The Vancouver Canucks’ back end hasn’t really played this well as a unit since the 2010-11 run to the Cup, so certainly nobody is complaining about goals-against at the moment. As was the case when the Sedins were playing all those minutes and producing points earlier in the year, there always seemed there had to be a price to pay some time down the road. John Tortorella is a man who seems to be absolutely true to his word when he says he’s just trying to win the game at hand and he’s not looking down the road. Take the case with this successful back end. Vancouver management thought that with Frank Corrado, Andrew Alberts and Yannick Weber in the seven, eight and nine slots on defence (in no specific order) after the pickup of Ryan Stanton that they had a modicum of depth at the position. But if the coach is terrified to play Weber and Alberts, and they seem to want to weld Corrado in Utica for the experience as a young D, the reality is the team has no depth whatsoever. And that’s exactly how it’s playing out for the Canucks with Alex Edler’s injury. This team basically goes with five defencemen all night, and they appear likely to do that for the foreseeable future, with perhaps Weber getting a bit of playing time on the power play — if he ever dresses. When Alberts dresses, he’s stapled to the bench unless the game is won or lost or there’s a chance to sneak a shift against a fourth line. Not surprisingly, the minutes on the five players are mounting, and as you watch this unfold, you wonder, for instance, how such a big minutes D will stand up in the third period against Boston Saturday night in the second game of a back-to-back. Don’t even think about a playoff series against the Blues, Ducks or Kings; it’s entirely too grotesque.
Back-end depth leaves Canucks on thin ice
Vancouver Province | Dec 13