When the Canucks got Andrew Alberts at the deadline he was in now way a replacement for Willie Mitchell, but as a depth guy he’s got to step up and fill the void. In the Canucks’ last game Alberts got a little lost and followed the wrong object down the ice after the puck drop.
Now I’ve noticed for a guy that’s only been around for 3 or 4 games he’s unfortunately been in the wrong place one too many times and it looks like he’s been the one at fault on a handful of goals thus far. Unlike others though I’m not quite ready to throw him under the bus. To be honest, not many people are throwing him under the bus just yet, but I started thinking a little about Alberts after someone jokingly said “That’s it, we need to trade Alberts.”
Alberts is coming onto a defence that’s very typically West Coast. The three previous teams he played for were all Eastern Conference teams and as we all know the Eastern Game is a much different style than that played here on the West Coast. The Canucks are also a team with a blue line in shambles. Some of our blue line pairings have looked down right bizarre. Our patchwork defence hasn’t really had time to adjust because between the callings up and down of Baumgartner, Lukowich, and the injuries to Mitchell, Rome, and Bieksa the blue line really hasn’t seen very many consistent pairings in a while. If you throw into the fact that the Canucks are already a team with a ridiculous amount of chemistry it’s clear that Alberts just needs a few more games to learn the Canucks system.
Alberts needs a little more time to mesh with this team. His head and his heart are in the right place. In his first game AV made an interesting choice to place him on the PK on a 5-on-3 kill and he looked good on the ice. He was hustling all night, he was being physical and what impressed me the most is after Seabrook decked Raymond Alberts came to his aid as if the two had been playing on the same team for the last 3 years. I was thoroughly impressed with the way he played in that first game because he was playing hockey as if he’d been in a Canucks uniform all season. Alberts isn’t the kind of deadline deal player that pans out in his first game the way guys like Wolski and Mueller did in their first games after this year’s deadline. Once the blue line sorts itself out and he gets a steady partner you can be sure that his 6 foot 5, 220 lbs is going to pay dividends.