OK, in case you missed it, here is what happened to Hammer against the Rangers last game:
Ouch. That's gonna leave a scar or six. The life of a hockey player. So much for the seemingly unscarred boyish face of the Hammer.
Coach Willie Desjardins told the media yesterday that he expects Hamhuis will be out at least 2 months. Reflecting on Willie's comments I'll pose an open question:
Why don't players wear full face shields? Because the NHL is not a safety-first organization? Answer: No, it's not. But don't let me comment on it. I kick it old school so...
So where does this leave the depth of the Canucks' defence at this point?
Bartkowski-Hutton (Hammer was playing with Hutton)
Luca Sbisa is day to day with a hand injury. The Canucks' depth on defence is now quite challenged. Are you concerned? I'm not. I think Alex Biega is better than most think/know and can step in nicely. But, given Sbisa's contract, it will be him that will see the third-most minutes once he returns. In Sbisa we trust, right?
The Hamhuis injury has many questioning why the Canucks let Frankie Corrado go in the first place. However, the answer there is somewhat simple, as Benning said back yesterday, which is what he said back when we let him go:
"We didn’t want him sitting around and not playing. But we’ll see what happens. I’ve been watching what’s going on with him in Toronto, so we’ll see what happens with that."
Hutton outplayed Corrado at camp. Simple as that. Benning acquired Bartkowski as well so we had plenty of depth on D heading into the season. And we still do, I think. OK, sure, Hamhuis is a huge asset lost...but to all of you Hammer haters this season... hey, calm the hell down and let's see what the kids can do. Alex Biega seems like a sure shot to me. Now is his chance to prove it. Yannick Weber...well...I don't know about this guy. Fans wanted Weber back in when the power play sucked yet he has not delivered and has even now been scratched. His 4 assists in 21 games with the Canucks this season were all 5 on 5. "Love" that -11 too. Weber needs to go.
What Has Hamhuis Contributed So Far This Season?
27 games played. No goals and 4 assists. +7! No power play or shorthanded points. Keep in mind that Hammer had 1 goal and 22 assists in 59 games last season, and under John Torterella the season before had 5 goals and 22 points in 79 games and was selected to represent Canada at the Olympics. Hamhuis' 43 blocked shots this season rank him 3rd on the team behind Edler and Tanev. He has the 5th-most giveaways behind guys like, Hank, Edler, Bartkowski and Tanev. 9th on the team with takeaways. 11th on the team with hits per game average.
Biega and Hutton. Now is your chance. Run with it. Show you can stick with the big team. Sbisa: Don't let us down. It's like that, isn't it? The Canucks have changed so much. This is a rebuild-retool situation. If guys like Biega and Hutton can prove their worth it will change the landscape even more come next season.