Welcome Matt: Will new additions on defence improve fortunes of Canucks?

Sep 12 2023, 11:49 pm

sekeres and price

Ian Cole has joined the chat.

New Canucks defenceman linked up with his new teammates skating informally at UBC Tuesday morning. He’s one of two defencemen, alongside Carson Soucy, the team is counting on to fix their goal-prevention and penalty-killing issues of last year (and years past).

They can start by being available.

Vancouver used 16 defencemen last season, up three from 13 the season before, and 11 the season before that.

Take a look at the last decade with this club, and you’ll see a preponderance of defencemen, many of them who had cups of NHL coffee and weren’t heard from again.

For the Canucks this year, does it reason that the number of defencemen used will correlate with club performance?

We all know injuries happen and going into any season, you know you’re going to need eight or nine. But 16? That’s not just injury, that’s performance related as well.

The good news for the Canucks: Cole has played 78 and 75 games in the last two years. Soucy played 78 last season.

As we know, the Canucks aren’t going to be the best or most complete defence in the league this season.

The quality at the top is better with Filip Hronek joining captain Quinn Hughes. And the quantity should be better with Soucy and Cole rounding out the top-four.

The third pair is likely the Tyler Myers landing spot, and a more appropriate slotting than years past. And then there’s the battle for the left-side spot, whether that’s Christian Wolanin, Akito Hirose, or someone else snatching opportunity.

But tell me I’m wrong, the magic number here is 10. If the Canucks exceed 10 defencemen used, you’ll know something went wrong somewhere.

And if they get to 16, then God help us all.

Matthew SekeresMatthew Sekeres

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