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Powerless power play continues to hinder Canucks

Jan 24, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT

Carter Hutton, Dan Hamhuis AP

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:

  1. moarjam - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    I find it shocking that a John “we don’t even practice the PP” Tortorella coached team wouldn’t fair well with the man advantage…

    • tronn25 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      I strongly believe that following this play and the ensuing series, any confidence this team had to win a cup was completely excommunicated from the city.

      Tim Thomas, similar to a gypsy, stole all of the Sedins’ tears and used them to place an absolutely hilarious curse on Vancouver.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Henrik had an 10-year iron man streak. The problem is Daniel hasn’t been the same since the Duncan Keith hit.

  2. kingcobraman - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    if the Canucks only had a sniper….

  3. jasminedonut - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Falls squarely on the shoulders of Johnny the Rat-Face, and Sully! Look at the NYR powerplay with these 2 shmoes gone.

  4. tn16 - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Could the Canucks please trade Edler, he has all the tools but his head is just out off it in Van. He needs a fresh start I would like to see Garrison, bieksa and hamhus you would have to get a lot to trade but they really just need a pure goal scorer. Its Gona be hard though not good enough to win it all but not bAd to get a good prospect. Plus the best goal scorers out there on the trade market are on the Oilers. Who need a D-Msn them selfs.the Nucks need to blow it up now and 2 years they can be competing again

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