Evaluating Vancouver's defense using HERO charts

Thomas Drance
May 20 2015 10:00AM

The Vancouver Canucks defense, long a strength of the club, was something of an issue for the team this season. 

We know all about the club's team level defensive issues, and we all saw the club get tormented by Calgary Flames forecheckers in Vancouver's first-round series loss last month. Canucks defenders also struggled offensively. As a group Vancouver's blue liners combined for 135 total points this season, making them the 26th highest scoring defense corps.

Let's break Vancouver's blue line down to its individual components using Dominic Galamini's HERO charts as an evaluative tool, and see what we can see.

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NATION DRAFTS 2015 CHARITY PLAYOFF POOL UPDATE

Thomas Drance
May 16 2015 01:29PM

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The Nation Network isn't accustomed to playoff success. What else do you expect from a blog network based out of Edmonton?

We're experts in the draft lottery though, and we know a thing or two about playoff pools - particularly the Nation Drafts charity playoff pool that we run annually. With the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs already in full swing, let's take a moment, look back at round one, and check out the progress that the Nation Network's poolies are making in the competition!

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Canucks finally sign Jordan Subban to 3-year, entry-level contract

Thomas Drance
May 14 2015 02:18PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks and Jordan Subban have ended weeks of breathless speculation by agreeing to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Subban, 20, is undersized but he's a workout freak (his entire Twitter timeline is basically clips of him lifting outrageous amounts) and he's been one of the OHL's most dynamic offensive defensemen over the past few years. When you consider the low level of talent that Subban has generally been surrounded with on the rebuilding/folding Belleville Bulls, his level of offensive output is actually extraordinarily impressive.

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Canucks will look to trade Lack if he's not part of their long-term plan

Thomas Drance
May 13 2015 11:52AM

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

Does Eddie Lack fit into the Vancouver Canucks' long-term plans?

The Canucks and their old friend Kurt Overhardt, the polarizing player agent who represents Lack, have discussed the possibility of a contract extension. If the numbers don't make sense though, or if the club decides to go in another direction, they're open to dealing the 27-year-old netminder at the NHL Entry Draft.

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Pending UFA Brad Richardson undergoes ankle surgery; does his injury make a Canucks return more likely?

Thomas Drance
May 11 2015 01:36PM

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks checking centre Brad Richardson, a pending unrestricted free agent, is undergoing surgery today to repair the ankle injury that cost him the second half of his season and probably several million dollars on the open market, according to News 1130 Sports

Richardson, 30, managed eight goals and 21 points in 45 games while playing thoroughly excellent hockey on the penalty kill and holding down a key defensive role for the club. He's a useful depth piece, and has provided the club with tremendous value since signing a two-year deal with an annual average value of $1.15 million as an unrestricted free agent in the cap-crunch summer of 2013. 

It seems probable that Richardson is on his way out the door, but might his ill-timed and frustratingly persistent ankle injury make it more likely that he's in a Canucks uniform again next season?

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