Jan 24, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT
Back in 2010-11, when the Vancouver Canucks were the NHL’s most dangerous team with the man advantage, Christian Ehrhoff finished the season with 22 power-play assists, tied for seventh among league defensemen.
Now, let’s be clear right off the bat, Ehrhoff’s departure to Buffalo the following summer isn’t the only reason Vancouver’s power play has since tumbled all the way to 25th in the NHL — the Sabres are even worse with the man advantage — but it’s worth passing along what Daniel Sedin told the Globe and Mail Wednesday, one day before the Canucks’ power play went a demoralizing 0-for-5 in a 2-1 home loss to Nashville.
“Christian was a pretty key guy,” said Sedin. “He could really move the puck, across the blue line and open up things.”
Granted, Sedin also said the lack of Ehrhoff “shouldn’t be a big issue” given the Canucks have point men like Alex Edler and Jason Garrison, both of whom have put up good special-teams numbers in the past. (Which makes it all the more perplexing that Vancouver’s coaching staff insists on trotting out Dan Hamhuis time and time again. Hamhuis is best known for his defensive work. In 127:30 of power-play time this season, he has a whopping two assists.)
It should also be noted that the number of assists a defenseman racks up on the power play is directly related to the ability of his teammates to finish chances, and clearly the Canucks have issues in that department. Per Extra Skater, Vancouver’s power-play shooting percentage is just 8.4 percent, higher than only one team’s, the Florida Panthers (7.4%), and less than half of the NHL-leading Blues’ (17.7%).
But for general manager Mike Gillis, it begs some big questions about his team’s personnel, from the forwards to the blue line. Does he need to explore trading one of his four core defensemen — Edler, Hamhuis, Garrison and Kevin Bieksa (all of whom have no-trade clauses, of course) — for help in other areas? After all, Chris Tanev and Ryan Stanton have shown they belong in the NHL, and young Frank Corrado could be ready for full-time action next season.
And this…this really isn’t working:
- ‘Home-grown talent’ a staple of Blackhawks and Lightning 0
- A holdover from the ‘dark days,’ does Sharp have a future in Chicago? 8
- Bishop: ‘Taller guys…can be just as athletic as the smaller guys’ 5
- Tire pump? Yzerman says Toews is ‘bigger, stronger, better’ than he was 14
- Devils officially announce John Hynes, becomes youngest NHL coach 7
- PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day) 5
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 5
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 86
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 28
- Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda 16
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (86)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)
- Despite getting further than ever before, big game letdowns continue to haunt Boudreau (64)