Blueline either out of position or out on the sidelines
It goes without saying, but Saturday night was a rough outing for Vancouver’s defence.
The misery started on the opening shift, with third-pairing blueliner Kyle Burroughs going straight to the locker room after taking a big hit in his own end. The 26-year-old appeared to be in considerable discomfort and was eventually ruled out to returning, forcing Vancouver to roll with five blueliners for the rest of the contest.
And it got worse from there.
The blueline appeared to be all over the ice on multiple occasions throughout the game, falling victim to Anaheim’s slick and quick passing plays in the offensive end.
Their poor positioning was particularly evident on Anaheim’s second goal, with Hughes getting sucked into the corner and Travis Hamonic ending up at the top of the red circle, leaving Conor Garland to defend the blue paint.
A similar play occurred on Anaheim’s seventh goal, with Schenn and Hughes once again behind the play after a failed pinch attempt, forcing Tanner Pearson to do his best impression of a defenceman.
The final nail in the coffin was hammered in towards the end of the final frame when Oliver Ekman-Larsson also left the game after a big hit along the boards. The 30-year old veteran was seen limping down the tunnel, forcing many people on Twitter to hesitant revisiting his previous injury history.
In the end, Vancouver’s blueline combined for a minus five rating, with Tyler Myers the lone soldier to finish in the plus column. It was a particularly tough game for Hughes who, despite the two-point performance, showcased shades of his defensive lapses from last season.
Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a pattern for Vancouver’s backend down the stretch.
- The only bright spot for Vancouver was the newly-formed line of Garland, Pettersson and Pearson, who combined for three goals and four assists on the night. Pettersson, in particular, has been red hot as of late, recording 14 points in his last 15 games.
The Canucks will have Sunday off before continuing their homestand on Monday night against the Seattle Kraken. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST.
What are your thoughts from Saturday’s 7-4 beatdown? Make sure to drop a comment below!