Things are getting a bit out of hand for Vancouver now. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa will miss the next 2-3 weeks of action with a broken foot. You can add Bieksa to the Canucks defensive injured list that includes Dan Hamhuis, Keith Ballard, Alex Edler, Lee Sweatt, and Andrew Alberts. Getting to join the party from the AHL to take Bieksa’s place is Evan Oberg.
After an off-season that was filled with trade rumors for Bieksa, he’s emerged to be one of their best blue liners this year. With six goals and 13 assists and a ridiculous +26 plus/minus rating he’s been the rock they could count on with a constant cycle of guys in and out of the lineup. Now he goes on the shelf with three other starting defensemen leaving Vancouver a top six that is overrun with AHL players.
Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo, and Aaron Rome are their veteran guys while Oberg, Chris Tanev, and Yann Sauve make up their bottom three. Rome gets veteran status even though he wouldn’t be a fixture in the lineup if it weren’t for injuries. It’s a stunning array of “who’s that” players and yet through all of this the Canucks still maintain the best record in the NHL and have the most points with 83. To give you an idea of how inexperienced the trio of Oberg, Tanev, and Sauve are they have combined for 15 games played in the NHL and 12 of those belong to Tanev this season.
If the Canucks can maintain their dominance through all of this it will be one of the more impressive feats of the season and make them an even more dangerous team come playoff time when they get their lineup back to full health.