Can the defense hack it?
I know it's only September, and narry a game has been played. But I have this sinking feeling in my gut. The Vancouver Canuck defense looks, well, thin to me. The top 3 compare well to any other top 3 in the league. But after that, the pickings are slim.
Alot of weight will be placed on the shoulders of Bryan Allen, a thought that makes me nervous.
"He's (Allen) the wild card in all this," Head coach Marc Crawford said. "We're going to be asking him to play 25 or 26 minutes a game."Wow. 25 or 26 minutes a game from a guy who's never been asked to check the other team's best lines and still wound up a -10. Adding ten minutes/game of ice time is a serious request (he averaged roughly 16:30/game last season) and I have doubts about his ability to effectively punch in for almost half a game.
The fifth and sixth spots will probably be filled by McCarthy and Butenschon/Baumgartner, which is fine, because most teams depth chartys will be fairly thin at these spots anyways.
But in my opinion, the Canucks need one more solid defenseman to be a serious contender - someone of the ilk of Brendan Witt. I'm not a huge Cloutier fan, and I believe that he will need all the help he can get in front of him, and the current edition of the Canuck's blueline likely won't strike fear into the hearts of many.