We’ve waited a long time for this… The Canucks open their season tonight against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena!
So what can we expect this year? Thus far, predictions have been wide ranging. There are some still picking the Canucks to go to the Stanley Cup final, while others are predicting that they will miss the playoffs because of injuries to Ryan Kesler and David Booth. The bookies have the Canucks at 11-1 to win the Stanley Cup, putting them behind only the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins as favourites to win the Cup.
Can they win it all? Of course they can. Will they? Maybe.
To win the Stanley Cup this year, a lot of things will need to go right. The Sedins will need to remain superstars in the league. Cory Schneider will need to play like he did as a backup, with an increased workload. The Canucks defence corps (1 through 6) will need to be strong. Ryan Kesler will need to return from injury and return to being the Selke Trophy winning 40 goal scorer. And of course the rest of the forwards will need to provide secondary scoring with a bit of grit and toughness.
Those are a lot of ifs and buts, but there aren’t any other teams in the league that don’t have a few things they’re hoping and wishing for. The Canucks aren’t the team to beat this year, but if things go well, they could pull it off.
The lineup the Canucks will start the season with is as follows:
D. Sedin – H.Sedin – Burrows
Higgins – Lapierre – Hansen
Raymond – Ebbett – Kassian
Volpatti – Malhotra – Weise
Hamhuis – Bieksa
Edler – Garrison
Roberto Luongo will start the season as Schneider’s backup and defencemen Cam Barker, Andrew Alberts and Jim Vandermeer are the healthy scratches.