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Talented Backend Giving Canucks Offensive/Defensive Depth

Talented Backend Giving Canucks Offensive/Defensive Depth

Not many teams have a young talented defense-men just sitting on their farm team ready to play top 6 minutes in the NHL. The Vancouver Canucks certainly do with a guy like Frankie Corrado, in fact they have two d-men that could be borderline solid 6th players but are actually their 7th and 8th d-men.

To say the Canucks have a solid backend would be an understatement, they have above-average depth in that position and it happens to be one of the best in the league. 35 games in and the back end has already combined for 74 points. Last season, the main top 6 combined for 83 points by the 42 game mark. The really impressive part about this statistic highlights that Edler is only getting 9 of those 74 meaning the scoring is coming from everyone else and is well spread out. Garrison is the hottest of them all right now with 22 points in 35 games, good enough for 9th in scoring from d-men. All of the top 6, with the exception of Edler, is in the plus column for +/- and three of them are 2nd, 3rd and 4th on the team in that category (Bieksa, Hamhuis and Tanev, also top 30 in league for all d-men).

What’s intriguing about this defensemen group lies upon the solid balanced skill on both ends of the ice, beginning with Tanev and Stanton who have unbelievable skill in their own end for their age, they can read the play so well on both ends of the ice that you  easily forget they are really still quite young and haven’t even played more than 2 full seasons in the NHL.

Similarly you have the veteran Hamhuis, who has been quiet this season but why would you argue about that when he is still putting up the stats (9 points, +10). Then you have Garrison and Bieksa who are effective on both ends of the ice when they are at their best, Garrison has really been picking it up lately, he’s shooting that rocket on net and of course, if it’s going in that direction it either goes in or it gets blocked, in which case whoever blocks it suffers serious pain.

Lastly, we have Edler. He is obviously the d-man they want to have playing at a high level at all times. His potential is a star d-men in the league and if anyone can get him to that stage, its going to be his new coach. This is the one guy the Canucks need to get going to put their backend over the top. He hasn’t had a good season thus far due to his battle with some tough injuries but there is really no doubt in my mind John Tortorella will get him where they want him to be. Edler is also one of the five Canucks defenseman that are averaging around 20 minutes per game which speaks volumes about the depth the Canucks have. Stanton is getting more ice time than a 6th d-man too, although he’s averaging 14 minutes, lately he’s been achieving 18+, mostly because Edler is out.

With the d-men playing such a big role offensively and defensively in the Canucks system, it’s important to have this much depth in that backend and if they make it into the playoffs, these guys could play a very big role in the  post-season success for the Vancouver Canucks.

Written by: Aisha D


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