Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/14/13 at 08:58 AM ET
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Unlike last season when they had a consistent string of poor teams to play which gave them a lot of wins they didn’t have to work particularly hard to achieve given the goaltending Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were providing, this season they have visits from a desperate Detroit team and the two teams ahead of them in the Western Conference. Those two happen to be the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks, and on paper at least, that would seem to be the ideal way to prepare for the post season.
The question is how will these teams behave when it actually comes to playing the games, and we include the Canucks. Six days from now, Vancouver knows it will be playing a quality team — the Wings — still trying hard to qualify or improve it’s position in the playoff pecking order.
But when Chicago comes in, will they go all out to try to demonstrate their dominance over Vancouver or will they be resting the likes of Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews? There is certainly a strong possibility the Ducks will be giving their aging Euro stars Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu a little time off before the playoffs when they come in. The pace of play, travel, and play in the Western Conference in this shortened season is obviously difficult on anyone, much less a guy in his 40s and the lesser celebrated Finn approaching that milestone.
Chances are the Canucks won’t be resting the Sedins through these games given their history and the fact the coaching staff seems to be extremely traditional and unable to try something creative or different.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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