2011-2012 Predictions for the Western Conference
Yes it's only the preseason. There's a lot of hockey left to be played. But seriously, who wants to play the "wait and see game" before making predictions. What are sports forums for besides making outlandish guesses and then shouting I TOLD YOU SO! when it happens, or making excuses when you're wrong?
And on that note, without further ado, some predictions for the Western Conference this year:
The Canucks will defend their Westen Conference title by becoming the #1 seed once again. However, they won't win it so easily this year. It won't be until the final two weeks that they clinch the top spot, thanks to a renewed rivalry with their main competitors the....
Chicago Blackhawks, who will shake off last years Stanley Cup Hangover by charging to the second seed in the west. This rise will coincide with Toews winning his second MVP award as Crosby tragically misses more games due to concussions. Following them in third place will be...
The Detroit Red Wings. A team that continues to be relevant year after year. Any struggling franchise should be studying the Red Wings for lessons in how to run a team and an organization. Simply amazing.
Anyone have any contradicting predictions? Write them here! I'll be starting a similar thread for the Eastern Conference soon, look for it later today!
Hard to argue with prediction if your a Canucks fan, but I'm not 100% sure they finish first this year. My glass is half empty, I have a gut feeling the Kesler injury is going to really hurt team continuity
Missing Kesler will hurt, but this is a team that won the President Trophy by 10 points in 2010-2011 despite not playing a single regular season game with its top 6 defencemen, and also missing Daniel for a portion of the season.
True enough. Stay tuned for our 2011 Canucks predictions article coming soon.
NWSB Blogger Picks - Q's Canucks Predictions
By nature I’m a glass is half empty kind of Canucks honk. Always have been.
How can you not be if you’ve been a fan since the 70′s like I have. I’m 38, I’ve suffered a ton! It’s just human nature with this team.
I for one think that last year taught this team a valuable lesson however. They came within one game of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. I don’t know if they lost to the better team? But they lost to the team that wanted it more.
Now in 2011, this years version of the Canucks will want it more. Losing taught them a valuable lesson. I think this team makes a return to the Cup final, but the season won’t be easy.
Injuries to Kesler, Raymond, Luongo at some point (prediction), a Sedin (another prediction), and the inevitable injuries to a slew of our defense corp will lower the expectations of this team in March and April, but they’ll bond come playoff time, and take the North west Canuck fans on another LONG playoff ride.
I can only hope, NOT predict, that they get it done in fashion this time, and that we don’t end up with another riot in the streets of Vancouver, but a Stanley Cup winning parade.
NWSB Blogger Picks - C-Mac's Canucks Predictions
As much as teams talk about being aware of letdowns, following such emotionally charged experiences as last year’s Stanley Cup run, and preparing themselves to avoid them, it is inevitable that the Canucks will drop points this season. In fact, with the intriguing pre-season game lineups that Vigneault has picked this year, it is obvious that he is taking a cautious approach to better manage rest times for his key players. It is a wise move and though it will surely lead to dropped points, particularly early on, it will reap dividends as the team gears up for the stretch run.
In recent years, only the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings (in the same two years of 2008 & 2009) have managed back to back Stanley Cup appearances. Not since the Dallas Stars of 1999 & 2000, had this happened. Previously, the league had a long history of repeat visits to the championship round. Vigneault’s tactics of caution, coupled with the absences through injury of Kesler & Raymond will portend some indifferent results early, but will prove to be a blessing in disguise, and I believe that the Canucks will return to the finals, but further adjustments will need to be made.
First of all, the Sedins will need to stand up for themselves more. This is not to say that the twins should be out there throwing haymakers, as if such a thing were ever possible no matter how hilarious, but Daniel can not allow himself to be ragdolled as he did by Marchand. A push back here or there and the occasional hard check would be enough let teams know that they are not to be trifled with. However, Gillis willalso need to summon up all his creativity and acumen to find that skilled, tough veteran player that could command the respect and attention of other teams to allow the Sedins to concentrate on creating offence. Vigneault should also spend some time developing ways to get to the net. It was simply painful watching Games 6 & 7 against the Bruins as the Canucks kept trying to skate their way in to the front, cycling the puck without establishing control of the zone. With Kesler out for now, it will additionally be key to find some extra candidates to supply secondary scoring among the forwards.
Finally, look for Alex Edler to extablish himself as a monster player. This will be the year he puts all of his prodigious talents together and leads the team to the title.
NWSB Blogger Picks - Matt Larkin's Canucks Predictions
The Canucks absolutely have a good shot to reach the Stanley Cup Final again this year. Almost all the personnel from the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team returns. The Northwest Division also looks like he could be the weakest division in hockey, so Vancouver may win it with its eyes closed.
The Canucks should see a few breakouts this year, too. Because of injuries, Cody Hodgson will finally get his shot at regular playing time and will flourish. He’ll be a top-six forward this season and a Calder Trophy candidate. Cory Schneider will also play more. Some Canucks fans are going overboard predicting a full-fledged goaltending controversy. That won’t happen until next season. This year, I expect Schneider to spell Luongo more than a typical backup, playing maybe 25 games, but I believe the extra rest will make Luongo better than ever.
Still, a few obstacles could hurt the Canucks. They’ll start the season without Ryan Kesler and won’t have him for at least a month; Mason Raymond is also out long-term. Vancouver may start slowly.
In the end, I do expect the Canucks to contend for the Cup again, but I see the Los Angeles Kings beating them in a hard-fought conference final.
Predictions for the upcoming 2011-2012 season
The Vancouver Canucks will still be a force in the NHL throughout the 2011-2012 season, just maybe not as big of a force as last year.
Last year they had everything going for them - Luongo had a stellar season finishing at the top of each goalie stat category, Schneider couldn't have played better, the Sedins finished 1 and 4 in league scoring, Kesler rose to be a 40 goal scorer, the defense managed to stay relatively healthy, and when there was an injury, the Canuck's depth made it easy for those holes to be filled.
What all that said, the Canucks will not be at that same level this year. Yes the Canucks will be more motivated then ever before after the heartbreaking loss to the Bruins, but Kesler is just coming off hip-surgery and will not start the season, Raymond is out indefinitely, the Canucks top-scoring defensemen in Christian Ehrhoff is now a Sabre, and energy forwards Raffi Torres and Tanner Glass were lost to Free Agency.
My predictions for the upcoming 2011-2012 season are this:
- The Canucks Power Play will see a drop from the 24.3% achieved in '10/'11, to around 21%.
- Kesler will see a drop in his goal output from his 41 achieved in '10/'11, to around 30.
- The Canucks will finish 4th in the Western Conference.
Full Western Conference Predictions:
1. San Jose
14. St. Louis
Last edited by MaxvonKleist; 10-01-2011 at 05:32 PM.
I agree with some of the predictions above, but there's no way the Canucks finish fourth, simply because if they win their division then they are automatically in the top 3. I made that same mistake in my original prediction, I would like to amend it to saying the LA will come third and Detroit in fourth, although I think that Detroit will actually be a better team than LA, they just won't finish ahead of Chicago.
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