Never before has the NHL’s marketing campaign “is this the year?” ever spoke to me like it does now. Isn’t that really the question on every fan of the Vancouver Canucks mind today? Is this the year they can finally bring the cup home to Vancouver? Well, as a fan of the Canucks for all of my life, I can safely say that their chance to win the cup has never been this good to begin a season. Now, let me qualify that statement with the fact that this in no way makes them a sure thing, and if you’ve followed the Canucks long enough, you know that high expectations are usually something to be worried about in these parts. But alas, the Canucks are entering the 2010-11 season as one of the Stanley Cup favourites, and given the alternative, that’s something to get excited about. So get excited Canucks fans, but know that the competition will be stiff.
With a 8 for 14 prediction rate so far in these playoffs, Canuckz.com has predicted about as accurately as Maggie the Monkey. With that said, we’re pretty stubborn here at Canuckz.com and we’re not giving up. So without further ado, here is the MUCH anticipated Canuckz.com Stanley Cup Final prediction:
It goes without saying that tonight’s pivotal game 6 is the biggest game of the year. If anyone knows what to expect, please let me know, because I can’t figure this team out. They’re down 3-2 in the series but both of their wins were by fairly large margins. They were great at home all year, but have dropped both home games in this series, and looked terrible while doing so. With that said, lets take a look at the ten most important questions heading in to today’s matchup:
Apologies for not getting the game 4 recap out sooner, but all of the Canuckz.com team were out drowning their sorrows after one of the most disheartening games in recent memory. For the second straight game the Canucks were outsmarted, getting scored on and getting laughed at by the stronger, faster, cockier and so far better Chicago Blackhawks. Without getting into it too much, I’m sure we want to forget it by now, the Canucks need better goaltending from Roberto Luongo, more disciplined play, and better penalty killing.
Skate and go to the net, presumably that’s the message from Coach V to his troops tonight. Alain Vigneault has a few lineup shuffles in mind for tonight’s contest. Pavol Demitra and Rick Rypien will sit out tonight’s contest in favour of Michael Grabner and Tanner Glass. Here’s what the Canucks lines are expected to look like:
The so-called “parity” of the salary cap era is on display, as the three top seeds are now eliminated in the East. But what about the parity between the West and the East? It seems as though the only strong team remaining in the East is the Pittsburgh Penguins and compared to their counterparts in the West; San Jose, Chicago, Detroit and Vancouver, they look overmatched.
This image (along with this song) has haunted Canucks fans for almost an entire calendar year. Patrick Kane, mouth guard dangling and all, scoring the insurance goal late in game 6, his third goal of the night. The Canucks insist that they should have won that series, to which I disagree (they had fewer points than Chicago, and were beaten in six!). The Hawks were the better team last year, and throughout the regular season have been the better team this year. No doubt, they are the favourites. With that said, this series should be a close one and could go either way, depending on a few keys of the series:
It’s that time of year again folks. Yep, the time of year that Mike Gillis tries to coax an aging Swedish future hall of fame centre to not retire and come to Vancouver. Peter Forsberg played in the Karjala Cup tournament in Helsinki this week, and is apparently contemplating a return to the NHL and possibly play in the 2010 Olympics this February. And Mike Gillis is interested.
Recently called-up Michael Grabner will make his NHL debut tonight tonight when the Canucks play the Flames. The speedy winger has been thrown right into the fire, playing the club’s chief rival on the top line with Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows. Grabner will never get a better opportunity to succeed than this to finally prove he’s NHL worthy and he’d better excel or there may not be many chances left for the young Austrian sniper.