...Oh, well, so much for that. With first Kevin Bieksa going down and now Sami Salo's annual injury woes starting, this vaunted Canuck D is looking pretty the same as 2007/08.
Now before we all run around after the 2-4 road trip screaming the sky is falling, let's see what Gillis can do with the $10 million in Sundin money he has to shore up the D.
It's not like the team did not see this coming as Salo averages 63 GP per season over the past three seasons and at 34 he's on the downside.
Bieksa's knee is a bigger concern as last year's injury was just a flukey deep cut to his calf. That can happen with sharp skates about, but knee problems never go away. He came back pretty quick but wouldn't most fans prefer the Nux err on the side of caution? Did they really did Bieksa in there to lose that last game of the road trip vs. the Hawks? Plus they played the guy 32:01 in his first game back. Sorry, but Nicklas Lidstrom he is most definitely not.
A bigger concern on the horizon could be Matthias Ohlund. Coming off knee surgery from last season, can he hold up at 32 years of age. He should be able to but he's been a minus player the past three season. Nothing mindboggling as his low was -6 but pre-lockout he was +16 and +14 in the two seasons he was healthy and played over 80 games.
Lastly, if no one knew then, we all should know now, Pavol Demitra is a godo player but he's also fragile. Averaging 66 GP per season over the last four he's going to give the Nux 60 pts. Anything over that is a bonus. He's a better Brendan Morrison given Mo barely scraped 60 in a full season post-West Coast Express on form.