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Canucks 2021-22 season preview: defensive pairing predictions

Vancouver The Canucks made a lot of changes On the blue line of their offseason Oliver Ekman-Larson From Arizona coyotes, Tucker Pullman Luke Shen from the Winnipeg Jets and from the Tampa Bay Chargers.Among the guards who played for the team last season, Quinn Hughes, Taylor Miles, Travis Harmonic and Ollie Julevy returned Alex Edler left Joined the Los Angeles Kings after 15 seasons with the Canucks.

related: Canucks rookie training camp notebook: DiPietro, Podkolzin, Klimovich, etc.

As a result, Canucks coach Travis Green will have three new defensive players into the lineup. Let’s take a look at how he played against the Edmonton Oilers on October 13.

Since they previously suspended Edler and Chris Tanev in Los Angeles and Calgary, the Canucks will have to find a new duo to fight the opposing team’s top line.although Analyze another statement, Ekman-Larsson and Poolman are likely to be the first game against the Oilers.

General manager Jim Benning has already dubbed Ekman-Larsson As Canucks’ first defender and Poolman as Tanev-esque. Obviously, he hopes that both of them can improve the game by 110% and become the team’s next great top partner. These numbers do not support the prediction because the Corsi-for percentage (CF%) of both is below 50, and their sum in the positive/negative column is negative 19.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyote (Amy Owen / Hockey writer)

Poolman had a relatively good season with Josh Morrissey, but even though he supported his defensive partner defensively, they still ended the game with a CF% of 46.86 and 108 HDCA. They ended the season with a record behind Derek Fobot and Neil Pionk, who surrendered the team’s highest 142 HDCA.

As for Ekman Larson, he hasn’t played like the elite No. 1 guard for a long time. Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet deployed him in his second pairing with Ilya Lyubushkin last season and reduced his average playing time from 23:01 to 20:58. This is the lowest ice age he has seen since the 2010-11 rookie season. The pairing also ended with 47.03 CF%. Interestingly, Ekman-Larsson played better without Lybushkin and his CF% increased to 49.04. We will see how he competes with Poolman who seems to adopt a similar style.

Second pair: Quinn Hughes-Travis Harmonic

There is no change here, as Hughes and Harmonic are expected to join the hips again this season. With Ekman Larson taking over these responsibilities, Hughes may not see so much time on the top line, so we may see more equilibrium from him. As a pairing of last season, they ended with 48.41 CF% and 103 HDCA, while only producing 68 high-risk opportunities. If Green can get them into a more favorable matchup throughout the game, maybe they will end up spending less time in their area and more time on the offensive end.

Quinn Hughes Vancouver Canucks
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Green should deploy Hughes the same way former head coach Alan Vignyot deployed Christian Elkhoff in the 2010s. He is almost closely tied to the top line of Henrik, Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows. Hughes and Hamonic should see most of the 5-on-5 ice time in Elias Pettersson, JT Miller and Brock Boeser’s Lotto Line. He can be said to be one of the best offensive defenders in the NHL, so he should be with the three best offensive players on the team.

Third pair: Olli Juolevi – Tyler Myers

This pair of partners can be very good, especially if they play together all season. When they deployed as a duo last season, their CF% was 48.61 and only allowed 8 goals against them. Miles also played his best two-way hockey with Julevi, and we also saw that he made fewer defensive turnovers. In general, Juolevi seemed to calm Miles down.

Tyler Myers, Vancouver Canucks
Taylor Myers, Vancouver Canucks (Canadian Media/Darryl Dyke)

Juolevi also saw his best potential data with Myers. In 73:07 of the game without him, he recorded a fairly flat 35.43 CF%, while with him, it rose to 48.61. If it weren’t for his time with Miles, considering that he ended the season with a 45.0 CF%, his personal CF% would have been worse. The vision test is also beneficial to the pair, as they rarely had trouble in their area when they were together last season.

Seventh guard: Luke Shenen

Shin was brought in from the Chargers to become the seventh guard in the Canucks. He will basically become the Alex Biga of this team in the 2021-22 season. As injury issues may once again become a factor this season, he may play 50 games. Today, this seems to be the norm for the seventh defender around Vancouver. He played a similar role in the Chargers as he provided solid two-way defense and penalty kills during his second consecutive Stanley Cup participation.

Shin will bring the presence of a veteran to the locker room and have a chemical reaction with a young defender named Quinn Hughes. When Benning introduced Shen En from the Anaheim Ducks before the trade deadline, he almost only played with the 21-year-old player, which eventually became his peaceful presence.

He calmed me down…I didn’t, honestly, I was not nervous at all in the first game. I was not nervous for those five games. I think it’s because, you know, he always talks to me, he is really sociable and he is good, just like we haven’t spent a lot of time in the D zone. He helped me a lot.

Quinn Hughes vs. Luke Shinn (from “Patrick Johnston: Quinn Hughes” a nervous start was calmed by the calm Luke (Shen) “Province, 1/7/20)

Luke Shenen #2 Vancouver Canucks
Luke Schenn, Vancouver Canucks (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

If Schenn performed well during training camp and preseason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Green start the season with a second pair of Hughes and Schenn. He will have to beat the likes of Hamonic and Poolman, but with his veteran wisdom and familiarity with the team, he may eventually replace one of them on the opening night roster.

Training camp battle

The top five guards on the Canucks depth chart appear to be entering the 2021-22 season. The question mark starts from the sixth, seventh, and eighth position. Juolevi is ready to accept one of them, simply because he does not have to clear the exemption. If another young defender like Jack Rathborn performs better than him in training camp, Julevi will still start this season.

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Similar to Troy Stechel at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Rasborn will be sent to minors despite his outstanding performance in the preseason. Everyone knows what happened after that. Steyr returned to the big club after only four games. He eventually played 71 games and scored a career-high 24 points, with an average playing time of 19 minutes and 59 seconds. I saw the same thing happened in Rathbone.

Jack Rathbone Vancouver Canucks
Jack Rathbone, Vancouver Canucks (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Finally, don’t sleep on Brad Hunter, a native of Maple Ridge. Since the 2016-17 season, this veteran who has played in 191 NHL games has never seen the inside of the American Hockey League (AHL) locker room. I believe he will not be back soon. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and short in stature, but as we all know, his stature does not always determine the success of the NHL. Like the aforementioned Biga, he has opened up a perfect sixth or seventh guard position. Whenever he is called, he will play an efficient two-way game and never complain about his role. However, unlike Pinga, he has proven to be a power player, and 11 of his 19 career goals were scored with extras.

Similar to Four-line battle with Zach McEwan, William Lockwood, Jonah Gacovic and Phil Di Giuseppe, this game will also be an interesting game worth paying attention to throughout the training camp. Hockey writer Starting on September 23rd, you will be there to bring you all the games at Abbotsford Center and perform in the preseason game against the Seattle Krakens on September 26th.

All statistics are taken from Hockey Reference with Natural Statistics Skills


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