canucks

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

Aidan C – Writer / WHL Hockey / Abbotsford Heat / Vancouver Sports

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

TEAM PROPS

Canucks will win the Presidents Cup? Nope
How many points will the Canucks finish with in 2011/12 season?  102
How many wins will the Canucks finish with? 48
Will the Canucks win the Northwest division?  Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Chicago?  No
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? Yes
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? No
Twin with more points? Daniel/Hank? Hank
How many games will Schneider play this year? 18
Will Coach V be the Canucks Coach at the end of the regular season? Yes

The 2011-12 Canucks will be the sluggish to start after a gruelling playoff marathon. The team won’t start picking up where they left off until about mid-November. Division rivals Colorado, Calgary and even Minnesota – no not Edmonton, still too inexperienced despite their unreal offensive potential – will burst out of the gate with something to prove, but the Canucks will find their footing and fend them off for their fourth consecutive Division Crown.

On defence Dan Hamhuis and Chris Tanev will duke it out for the unsung heroes on the blueline, Kevin Bieksa and Alexander Edler will post sea-saw seasons, Sami Salo will get injuried and play 30-40 games, Aaron Rome will be invisible, and Keith Ballard will have a comeback campaign locked into the fifth spot before Alain promotes him to the second pairing with Edler when Salo breaks his hand at a family bonspiel during Christmas back in Finland and is done until playoffs.

The Sedins will remain consistent but take a step back in regular season production with high 80s to low 90s point totals. Ryan Kesler will miss 15 games before finishing the season with 30 goals and 60 points. Alex Burrows will score 25 alongside Henrik and Daniel. Secondary scoring will come from Mikael Samuelsson (18 goals), Jannik Hansen (17 goals), Chris Higgins (17 goals) and Cody Hodgson (15 goals). Mason Raymond‘s season will be a write-off as he comes back and struggles to muster up any scoring chances while trying to find his legs. The Canucks will once again struggle, at times, to score goals – on the third and fourth line and second powerplay unit – until the trade deadline when Mike Gillis makes a blockbuster trade throwing Cody Hodgson, Cory Schneider and Keith Ballard and a pick to the New Jersey Devils for Zach Parise and a prospect, to finally give Ryan Kesler the legitimate second-line scoring partner he deserves.

NWSB 2011 Staff Predictions - Vancouver Canucks

In goal, Roberto Luongo posts stellar numbers and is a Vezina Trophy finalist, while Cory Schneider plays in 18 games before getting traded mid- to late season in a blockbuster deal that gets Parise.

The playoffs are up in the air, with the Canucks going all the way again, or falling just short losing to either Chicago or Detroit in the Conference Finals.

Riley T – Writer / BC Sports

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

TEAM PROPS

Canucks will win the Presidents Cup? Yes
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?  Take away the Sedins, Luongo, Kesler and Edler and I’d still bet on them.
Will they have a winning record vs. Chicago?  No
Will they have a winning record vs. Calgary?  Yes
Will they have a winning record vs. Edmonton?  Yes, but they give us more trouble than Calgary

PLAYER PROPS

Will Mason Raymond play before Xmas? Yes/No? Yes
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? Hank
How many games will Schneider play this year? 15
Will Coach V be the Canucks Coach at the end of the regular season? Yes

Like most Canucks fans, I want the regular season to be done already. A slow start will lead to panic, which will quickly be calmed by a fantastic December and January. Fans who are worried about this team being injured are forgetting that last season we didn’t have our top six defencemen play ONE SINGLE regular season game together. They weren’t a complete unit until the playoffs. We also did without Daniel for a month, plus various other injuries along the way. We still won the President’s trophy by 10 points. We will be fine. This team is a juggernaut.

Burrows is going to have a breakout year, giving the Canucks four of the top ten forwards in the league, all of whom will be legitimate Hart Trophy contenders. Unfortunately, none of them will win thanks to Jonathon Toews, who will have another MVP season, leading to a massive “Crosby or Toews?” debate that won’t be settled while Crosby is still not 100%. The Sedins and Kesler will all be as strong as ever, and the team will score even more goals than last season, led by a dominant powerplay.

As for goaltending, Luongo will be as steady as ever, regularly putting on good performances with a half dozen off nights that will lead to calls to start Schneider. However, although Schneider will play well for the Canucks, he will be traded mid-season for a good defencemen to help support a beat up defence corps.

In the first round of the playoffs the Canucks will face the San Jose Sharks, who after a disappointing year shook up the team with a series of trades. They are swept in four games. In the second round, the Canucks face the white hot LA Kings, who push us to the brink before going down in 7 games. In the conference finals the Canucks will face off against Chicago. Vegas will set the over/under on penalty minutes per game at 889.5. I will bet on the over. The Canucks win in 6 games, leading to riots in downtown Chicago.

In the Stanley Cup Finals the Canucks will play Buffalo. Vancouver police will react to last years riots by closing down Granville and the surrounding area. However, they won’t need to worry, the Vancouver offence will overwhelm the normally brilliant Miller, and the Canucks will win in 6 games.

Trevor P – Writer / Vancouver Sports

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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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