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01-22-2013, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Meteor View Post
The way I see it, defence/goaltending is pretty close but slight advantage Vancouver.

However, I am simply not sold on Minnesota's offence.

In 2010-11, they had no significant injuries, and finished as the 5th lowest scoring team in the league.

In that offseason they dropped Havlat and gained Heatley.

In 2011-12, Minnesota finished dead last, 30th in the league, in goals for, and in fact, were the lowest-scoring team in the entire period between the lockouts 2005-2012. So what, you say? Koivu, Bouchard, and Setoguchi all were out for quite a while.

Except, the Wild were not only 30th but well behind, not even close to anyone else. They could have scored 20 more goals last year and still been the lowest scoring team in the league.

Meanwhile, Vancouver has been 2nd, 1st, and 5th in scoring during the last three seasons. The Canucks are now missing two-thirds of their 2nd line, so they'll slip a bit, but I don't think they're going to end up anywhere near the bottom of the standings. After all, Henrik Sedin was the highest-scoring forward in the West last year, and the Canucks also get a large chunk of their scoring from the blueline.

Now Wild add Granlund, Parise, Suter, and the Canucks are down Kesler and Booth.

IMO everything needs to go right for the Wild - their new acquisitions play to potential and they stay healthy, while Kesler and Booth are out for most of the season, and maybe even a H. Sedin injury (unlikely due to his history) - for them to pass the Canucks in goals per game. There is simply too much of a difference to make up.

Note: You might be wondering about Boston, which finished last in scoring in 2009-10 and then won the division plus the Cup the following year. First of all, the Bruins actually got 2.39 G/G that year, with Savard injured, which is still a lot better than the Wild did last year. Like the Wild, they made major changes in the offseason adding Horton, Campbell, Marchand, and Seguin. But those Bruins didn't have a two-time Presidents Trophy winner and perennial top offensive team in their division to contend with - their division was won by the Buffalo Sabres (10th in goals per game), so the "bar" they needed to beat was lower. They also got historic goaltending from Tim Thomas, which I'm not holding my breath for Backstrom or Harding to accomplish this year.

TL, DR: Canucks offence >>>> Wild offence last year. Changes in the offseason and injuries haven't done enough to make Wild offence better than Canucks, unless the stars align for Minnesota. Therefore Vancouver still favoured to win the NW.
I am not disagreeing about past seasons but last year the wild lost their best player in Koivu and another one of their top players in Bouchard of course they sucked. This year they added Granlund, Parise, and having all players healthy I think they now have the edge in forwards. Also the Canucks have a great offense but the last few years they have been able to beat up on teams like Minny and Col who both made addition that should reduce the amount Van is able to dominate. Its that I think the Canucks suck they are far better then my Flames but I think the atmosphere in Minny is going to bring this team to the next level is all.

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