The playoffs are all about stats. Whose stats line up better against the opposition determines who everyone thinks is the favourite, so on and so forth. I’m sure Kevin Bieksa doesn’t like stats though. In 18 playoff games with the Canucks he has a whopping 3 points, all assists. The only positive stat is that he’s a +2 so far in this year’s post season. In the regular season he broke the 40 point mark notching 11 goals and 43 points, but as of late all he’s been able to muster is a couple of helpers.
Bieksa’s play as of late has been timid. He’s not playing with that edge and fiest that saw him posterized after a brawl with Ben Eager, and he’s certainly not playing with the offensive prowess he was during the season. Lately it seems like most of his shots are going wide, and the few shots that are on net are either not making it through, or are bad shots to take.
When Gillis kept Bieksa at the deadline choosing to bail on a last minute package deal for Bouwmeester that would have seen “Boom Boom” join ex-Canuck Bryan Allen on the Panthers, he showed that faith in Bieksa because Bieksa is the offensive defenseman this team sorely needs. Salo and Mitchell are a pair of stay at homers and aside from Salo’s game 1 heroics and game winner, most of his points and goals are PP tallies from the point and I wouldn’t consider him an offensive defenseman. Edler, and O’Brien certainly don’t fit the bill, and Vaananen, or Davison will certainly not cure any offensive blue line woes.
Bieksa’s role is expected to be similar to that of Jovanovski’s without the bad penalties of course. He’s expected to be offensively aggresive, while able to maintain his defensive responsibilities and right now he’s dropping the ball. The playoffs are the big dance. It’s where teams are made, where character is shown, and where the big boys come to play. Bieksa’s lack of playoff performance is a little worrying because, well, lets just say I expect Bieksa to score a playoff goal before both Ryan Johnson and Darcy Hordichuk manage to pot one each. Perhaps Bieksa should listen to this blog’s song to get himself a little pumped up. He’s not scoring, he’s not hitting, he’s not doing much of anything at the moment and we need him to be playing a lot better hockey right now. Bieksa has the potential to be a game changer, and with how close this series is, a series changer. We need him now more than ever especially with Salo sidelined and his return game by game still questionable.
Blog Song: Ashes in the Fall – Rage Against the Machine