2011-2012 Preview: Vancouver Canucks

Posted: September 28, 2011 by JoeyD in NHL, Vancouver Canucks
Tags: , , , , ,

Last season: 54-19-9 117 pts, 1st Northwest, 1st Western Conference

Additions: Niklas Jensen (1st round pick), Andrew Ebbett, Marco Sturm, Mark Mancari, Niclas Bergfors, Byron Bitz,

Losses: Christian Ehrhoff, Alexandre Bolduc, Jeff Tambellini, Lee Sweatt, Nathan Paetsch, Rick Rypien, Raffi Torres, Tanner Glass,

Offense: While as deep offensively as the Canucks are, they are going to get a bit of a challenge early on with injuries to Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond. Still though there are plenty of horses in this stable with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows, growing Jannik Hansen, and potentially a healthy dose of Cody Hodgson this season as well.

Defense: The defense for the Canucks did take a substantial hit with the departure of Ehrhoff, however, there was plenty of depth at the blueline last season and should still hold serve quite well regardless. Without Ehrhoff, there would be quite a bit less offensive punch from the blueline but I do see a whole year from Alex Edler making up for it pretty well. Keith Ballard, as well, should get much more steady playing time too.

Goaltending: Nothing surprising is expected out of the netminders for the Canucks. What you see is what you get and expect Luongo holding a substantial amount of the workload with Corey Schneider getting the scraps but gobbling them up without much problem. Usually the questions arise in the playoffs but for the regular season, it will be all good.

Standout Player: Daniel Sedin

Or is it Henrik…does it really matter? Maybe we just call the standout player Danrik. Oh well. Another 40+ goal near 100 point performance is going to be in the cards yet again for Sedin, easily leading the team scoring with Henrik once again and more than likely in the running for the Art Ross as well.

Prediction: 1st Pacific, 1st Western Conference

Not a whole lot has changed for the Canucks despite parting with Ehrhoff and the injuries to Raymond and Kesler. This is still a high powered and deep team that should still dominate a very weak division and should still fight for the top of the conference yet again. I do think the competition for the top seed will be stiffer but the Canucks should still reign supreme once again as long as they work thru a potential slow start due to the offensive injuries to begin the season.

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