Think a rebuilding team would offer him a job.  

I  couldn’t be a big fan of the d-core under Green. Boudreau changed their game with more North-South play which limited turnovers and time spent in the d-zone. That benefited the younger defencemen who were pressed into service. Fans shouldn’t read more into this than what it is. Boudreau is benefiting from the new look Canucks but NHL teams will revise their approach to counter the quick breakouts. All this said the appeared improved d-zone play cannot ignore that it is Demko who shines at a Vezina quality season. I am not an analytics  guy but the eye test shows high quality scoring ops on a regular basis.

 

What I see under Boudreau is a more conscious effort to minimize risk by chipping off the glass and out. Also a willingness to give up possession in exchange for a safer play. I expect teams will counter Van breakouts by tighter neutral zone play. Maybe they will play the 2nd forechecker higher in the d-zone. 
 

Hughes-OEL-Meyers are the keys. Schenn has been a nice surprise and Burroughs cannot be discarded. Hamonic is the shadow. I said three weeks ago that the Canuck season would ride on how welll Boudreau brought Meyer’s game around. My knock on Meyers has always been his ability to react at NHL speed. Boudreau has simplified his game to his benefit. An activated forward group that actually produces goals helps the d-side’s game hugely. 
 

Of course this discussion is all about regular season play. Playoffs are totally different. Teams are much tougher to play. The group need a 3LD who can play a physical game. The RD is looking much better. In playoffs I still think they struggle which means Demko has to continue to excel. 

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13 minutes ago, Boudrias said:

I  couldn’t be a big fan of the d-core under Green. Boudreau changed their game with more North-South play which limited turnovers and time spent in the d-zone. That benefited the younger defencemen who were pressed into service. Fans shouldn’t read more into this than what it is. Boudreau is benefiting from the new look Canucks but NHL teams will revise their approach to counter the quick breakouts. All this said the appeared improved d-zone play cannot ignore that it is Demko who shines at a Vezina quality season. I am not an analytics  guy but the eye test shows high quality scoring ops on a regular basis.

 

What I see under Boudreau is a more conscious effort to minimize risk by chipping off the glass and out. Also a willingness to give up possession in exchange for a safer play. I expect teams will counter Van breakouts by tighter neutral zone play. Maybe they will play the 2nd forechecker higher in the d-zone. 
 

Hughes-OEL-Meyers are the keys. Schenn has been a nice surprise and Burroughs cannot be discarded. Hamonic is the shadow. I said three weeks ago that the Canuck season would ride on how welll Boudreau brought Meyer’s game around. My knock on Meyers has always been his ability to react at NHL speed. Boudreau has simplified his game to his benefit. An activated forward group that actually produces goals helps the d-side’s game hugely. 
 

Of course this discussion is all about regular season play. Playoffs are totally different. Teams are much tougher to play. The group need a 3LD who can play a physical game. The RD is looking much better. In playoffs I still think they struggle which means Demko has to continue to excel. 

The main improvement has indeed been getting the puck out sooner and avoiding the long defensive shift where the opponent has gotten fresh skaters on the ice.  The commitment to short shifts is also helping with this, as is a more aggressive structure that pressures the puck carrier.

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14 minutes ago, Boudrias said:

 

 

What I see under Boudreau is a more conscious effort to minimize risk by chipping off the glass and out. Also a willingness to give up possession in exchange for a safer play. I expect teams will counter Van breakouts by tighter neutral zone play. Maybe they will play the 2nd forechecker higher in the d-zone. 

this is what is so special about Hughes. He has the ability to skate his way through this, or if he has space to hit anyone with a perfect pass. He's the engine. If he is effectively targeted we're in trouble. OEL though is capable of doing damage if he gets better opportunities if other teams focus too much on Hughes.

 

I'm not as worried about us being shut down as much as we were under Green. I do think our F group needs a bigger body more than we need an instant upgrade on d somewhere. Our future d upgrades will have to come via the draft or maybe a Miller or Boeser trade. 

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2 minutes ago, JM_ said:

this is what is so special about Hughes. He has the ability to skate his way through this, or if he has space to hit anyone with a perfect pass. He's the engine. If he is effectively targeted we're in trouble. OEL though is capable of doing damage if he gets better opportunities if other teams focus too much on Hughes.

 

I'm not as worried about us being shut down as much as we were under Green. I do think our F group needs a bigger body more than we need an instant upgrade on d somewhere. Our future d upgrades will have to come via the draft or maybe a Miller or Boeser trade. 

For sure about Hughes. I focused on Meyers but Hughes is the driver from the backend. IMHO the only other player on the team with better edge work is Garland. Hughes is a absolute pleasure to watch. At 22 where is his ceiling? Loved the interview where he gave Zegras some cred in his d-side improvement as they worked out together last summer. 

 

Also agree that Van has to get bigger. There might be a forced move on Miller or Boeser based on contract talks. Sadly we haven't seen what Hamonic could mean to the group due to his injuries and vac problems. IMHO Hamonic, Schenn and Poolman are not the answer. I started the season looking for a young d-man to break into the lineup and it hasn't happened. OJ is gone and Rathbone is in Abby. Burroughs has been a nice surprise.  

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I hesitate to hammer on the media, because that was me 20 years ago, but it seems that ALL media, not just sports media is more about creating a narrative and then looking for ways to prove that narrative no matter how misguided. The Canuck defense is head and shoulders better than last season. OEL is a revelation, he's still a top pairing guy nowhere near past his prime. I've been incredibly impressed with the defensive strides Hughes has taken, he's even been more physical in his own end something he never did last year. He's still small, so doesn't hit, but has found ways to redirect opponents using his body. Myers has recreated himself, simplified his game and is now a legitimate top 4 guy. Poolman has come a long way under Shaw's tutelage and by the end of the season will also be a fringe top four defender. The bottom pairing is still a problem, Schenn was bad against Seattle but overall has been about a C+ and Burroughs has been a pleasant surprise, I didn't expect much from him but he's been a lot better than expected. I saw somebody complaining about the Canucks not having anybody in the pipeline. Seems like Jett Woo and Rathbond are waiting for their chance, and both look like they'll compete for top 4 minutes if given the opportunity.

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2 minutes ago, Boudrias said:

For sure about Hughes. I focused on Meyers but Hughes is the driver from the backend. IMHO the only other player on the team with better edge work is Garland. Hughes is a absolute pleasure to watch. At 22 where is his ceiling? Loved the interview where he gave Zegras some cred in his d-side improvement as they worked out together last summer. 

 

Also agree that Van has to get bigger. There might be a forced move on Miller or Boeser based on contract talks. Sadly we haven't seen what Hamonic could mean to the group due to his injuries and vac problems. IMHO Hamonic, Schenn and Poolman are not the answer. I started the season looking for a young d-man to break into the lineup and it hasn't happened. OJ is gone and Rathbone is in Abby. Burroughs has been a nice surprise.  

I like Schenn a lot, he's a good influence and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. And priced right for a 7/8.

 

Poolman is OK, I'd be happy to move him tho too. Or not, I can't really get too worked up either way about him. 

 

But you're right, outside of Myers the other guys are not a top 4 solution. I'm curious if NCAA free agency has any gems on it?

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8 hours ago, Wanless said:

You mean some of you have latched onto the thought of trading Miller

 

its like glitter around here 

After the JB/MG/Nonis/Burke era, some of us actually want to get assets back before we re-sign guys past their hey days.   Sure if we were a contending team that would be different, be we are not, and don't have anything but hope what we have in the system now, including core guys who've been here awhile now, continue to ascend.    Cap implications matter a lot as well.  

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14 hours ago, Rindiculous said:

But strictly by the numbers, our team was just as good defensively 5 on 5 under Green as Boudreau.  The only change is an uptick in the offense 5 on 5.  We've been very good defensively all year.  All the numbers I've used were numbers over this entire season and we've still allowed the 3rd fewest 5 on 5 goals this year.

 

On your point of our D being old, yes it is, but people our considering our defense is bad right now, which objectively it is not.  PK% is completely different than team defense and I've honestly blamed the PK more on the system and the forward utilization rather than the defense.  They've cleared the front of the net decently well on the PK.

 

We are currently 34 games into a season where we've objectively been good on defense and the media and a lot of the fans have no reevaluated how good we are defensively.  Maybe it's Brad Shaw a bit, but with the names on D I think they're almost all severely underrated.

PK is a massive difference too (which has a lot to do with the play of the D). Button said that under Green the team was trying to play more defensively to make up for a preceived weekness on the blue-line; and it showed. We were a good defensive team 5 on 5.

 

Bruce said; forget that, why would we play to our weekness? Let's push the pace, get our scorers doing their job and play to our strengths. We can still be decent defensively if we're just playing fast and taking away time and space and letting Demko handle the mistakes. 

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14 hours ago, Rindiculous said:

It's been a narrative since the beginning of the season.  Most of us and the media thought we'd score a lot of goals, but we'd also allow a lot of goals.  Of course, me being the optimist I am, I thought we'd be a really good team 5 on 5 scoring a lot of goals and not allowing a lot of goals because I thought we significantly upgraded our defense core with OEL while having a passable right side with Hamonic and Poolman.  I don't think anyone expected our offense to tank this hard so I guess I was half right lol.

 

However, getting close to the halfway point of the season, we have completely turned the narrative on its head.  We can't seem to score a lot of goals at 5 on 5, but we're still a slightly above average 5 on 5 team with a +2 goal differential at 5 on 5.  This is due to our excellent goaltending at 5 on 5 in Demko and our team defense at 5 on 5 being above average.  We are actually the 3rd best team in the NHL only allowing 50 5 on 5 goals, with only Carolina and Calgary ahead of us while playing 3 fewer games than us.  I only realized this after seeing in 31 Thoughts this week that OEL had only been on the ice for 9 5 on 5 goals this year (2 last game against the Kraken), the only defenseman fewer than 10 this year with at least 500 5 on 5 minutes played.

 

Despite the numbers, the media still considers our defense 'meh' to 'yikes' to 'ugly'.  Even the last couple days, I've heard almost every radio show or talking head describe our defense that way.  However, by the eye test, especially post Boudreau, our defense has looked as sound as any team in the league and the numbers show it.  The worst our defense has been by the numbers is average, and that's still way better than the rest of the media has described it.  So why do the media keep harping on the defense, despite us being one of the lowest scoring teams in the league and arguing that we need defensive upgrades when the defense has been the only thing with our team that has been good this year?  We're currently 12th in xGA/60 at 5 on 5.  So at worst we have the 12th best defense in the NHL which is way better than 'meh' to 'yikes' to 'ugly' and that's not including the Demko factor at 5 on 5.  So what do the Canucks have to do to appease everyone that we're not a Montreal, Ottawa, or Edmonton tire fire defensively?

Great post...thank you.

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9 hours ago, N7Nucks said:

Eh, I mean. We give up the 11th most shots against per game, and have the 12th best GAA. As well as the 9th best save percentage. So I give the lion's share of the credit to Demko/Halak rather than our defense. Of the 12 teams that give up more shots against than Vancouver only 3 have better save percentages, one of which is literally a fraction of a percent better (They have .915 to our .914). On a side note, Shesterkin is playing outta his mind this year given his team defense. Reason why I bring up shots against is cause looking at the teams that give up more shots against than we do, their bluelines are pretty suspect to pretty awful.

 

Long story short, I don't think the media is entirely wrong about our defense. But I also don't think it's as bad as some say. Button for instance talks about our blueline like it needs 2-3 big pieces. I truly believe with one more really good top 4 RHD we are a contending team. Myers is a legit top 4 in my books, always has been. Hughes and OEL are legit too. 

Although we give up a lot of shots, they are very low quality.  We are 12 in xGA/60 at 5 on 5.  We also happen to take a lot of shots, but they are also low quality.  It has also helped that our finishing is some of if not the worst in the NHL while our goals saved above expectation is also very good.

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1 hour ago, thrago said:

I think he was a excellent developmental coach but lacked experience on how to take it to the next level after that so a rebuilding team would work well for him. But I still think if he wants to take it to the next level he should get a few years under an experienced coach, whether or not that's something he is willing to do is another story though.   

Agree 100% on this... if for no other reason, just ti get a different perspective... Green was loyal to Baumer, just like Benning was loyal to Green... 

Think Green could have been done seeing things differently, and thus being able to adjust accordingly... 

The fact PK has gotten far better since they stopped laying on top of one another, suggests that maybe Green could have saved his job, and Bennings too, had he been able to adjust... 

Who knows... just really pleased to see us actually winning games...

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8 hours ago, Maniwaki Canuck said:

This ground has been covered extensively on other threads:  there is enough money to keep our top forwards if that's what we want to do. 

There is. If we don't want to improve the team elsewhere and ever become a contender.

 

8 hours ago, Maniwaki Canuck said:

Let's not speculate about what Miller wants: 

Why not? We can't afford to give him the 6-8 year, $8m+ contract he will easily command. He's a top 20 F in the league, he's going to get paid.

 

Therefore, it's more likely he's gone than stays. Burying your head in the sand won't change that.

 

Rutherford will/will have been in contact with his agent and have a very solid idea of where they stand by the TDL. If he knows we don't want to pay what they will demand (and frankly he's earned), it's best to plan accordingly for that eventually and maximize the value we can get for him. It may be cold and harsh but it's right.

 

8 hours ago, Maniwaki Canuck said:

Yes, our better RD will have their contracts expire in the coming years.  But in a cap world, you can't stockpile top 4 D just because some will be leaving.  Myers, Hamonic, Poolman, Schenn, Burroughs and Woo is excellent depth on the right side:  the first 4 of those can and have played top 4 minutes. 

We have 'ok', league average quality of decent depth, for one more year. That's it. Good management will get ahead of that problem, not ignore it.

 

8 hours ago, Maniwaki Canuck said:

Upgrading on one of those guys when they move on would be great if it can be done without paying a huge premium but it isn't a reason to trade Miller.  OP's whole point is that our D has been performing better than our offense.  This needs to sink into the thinking around here.

This isn't about 'now'. Our average D has played admirably. It's about building a contending team in a couple years when our young core is on their primes.

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8 hours ago, Viper007 said:

Free agency?  We did it with Myers, Hamonic and Schenn so why not again?

Because they're expensive and at best start out in the middle of their primes at around 27 years old, and up. It's also uncommon for top pair D to make it to UFA.

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1 hour ago, JM_ said:

I like Schenn a lot, he's a good influence and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. And priced right for a 7/8.

 

Poolman is OK, I'd be happy to move him tho too. Or not, I can't really get too worked up either way about him. 

 

But you're right, outside of Myers the other guys are not a top 4 solution. I'm curious if NCAA free agency has any gems on it?

Brandon Scanlin is intriguing. Still likely tops out as bottom 4 and is no guarantee. But he'd be a solid add to Abby and see where he goes from there.

 

He'd be a good lotto ticket but we also need to make some more concrete moves there, and grab another lotto ticket or two so that hopefully at least one pans out.

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6 minutes ago, aGENT said:

Brandon Scanlin is intriguing. Still likely tops out as bottom 4 and is no guarantee. But he'd be a solid add to Abby and see where he goes from there.

 

He'd be a good lotto ticket but we also need to make some more concrete moves there, and grab another lotto ticket or two so that hopefully at least one pans out.

big kid tho. I'm hoping there's a right shot out there too. We should be a good destination now for some of these guys. 

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Well we definitely need another legit top 4 for sure. Hamonic is not cutting it.

 

Guess we just don't have the sexiest of names in our top 4 other than Hughes. OEL is still stained by his advanced stats and everyone loves to bash on Myers even though he is playing like a legit number 4 on a top team. 

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2 hours ago, IBatch said:

After the JB/MG/Nonis/Burke era, some of us actually want to get assets back before we re-sign guys past their hey days.   Sure if we were a contending team that would be different, be we are not, and don't have anything but hope what we have in the system now, including core guys who've been here awhile now, continue to ascend.    Cap implications matter a lot as well.  

That has been something the canucks have never really done since the linden trade. Its something that needs to be done from time to time.

 

it is just tiring seeing it and if anyone opposes it, the “miller is getting traded” mob jumps in and starts to smother the other thoughts and even at times has called the other train of thought moronic to sum it up

 

it also seems like this is devouring topics for pages at a time as opposed to staying on the subject

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