Canucks Army Postgame: Oilers D in Mid-Season Form

Rhys Jessop
October 02 2014 10:41PM

Vancouver entered Edmonton on Thursday night with one of their most complete rosters of the preseason. With the extremely notable exception of the Sedin twins, Vancouver's top-3 lines and entire defense looked like something you could expect to see at some point this season.

It wasn't a fantastic performance against a young and largely unproven Oilers squad, however, as both teams struggled to generate much in terms of offense for the night. The Canucks would manage to capitalize on two glaring defensive miscues by the home side, and Eddie Lack was nearly perfect once again, giving the Canucks a 2-1 win.

Read past the jump for a full recap.

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Canucks Army Preseason GDT #5 - Canucks @ Oilers

Rhys Jessop
October 02 2014 05:02PM

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As the preseason winds down, the Canucks roster is starting to more closely resemble who we can expect to see in the lineup for opening night. With the exception of the Sedins and Radim Vrbata (who, I have a sneaking suspicion about this, have already made the team), Vancouver will bring essentially all their notable regular players to Rexall place and this evening's battle with the Edmonton Oilers.

Perhaps the most interesting twist is that Bo Horvat will be playing on the 4th line tonight between Tom Sestito and Derek Dorsett, who our own J.D. Burke did an excellent job of profiling this morning. Read past the jump for lineups, and what this could mean for Bo Horvat's chances to make the 2014-15 Canucks.

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Canucks Army Player Previews: Alex Edler

Rhys Jessop
October 02 2014 04:02PM

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If there's one common theme that you'll notice through this series, it's that a lot of them will sound very similar: Player X was good in previous years. Player X had an awful season in 2013-14. Player X should rebound now that he's free of the binding shackles of John Tortorella's Meatwagon Brand Hockey, and so on and so forth. However, for no player is this refrain more true than it is for Alex Edler.

You're a Canucks fan and you watched the games just like I did last year, so you know what I'm talking about here. With countless turnovers, blown coverages, missed shots, offensive futility, a suspension, and injury issues, Edler's 2013-2014 campaign was truly the pinnacle of suck for not just Alex Edler, but for basically every notable player in the NHL. Edler's struggles coupled with what had to have been some kind of black-magic voodoo curse wound up hanging the defenseman with an impossibly bad -39 rating on the year.

The good news is that it's almost impossible to be that bad two years in a row.

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Canucks Army Player Previews: Dan Hamhuis

Thomas Drance
October 02 2014 12:58PM

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You'd be hard-pressed to find an unrestricted free agent who has provided his club with more value during the salary cap era than Smithers native and good local boy Dan Hamhuis, 31, has brought to Vancouver since signing here in 2010. An oft-criticized second pairing guy in Nashville (his regular pairing with Kevin Klein was never very good for some reason), Hamhuis has spent his late-20s with the Canucks, where he's blossomed into a bona fide top pairing defender, and one of the league's best hybrid-type shutdown types.

While Hamhuis remains a credible top-pairing guy, even a fringe "1A defenseman", and isn't quite at the age where we might reasonably expect the Canucks to begin to incur some significant diminishing returns on their investment, he had something of an off year last season (though he can take solace in the Olympic Gold Medal he won as a depth defender with the Canadian men's ice hockey team). Was it the so-called 'Torts effect' or has Hamhuis lost a bit of his fastball in his early 30's? We'll answer that question and more on the other side of the jump.

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Canucks Army Player Previews: Derek Dorsett

J.D. Burke
October 02 2014 09:30AM

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When looking at the moves Jim Benning made to insulate Willie Desjardins with familiar faces, it's reasonable to start with the acquisition of Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers. It's often the lost quantity in what was a whirlwind of moves in the days leading up to and during the draft, but that's not to say it wasn't lacking in importance.

The acquisition of Dorsett, if nothing else, validated all the talk leading up to and surrounding the beginning of the #Lindenning era. There was a decidedly unusual amount of attention paid to the fourth line by #Lindenning insofar as they paid SOME attention to it at all. It was of course Trevor Linden who wrongly stated that Shawn Thornton was an important player. Similar sentiments were echoed by Benning, who talked ad nauseam of building a fourth line.

It also showcased Benning's ability to maximize the diminishing return that Ryan Kesler handcuffed management into. It's often forgotten, but the acquisition of Dorsett is essentially an extension of the Kesler trade; the Canucks used the third-round draft pick they acquired from the Ducks on, you guessed it, Derek Dorsett.

We know courtesy of Scott Cullen's brilliant research in 2009 that, at best, a pick with the 85th overall selection has a roughly 21% chance of playing 100 games in the NHL during his career. If all goes to plan, Dorsett should see about 82 this season. That's more than three quarters of the way to a probability based victory for management!

How well will he play in those 82 games? Meet me on the other side of the jump to find out.

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