Just a quick note before heading out for a couple of days in Tofino.
I knew how devastated the Canucks have been by injury but really hadn’t clued in as to the severity of the problem on their blueline.
As one Vancouver newspaper columnist opined this morning, the Canucks D is basically a “swing band called Hamhuis and the Utica Comets”.
The Canucks top 7D going into the season:
Hamhuis (missed 22 games earlier)
Edler Bieksa Tanev
The Canucks went into Boston two nights ago with a D lineup that featured, Dan Hamhuis, Luca Sbisa, Yannik Weber, Ryan Stanton, Adam Clendenning and Alex Biega, whoever that is.
Considering the Canucks were also out forwards Alex Burrows and Brad Richardson and goaltender Ryan Miller, their victory over the Bruins is noteworthy.
That the Canucks are 7-3-0 in their last 10GP while missing essentially 1/3 of their lineup is even more impressive.
In addition to the Canucks surprising defensive depth. I think it’s worth noting that the Canucks bottom 6 forward group has been much stronger than the rag-tag bunch that held the team back in previous seasons.
Led by Shawn Matthias (12G), rookie centre Bo Harvat (9G), Jannik Hansen (11G) and shift disturber Derek Dorsett, the Canucks have been getting tremendously balanced scoring and, when they start getting regulars back from injury, may be primed for a surprising run in the playoffs.
With Chicago missing Patrick Kane and Anaheim struggling (4-5-1) there may be an opportunity for the Canucks to make some headway in the post season.
While I would hardly call them favourites for a long playoff run, they have held their heads above water in the WC (16-14-2) and in the Pacific Division (10-7-2).
It’ll be interesting to see if Jim Benning adds any pieces at the deadline or stands pat and gets his infusion of energy from his returning players.