The Vancouver Canucks have lost three times this season — once to the Lightning, another to the Stars, and another to the Avalanche.
Combined score in those three games? 17-8.
What do all three of those teams have? Speed.
And what does GM Jim Benning think about that?
“I think when we play fast teams, we’ve got to be smarter through the neutral zone, we’ve got to keep our positioning better,” Benning told TSN 1040 radio this morning (audio).
“The big, strong teams, we haven’t had a problem playing them so far, because we have the skill to move the puck and skate. But the teams that come through the neutral zone with a lot of speed, so far have given us problems.
“I talked to [coach Willie Desjardins] yesterday, and he’s aware of that. He’s doing things in practice to try and combat that.”
Benning’s comments about being “smarter through the neutral zone” make sense. And the Canucks, at least according to Capitals coach Barry Trotz, did “a really good job clogging things up” in Sunday’s win over the Capitals.
But the mobility of Vancouver’s defense should be a concern for Benning. Not one of his blue-liners is an elite skater. And against elite skaters, that can look like this:
Vancouver hosts another speedy team tonight in the Montreal Canadiens.