Canucks and Beyond

Preliminary Vancouver Canucks Primer

04/10/2007 at 9:09pm EDT
Last week, Steve Lepore was nice enough to ask me to contribute a short assessment of the Canucks to Sports Fan Magazine, as they prepare to head into the playoffs. It's just been published today in his Western Conference Playoff Primer (and you can also find the Eastern Conference Playoff Primer published yesterday).I'll reprint my words about the Canucks here, and hopefully post something more in-depth tomorrow.
Blogger's Opinion (From Alanah at Canucks and Beyond):The Vancouver Canucks have been an enigma to both hockey fans and sport writers all season. The Northwest Division Champions endured some radical roster changes in the off-season, but acquired the most desired goalie in the NHL last summer in Roberto Luongo who has been as good as advertised. If one thing sums up the Canucks fortunes this season - playing some of the best hockey in the NHL during the second half - it's Luongo. His talent and confidence combine to make him a force to be reckoned with. And the ways he's been known to get in opposing teams' heads makes him a threat before he even gets on the ice.But Vancouver has other assets heading into the post-season not to be overlooked. First is, to my mind, one of the most under-rated defensive groups in the NHL: Willie Mitchell, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo and Mattias Ohlund will frustrate the best snipers in the Western Conference. Add in the scoring dominance of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, some ingenius coaching, a top-rate penalty kill and a few x-factor players (i.e. Jeff Cowan: playoff superstar?!) and Canucks' fans have reason to feel optimistic. While a consistent powerplay has been elusive and team-toughness is sometimes questioned, I think the Vancouver Canucks are perfectly capable of surprising others in their quest for 16 wins heading towards June.
So there's a teaser of my opinion. Thoughts, anyone?

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