Edler was under fire at the start of the season for lack of production and after going through a slump which I attribute to him missing Ohlund, he’s found his groove again and gone back to playing like we’ve come to expect of the native Swede. Edler who was taking bad shots, missing outlet passes and blowing routine blue line saves struggled to find his game early on and a very negative plus/minus had a lot of people scratching their heads.
Edler’s play was clearly uncharacteristic and his lack of confidence at the time seemed to amplify the problem. Recently Edler’s gone on a tear and is starting to look like the same blue liner that put up career numbers last season. He’s vaulted past Ehrhoff, who was a surprise source of offence for the Canucks this season, in points and he’s on pace for 57 points this season.
With 2 goals and 17 assists this season he’s on pace to finish the year with 51 assists which is just shy of the Canucks record for most assists by a defenceman held currently by Denis Kearns. The record is 55 assists and if Edler gets hot it wouldn’t be unlikely for us to see him get that record.
Edler is the puck mover this team needs and while the worry around his subpar play was understandable, it looks as if he’s turned things around. For a while his problem was made worse by his attempts to force a play out of frustration, but the noticeable change in his play as of late is a sign he’s back in his comfort zone. He’s got that stride back in his step and he’s no longer playing ultra conservatively.
Edler is Salo’s set up man. With Edler getting back in gear you can be sure Salo’s numbers are going to start looking better. He started with a goal against the Devils after being goal-less for over 30 consecutive regular season games. The Canucks blue line has the potential to be the most potent blue line offense in the league. With Salo’s coveted shot (injury not withstanding), Edler’s play making potential and shot, Ehrhoff’s versatility at the point, Bieksa’s offensive mentality and Schneider’s blast there is no reason this can’t be the most feared blue line in the league both offensively and defensively. Edler’s play is going to go a long way towards affecting the rest of the team and now that he’s found his stride again I have a feeling the rest of the defense will fall in sync.