canucks

NWSportsBeat.com’s 2011/2012 Vancouver Canucks Season Staff Predictions

Carolyn S – Writer / Canucks / BC Lions / Vancouver Sports

Canucks 2011/12 MVP: Ryan Kesler
Canucks Goalie with the best GAARoberto Luongo
Best +/- on the team? Alexandre Burrows
Canucks leading goal scorer will be? Alexandre Burrows
Leading team in points? Alexandre Burrows
Lead team in assists? Henrik Sedin
Best defenceman award goes to? Kevin Bieksa

TEAM PROPS

Canucks will win the Presidents Cup? Yes
How many points will the Canucks finish with in 2011/12 season? 110
How many wins will the Canucks finish with? 51
Will the Canucks win the Northwest division? Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Chicago? Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Calgary? Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Edmonton? Yes

PLAYER PROPS

Will Mason Raymond play before Xmas? Yes/No? No
Will Ryan Kesler will play before Xmas? Yes/no? Yes
Will Luongo be on the team come playoff time? Yes
Cody Hodgson be on team come playoff time? Yes
Twin with more points? Daniel/Hank? Daniel
How many games will Schneider play this year? 25. Eddie Lack is coming up.
Will Coach V be the Canucks Coach at the end of the regular season? Yes

Why not go ahead and be optimistic? The Canucks will return as Cup contenders in 2011-12, even with a slow start this season. They’ve had less time than any other year to rest and re-coup mentally and physically, particularly after a long and stressful playoff run. With several players injured, including heart of the team Ryan Kesler, the Canucks likely won’t start off with impressive steam. It’s still going to take a while to get over the wounds of last season.

Speaking of bruises, the latest on Mason Raymond’s broken vertebrae is he’s “lucky to be standing” – highly doubtful that he’ll be back on the ice anytime soon, if at all. Even if Raymond does eventually return, he’ll likely be much slower and prone to further injury, unfortunately.

Still, it’s a given that the Canucks will easily dominate the weak Western division after getting back into the swing of things. Schneider won’t be going anywhere as Luongo’s trusty back up in net, while rookie Eddie Lack warms the bench, awaiting his chance to perform. For Luongo’s sake, let’s hope he gives reason to quickly erase memories of his disappointing performance in game 6 and 7 against Boston that most fans have yet to forget.

NWSB 2011 Staff Predictions - Vancouver Canucks

Why not assume that Alexandre Burrows is going to have a ridiculously amazing season? I’m envisioning less finger-biting, more goal-scoring. There were a lot of discouraging opinions coming from residents in the south western region of the highly-populated, jealous province with the crappy eastern hockey team who said the Canucks lacked “heart” (meaning? courage or spirit; bravery), and that’s why they didn’t win the Cup. Well, let’s get Kesler back out there, while championing Burrows with the task of finding this “heart” that our team supposedly lacks. I see great things and probably an equal amount of stress and beer drinking to come with another exciting season of Canucks hockey.

Richard H – Writer / Victoria Sports / BC Sports

Canucks 2011/12 MVP: Roberto Luongo
Canucks Goalie with the best GAA? Cory Schneider
Best +/- on the team?  Kevin Bieksa
Canucks leading goal scorer will be? Daniel Sedin
Leading team in points? Daniel Sedin
Lead team in assists? Henrik Sedin
Best defenceman award goes to? Alex Edler

TEAM PROPS

Canucks will win the Presidents Cup? In the mix but lets say no
How many points will the Canucks finish with in 2011/12 season?  105
How many wins will the Canucks finish with? 48
Will the Canucks win the Northwest division?  By default Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Chicago?  .500
Will they have a winning record vs. Calgary?  Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Edmonton?  Oh God Yes

PLAYER PROPS

Will Mason Raymond play before Xmas? Yes/No? No
Will Ryan Kesler will play before Xmas? Yes/ no? Yes
Will Luongo be on the team come playoff time? Yes
Cody Hodgson be on team come playoff time? Yeah he’ll be at least on the roster depending on how he does while Kesler is out
Twin with more points? Daniel/Hank? Daniel
How many games will Schneider play this year? 26
Will Coach V be the Canucks Coach at the end of the regular season? Yes

Wash Rinse Repeat. During training camp last year, most Canucks fans just wanted to fast forward to the playoffs and avenge the wrongs suffered by the Hawks. This year, most won’t consider the season to really start until the Canucks are back in the finals. There are unfortunately no save points in the NHL and the Canucks will have to start all over again from the beginning before they can have another crack at the End Bosses. It’s an interesting position the team finds itself in this year.

The regular season has been conquered to the point where the only two options available are status quo and descent. The breakout surprises of the past few years are now duties. We now expect Kesler to be Selke quality, the Sedins Hart quality, and the team to be dominant. Anything less will be seen as causes for concern. The Canucks have improved every year under Gillis but now bump up against the ceiling. Short of replicating last years regular season and improving their playoff wins by one, this season carries a real danger of letdown. How will the team come back from the most successful season in franchise history that also doubled as their ugliest?

This of course is a first place problem that many teams would love to be suffering from, and indeed the biggest difference between this Canucks squad this year and that of last years is that the questions of playoff inexperience have been replaced by a core with the knowledge of what it takes to navigate the playoffs to within one game of the cup.

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be the easy comparable this season for a team turning a playoff run from learning experiences to veteran experience but the better comparable may be that of their old nemeses the Boston Bruins, who could probably teach these Canucks a few things about overcoming playoff choking to win the Cup the following year.

There are two types of athletes, those who love to win and those who hate to lose.

Last year, the Canucks were the former; this year they need to be the latter.

Dave B – Writer / Seahawks / Fantasy Sports

Canucks 2011/12 MVP: Daniel Sedin
Canucks Goalie with the best GAA? Roberto Luongo
Best +/- on the team?  Kevin Bieksa
Canucks leading goal scorer will be? Daniel Sedin
Leading team in points? Daniel Sedin
Lead team in assists? Henrik Sedin
Best defenceman award goes to? Dan Hamhuis

TEAM PROPS

Canucks will win the Presidents Cup? Not this year but close!
How many points will the Canucks finish with in 2011/12 season?  109
How many wins will the Canucks finish with? 50
Will the Canucks win the Northwest division?  Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Chicago?  Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Calgary?  Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Edmonton?  Yes

PLAYER PROPS

Will Mason Raymond play before Xmas? Yes/No? No
Will Ryan Kesler will play before Xmas? Yes/ no? Yes
Will Luongo be on the team come playoff time? Absolutely
Cody Hodgson be on team come playoff time? Barely
Twin with more points? Daniel/Hank? Hank
How many games will Schneider play this year? 19
Will Coach V be the Canucks Coach at the end of the regular season? And for a long time after

The Vancouver Canucks can choose to dwell on the past or they can move forward. It has long been said that you have to face adversity before you can have ultimate success. The Canucks have had their adversity and their focus this season will be to not finish second again!

Vancouver was at or near the top of nearly every defensive and offensive statistical category last season. They were very good but just fell a bit short. The Canucks will enter the season with the same nucleus that was a win away from the Stanley Cup. There were a few depth moves but this team will look a lot like the one we saw last year.

Offensively the Canucks feature a lineup with names like Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Mason Raymond, Kesler, Alexander Burrows, newly signed Marco Sturm, Manny Maholtra and Mikael Samuelsson. They are absolutely top notch in the NHL. Max Lapierre, Jannick Hansen and Chris Higgins make up a terrific potential fourth line. If Cody Hodgson could ever live up to expectation, this team could be extremely dangerous. Ryan Kesler will miss the first part of the season recovering from injury, Raymond will be out longer – Hodgson has to step up early.

Kevin Beiksa and Sami Salo decided to resign with the team. He will rejoin Keith Ballard, Dan Hamhuis, Andrew Alberts, Chris Tanev, Aaron Rome and Ryan Parent on what is a very good defense in Vancouver. It is safe to say that Vancouver’s defense, like the forwards is absolutely Top Notch in the NHL. That brings us to the goaltending!

Nobody in Vancouver seems to remember that if it wasn’t for two bad playoff series last season, there would be absolutely no talk of Roberto Luongo’s demise. Every team on the planet would love to have Lou between the pipes. Corey Schneider is one of the most capable backups in the league – nice insurance indeed. So… the Vancouver goaltending is like the forwards and like the defensemen – absolutely Top Notch.

So by now you should realize that Vancouver is absolutely Top Notch in every facet of the game. There is no reason that they don’t win the Northwest by a mile, seriously challenge for the Western Conference title and the President’s Trophy. The time for excuses and analysis are over!

More…

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I.Am.Q. Managing Editor at NWSB. Beautiful Victoria B.C. is home! Blogger, Twitterholic, Father, Husband (To A Kansas Girl), Northwest Sports Junkie, Proud member of the Seahawks 12th man since 1977! Card-Carrying Member of the Mack Strong #38 Fan Club! Die hard Canucks, Mariners, & Huskies fan. I don't like OKC, I miss the Sonics! Connect w/ me today!
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