Canucks and Beyond

Game #5 Vancouver vs Anaheim

05/03/2007 at 6:25pm EDT

Grant Kerr’s Globe & Mail comments on Willie Mitchell:

He draws all the difficult assignments when Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault goes about matching lines. Sometimes Mitchell has Kevin Bieksa as his partner, or it could be Sami Salo or Brent Sopel.
Mitchell doesn’t much care. He just goes about his business, which in this case is showing Canucks management they spent their money wisely when Vancouver signed the unrestricted free agent last summer.

J.J. and I had an interesting conversation last night about the team’s prospects in this crucial Game #5 tonight. (We were going to provide the audio of that banter through our podcast, but the technology-Gods destroyed the tape. Good sign? Bad sign?).

Anyway, one of the things that J.J. mentioned, and I’ve thought a lot about since, is how well the Canucks primary D has performed, given the changing linemates throughout this post season. With injuries to Bieksa, Salo and Mitchell at different times, the top-D on this defense-dependent team have had to deal with a changing dynamic nearly every game. That they’ve kept the Canucks in games at all should be considered a small miracle, and a testament to how well they’ve adapted to the challenges.

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