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03-04-2013, 04:40 AM
  #74
nameless1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanuck View Post
Thanks. I asked that question because I wasn't sure if he ever really built the Canucks into a legitimate contender, despite them being a high-scoring and entertaining team to watch. Competitive, yes, but there's a difference. They were able to get by with poor goaltending in the regular season but it would always seem to be a major letdown for them in the playoffs. He deserves credit for the franchise turnaround, but I'm not convinced the Canucks were ever a true threat to win it all, with them being what they were - a one-line team with a decent defense and unreliable goaltending. His stubborn refusal to address this area of weakness would also be a troubling sign of things to come in Toronto several years later.
This sums it up.
Fans like to think the team is close, but it really was not.
There was 1 great line, but it disappears in the playoffs.
The Sedins anchor the 2nd line, but unfortunately, due to how tight defenses can check back in those days, they get shut down fairly easily.
They really did not put everything together until after the rule changes.
Add that with a goalie who was really being shielded by the team in front of him, and is prone to meltdowns here and there, the team really was not a true contender.
It needed to be like L.A., which was a middle of the road team who caught fire and won it all.

Nevertheless, you have to remember, back then, the Canucks were not allowed to spend a lot of money.
They had a middle of the road budget that is at the bottom half of all the teams, and what Burke was able to accomplish with limited resources was quite a feat.
The Canucks may not be true Cup contenders, but they were a top 10 team, and that is a pretty good accomplishment from where they were when he got hired.
Burke, even though he did not win the ultimate prize, deserves a lot of credit for the Canucks' success back then.

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