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Who Predicted This?

from Damien Cox of The Spin,

There was no sign this was coming. No sign at all six days ago that either the Vancouver Canucks or the Pittsburgh Penguins were in danger, or would quickly lose their first three games of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs and find themselves on the precipice.

Even those who predicted the Pens and Canucks would lose in the first round foresaw long, drawn out series.

But then, nobody saw that the Canucks wouldn’t be able to score - five goals in three games against L.A., seven goals in their last seven playoff matches - or that the Penguins wouldn’t be able to defend. Pitt coughed up an unearthly 16 goals against in losing Games 2 and 3 to Philly, and while Marc-Andre Fleury has been stinky, he’s hardly been provided with a wall in front of him.

Vancouver, meanwhile, can’t get it going without Daniel Sedin, which would be an excuse if not for the fact they couldn’t get it going on the attack with Daniel Sedin in the latter part of last spring’s Cup final either. All that talent up front and nobody can find the net, while the players acquired by GM Mike Gillis in trades along the way this season - Zack Kassian, David Booth and Sammy Pahlsson - have added nothing to the attack.

Barring a spectacular comeback by either club, we’ll soon be looking at the changes coming in both cities. In Pittsburgh, it will be whether its time to move on from the trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin and Jordan Staal. In Vancouver, there will be questions about head coach Alain Vigneault, and which of goalies Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo will be moving on to a new home this summer.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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It’s amazing that these two teams were the overwhelming picks of hockey insiders to meet in the Finals. How ironic they’re both facing a sweep in the first round.

Posted by Paul on 04/16/12 at 12:20 PM ET

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what do you mean that there were no signs of the Vancouver demise? They ARE the Vancouver Canucks aren’t they? What else do you need? Flopping, diving, whining, and bitching will only get you so far.

Posted by scooter from Sasakatoon on 04/16/12 at 01:42 PM ET

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Posted by scooter from Sasakatoon on 04/16/12 at 12:42 PM ET

Maybe you missed last season, but that type of play got them to the Stanley Cup Finals, and within one game of winning the Cup.

It also got them the President’s Trophy this season.

So, as much as I am absolutely loving the potential sweep of the heirs apparent, let’s not pretend it was obvious that they were going to lay this kind of egg in the first round.

Posted by Garth on 04/16/12 at 01:57 PM ET

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Vancouver lays an egg every year, only this time it’s happening earlier.  First Chicago drilled them a couple times, then Boston, now L.A.  The nucks are becoming the new San Jose Sharks.

Can’t say i’m surprised they are choking.. it was never if, but when.

What is surprising is seeing Pittsburgh fall from grace so easily.  Crosby is cracking and so are the rest of that team.  The flyers are playing the smartest hockey they have in years.  Don’t like either team, but have to give the hat tip to Philly for getting in their opponents heads.

Posted by sean_o_sean on 04/16/12 at 06:35 PM ET

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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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