Every Goal, 2011-12: Alex Edler

The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we take a look at Alex “Ultra Boy” Edler.

With last week’s three-part series on Daniel Sedin, we mistakenly believed we were done recapping every goal the Canucks scored during the 2011-12 regular season. Somehow, to our eternal regret, we missed two players: Alex “Napster” Edler and Chris “Abbey Road” Higgins. While this was an inexecrable error, it does mean we have another Monday-to-Thursday full of goodness for you.

Alex Edler had the best season of his career and it was a tremendous disappointment. At least, that was the general sentiment among Canucks fans after the Canucks were unceremoniously bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Despite setting career highs in goals, assists, and points and being named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career, Edler’s season suffered in comparison to the season he played in the imaginations of Canucks fans.

Instead of being Superman, Edler was more often Ultra Boy, the hero with all of Superman’s powers who can only use them one at a time. Edler just wasn’t able to put all of his laudable skills into practice at the same time, leading to an uneven season that saw him triumph one moment and trip himself up the next.

With all that said, Edler still scored 11 goals to lead all Canucks’ defencemen and established himself as one of the best defencemen in the NHL. As Tom Benjamin put it, “being Ultra Boy is worthy of some admiration. Being able to use only one super power at a time seems to me to be a lot better than being without any super power at all.”

In any case, enjoy these 11 goals. Expect to see far fewer slapshots than you’re expecting, which is a loop that will lead to you to expect none at all. Expect more than that.

***

1 | October 29 vs Washington Capitals

With 3.2 seconds left in the first period, Alex Edler blasts a one-timer past Tomas Vokoun. Less than 5 seconds elapse between Ryan Kesler winning the faceoff and Edler scoring, as Edler and Salo bounce the puck back and forth to open up a shooting lane.

2 | October 29 vs Washington Capitals

Edler’s second goal came in the same game, but it’s against a different goaltender, as he beats Michal Neuvirth over the left shoulder as he comes sliding across. Edler’s offensive awareness is sublime here, as he picks the perfect time to creep in from the point, right when Henrik comes out of the scrum with the puck.

3 | November 1 vs Calgary Flames

Sometimes, when there are a lot of people in between you and the net, you don’t need a bomb of a slap shot; a quick wrister will do the job. Edler tries it twice: it’s blocked the first time, but the second time it pinballs in as Cody Hodgson barrels into Miikka Kiprusoff. Edler would continue to use this try-something-that-didn’t-work-earlier tactic with the neutral zone drop pass.

4 | December 6 vs Colorado Avalanche

The thing I love most about this goal is how casual Edler’s shot is. It doesn’t even look like he’s really trying, as he nonchalantly flings the puck past Semyon Varlamov. I’ve seen him put more effort into a catnap.

This is, again, a nice piece of offensive awareness from Edler, as he wastes no time in joining the rush up the ice. Clearly, he’s a joiner. No one introduce him to the Church of Scientology.

5 | December 10 vs Ottawa Senators

For all the fuss about Edler’s slap shot, we’re just short of halfway through his goals for the year and only his first was scored using it. Here we have another wristshot from the point with traffic in front. It’s a beautiful shot, but it’s pretty clear he was hoping for the tip-in from Kesler. Maybe Edler needs to rely on that booming slap shot a little less?

6 | December 21 vs Detroit Red Wings

This goal is a mess and I love it. First of all, it’s a shorthanded goal, which is a rarity for a defenceman (Shea Weber was the only defenceman with 2 last season). Second, it comes after Jannik Hansen slammed into Jimmy Howard while taking the puck to the net, leading to Howard freaking right out and going after Hansen, leading to a brouhaha. The replay shows Henrik Zetterberg clearly (and craftily) shoving Hansen, causing him to lose his balance, but Howard is plenty pissed.

Third, Edler didn’t even score this goal. His shot on the rebound deflects off Hansen’s leg and in. I suspect they awarded the goal to Edler to avoid the maelstrom of Hansen being credited with a goal after taking out Howard. Still, I’d like to give Edler credit for the way he drops off the two defenders rather than charging uselessly towards the net, leaving him all alone to put in the rebound.

7 | January 10 vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Hey, there’s the slap shot! After Henrik wins the faceoff, Alex Sulzer sets up the one-timer for Edler. The puck deflects off the Lightning player at the point, fooling Dwayne Roloson. To be fair, Roloson is getting old; moving his medication tends to fool him.

8 | February 28 vs Phoenix Coyotes

This is an unusual one. The half-boards isn’t Edler’s normal spot on the powerplay, but it works here, as his wristshot gets tipped like he is hoping it will be, but not by a Canuck. In fact, it deflects off two Coyotes players, leading me to speculate that Edler is, in fact, Amadeus Cho. Victory through math!

9 | March 6 vs Dallas Stars

This was the slightly less-celebrated of Edler’s two end-to-end goals this season, as Edler nimbly dodges two checkers in the neutral zone, then has his wristshot deflect off an out-stretched stick and over the shoulder of Richard Bachman, who is repeatedly called short by John Garrett. Bachman is 5’10″. I am 5’10″. I am not short. I am average-sized. Come at me, bro.

10 | March 8 vs Winnipeg Jets

Of all the wristshots Edler took this season, this has to be the weakest. Sure it deflects off Blake Wheeler, but it still flutters more than a pretty butterfly. As we all know, pretty butterflies flutter more than ugly ones. In any case, the puck flutters, uglily, right through Ondrej Pavelec’s legs. Also ugly: the word “uglily.”

11 | March 17 vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Here’s the one we’ve all been waiting for. Edler winds up behind his own net and comes wheeling out with speed, then goes end-to-end past every Blue Jacket on the ice, including Steve Mason. It’s a gorgeous goal, even when you consider how awful the Blue Jackets’ defending is. Harrison wrote a full Breakdowning post on this goal, which you should absolutely read.

Seriously, though, Edler’s speed on this goal is astounding. Watching it again, I’m not the least bit surprised that the Blue Jackets were caught unaware. And what a finish. Man. Be right back, going to watch this goal on infinite loop for a while.

Tags: , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Jeremy
    August 28, 2012

    So looking forward to seeing what Edler can do this year. Garrison’s huge contract will look pretty smart if they mesh well — would be great to see stable pairs of top-four D.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. the real bob
    August 28, 2012

    this is the edler i want to remember, not the one from the playoffs

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)