With today’s announcement that top blueliner Kevin Bieksa will be sidelined for roughly three weeks with a broken foot, it would seem that the news can’t get much worse. Indeed, the number and calibre of defensemen on the Canucks’ injured list alone would represent a back-end that most teams would love to have (Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Keith Ballard, Alex Edler, Andrew Alberts and Lee Sweatt).
And just as the Canucks blueline was incredibly lucky to have gone through the first half of the season with only an injury to Sami Salo, the laws of probability have seemingly balanced things off in rapid fashion. So on that basis, we should be done. And if the Canucks can brave this incredibly rough patch, they’ll embark on a playoff run with a healthy and adversity tested defense.
Despite all these causalties on the back end, the Canucks have been able to find ways to win. And while certainly not at the unprecedented pace of December and January, they are still piling up points at a pace that should allow them to weather this storm and still have a chance to cling to the top seed in the Western Conference by season’s end.
This, of course, won’t stop the panicky faithful from fearing that the sky is falling all over again. As we know, in Vancouver, there are no blessings, only curses. Though you certainly know that Mike Gillis isn’t feeling that way. His calm demeanour is one that seems to permeate through the franchise these days.
One thing is for certain, Roberto Luongo is going to earn his lavish salary this year (which hits its contract length peak this season at $10 million per). Imagine if you will a defense that features aged Sami Salo and one dimensional defensively challenged Christian Ehrhoff as your top two defenders, followed by Aaron Rome and three rookies. The ensuing onslaught may have Bobby Lou longing for the comparatively dog days of his Florida years…