1) What are your expectations of the Canucks this postseason? (Or, if you will, how far into the playoffs do the Canucks have to go before you are disappointed?)
My expectations are simply that they play every game like it means something and give us something crazy-entertaining to enjoy while they do it. How far do I expect them to get? I’d be thrilled if they make the conference finals, and I’d be hyperventilating with joy if they play in the Stanley Cup Finals. But if they were to go all the way…? I can’t answer that, though I expect I’d probably have a heart attack and drop dead on the final buzzer. (With happiness, for sure. But after a lifetime of lowered expectations, an actual Stanley Cup in Vancouver could only mean the start of an apocalypse).
Oh well. It’s worth it.
2) What do you think will be the ONE key, determining factor in the Canucks/Blackhawks series?
I’d say the big factor in beating the Blackhawks—the magic potion to winning the first round… the perfect guarantee of success against the Blackhawks (and anyone else) —is the awesome game-changing talents of the Canucks third line with Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres and Jannick Hansen!
Oh wait. #$%[email protected]!
Oy. Okay, maybe another way of putting this is that a great shut-down line—particularly, awesome penalty killing—would be my key to the series. Knock on wood.
3) Which Canuck will step up the most, elevate his game and erase the ghost of past playoff failures?
I pick Ryan Kesler as the guy who will step up beyond all expectation. Every member of the team is imperative in their own way, but Kesler is important in EVERY way. A great two-way player can help a team overcome all manner of hiccups and mistakes. Fortunately, Kesler does it all… and in this series he’s going to have to. But I have no worries about that. Kesler has no ghosts to run from really, he’s just driven for success and I think his talents are going to be indispensable from the moment the puck drops in game 1.