December 08 2011 09:10AM
It is no secret that the Canucks coaching staff does not consider Keith Ballard a top four defenseman. There are a few reasons as to why (his level of play, most notably). Ballard is a great skater, but he gets lost in defensive coverage, and often times struggles with gap control against rushing forwards. He can’t play the right side, which makes it tough for him to move up the depth chart with Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler firmly entrenched as the top two left side defensemen.
With the past (and present) injuries to right-sided defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo, a lot of pressure is put on the likes of Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts to step in and play a larger role on the right side. The Canucks need to add at least one defenseman before the trade deadline this season, and one that can preferably play a top four role on the right side. I’d go as far to say it is the only real weakness the team will need to shore up (depending on the injury situation up front).
Chris Tanev may step back in and assume an important role down the stretch like he did last season, but relying on an unproven sophomore is far from a foolproof strategy. The Canucks could very likely swap out Ballard and bring in a more stable defensive defenseman. They could also keep Ballard and bring a defenseman in, but I can’t see them continuing to justify paying a bottom pairing (at best) defenseman over $4 million annually. So who are some of the potentially available defensemen the Canucks could target?
December 07 2011 02:46PM
Les Boys on a visit to BC Children's Hospital This Week.
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December 07 2011 01:54PM
I’ve been in Vancouver, BC since 1999, and in that time, have been witness to the growth of the fan base of the Canucks, and the fervor with which the city follows the team. Heroes and scapegoats are made on almost a daily basis with fans here demanding perfection from all their players. Wearing the jersey of the Canucks comes with a great responsibility, and let’s be honest, there are a few players we wish never put the blue and green(or dark purple and silver) on. While many have come and gone in the 12 years I have been here, these are 5 players that our recent history refuses to let us forget, even as much as we might like to.
December 07 2011 01:11PM
I'm not a tattoo guy myself, but I have a certain respect for fans with enough passion for their team that they'll get a logo, or a favorite player's number, or some variation thereof etched permanently onto their skin. At the very least, anyone willing to spend the money and risk having their tattoo turn into wrinkly gibberish as they age, earns the right to forever get a pass from accusations of being a bandwagon fan. In fact, I think that's kind of the point.
December 07 2011 10:19AM
Bieksa and Henrik help David Booth off the ice following a knee-on-knee collision in last night's game.
Just as he was "heating up," David Booth looks like he'll be out of the lineup for a while following a careless, and scary knee-on-knee hit from Kevin Porter. The power-forward was just starting to enjoy some puck-luck, and was coming off of a three point game against Calgary. Booth will have an MRI today and be re-evaluated, but the sight of him unable to skate off the ice under his own weight, leads me to suspect that it's a fairly serious injury.