With the absence of Alex Edler, the Vancouver Canucks defense and team as a whole has been suffering, losing three of the past four games without the defender.
Over the past few games, the Vancouver Canucks have been struggling defensively, with one of the most recent games being a 7-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
The absence of Alexander Edler has proven to impact the Canucks on various levels.
On Feb. 4, the Canucks played the Philadelphia Flyers, and at 9:35 into the third period, Edler took a fall that left him bleeding motionless on the ice, forcing him to get stretchered off.
The good news is that he had zero facial fractures, only receiving a concussion, and face lacerations that required stitches. Head coach Travis Green mentioned that Edler would be out week-to-week, which in a deep playoff race in the west, could be detrimental to the club’s playoff push.
This season, Edler has proven to be the clubs top defender, posting five goals and 20 points over 38 games. Production like this has not been seen by Edler since the 2011-2012 season where he posted 11 goals and 49 points over 82 games.
On the defensive side, Edler ranks second on the team in blocked shots with 109, only 11 behind the team leader, Chris Tanev, playing 15 games less than Tanev. Edler ranks fifth in hits, with 80 hits in 38 games. As well as leads the team in power play assists, with eight.
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The Canucks depend on him greatly on and off the ice. Edler is an assistant captain who leads in the changing room, and averages the most ice time out of any player in the club, at 23:24 per game.
Over the years, Edler has been very controversial in the fan base, with many targeting his defensive inconsistencies and giveaways. I for one believe he has been the top defenseman for the past few years, and gets heat for the few mistakes he makes. This season he has proven so.
Twitter account “Canucks Prospects” said this about how the team performs with Edler compared to without.
On the trade front, the injury of Edler could very well proceed past the trade deadline, potentially damaging any possibility of a trade from the defense, as the Canucks now do not have the depth to make a plausible move. With some fans having hope that the Canucks would trade a player like Hutton, it can be said that the injury has greatly lowered the chances of any trade of the sort happening.
With Edler’s production, ice time, defensive capabilities, and leadership, his absence will leave the Canucks damaged on defense. In yet another season riddled with injuries, the Canucks’ hopes to make the playoffs grow slim. For everyone’s sake, we better hope that Edler returns healthy soon.