Small (big?) bit of news today, but obviously worth discussing. Thomas Drance may work over at The Score now, but he also transcribes useful bits of information for us worthless bloggers:
“Alex is out indefinitely. He suffered a knee injury that occurred in the game in Nashville.
We’re not sure what the time frame is going to resemble at this point in time, and we’ll see over the next week exactly what it may be. But at this point we can’t really predict that.”
It’s not news that Edler was going to be out, but with what, and for how long, is up for debate. Wax all you want about whether Edler creates too many turnovers, but for a second, this has to be recognized as a huge hole in the Canucks lineup. Edler was leading the team in minutes, played on both the powerplay and penalty kill, and is third among Canuck defenceman according to ExtraSkater’s quality of competition metric, which measures the percentage of time on ice played by forward competition.
Now, Edler and Jason Garrison have been a bit of a tire fire together this season, but they’ve been playing much better lately, and are above 50% Corsi together on the season. My primary instinct is this means a few more minutes at evens for Dan Hamhuis and Chris Tanev, but Garrison has rarely played off of Edler’s wing this season. He played 153 minutes with Kevin Bieksa last year and they were in the black, so perhaps we return to the days when John Tortorella overloads his top four.
So it will probably be Andrew Alberts (remember him?) rotating into the lineup. SInce the injury is probably going to span some time, they’ll probably look to Utica for Frankie Corrado soonish. Alberts with Ryan Stanton doesn’t really appeal to me as a third pairing, and I guess it didn’t really appeal to Torts either. He played Alberts 10:22 in his first game of the season, and under two minutes in each of the other two, often with Bieksa.
I guess we can say that the Canucks have been quite lucky with injuries so far this year. Not only did they get Ryan Kesler a clean bill of health after two years of uncertainty, but they have yet to lose a man game to injury on defence this year, just three to suspension to Edler, which was what brought Alberts into the lineup originally.