I have acknowledged time and again that I think the Canucks have many pieces to the puzzle. They have a good solid top 6 forward set. A good 4th line. They have some up and coming talent in Manitoba. Luongo looks like he is set to get back to being the best goalie in hockey. There are many positives.
My concern is that those positives get wasted by the horrid play of Bieksa, Edler, etc. The only true complaint that I have is that the team needs another top 3 d-man, and they need to rid themselves of one of Bieksa or Edler. They can't afford to carry both and give them both big minutes. They are too much of a liability in their own end.
To win a cup (without going on a lucky and magical run), or to be a real contender, this team needs to make some significant changes!
I actually agree with the premise of your argument...
The balance of the canucks D is not that of a Cup champ. There are too many softer irresponsible D-men. The idea that - to be a real contender, a Salo, Edler, or Bieksa (or two) must go in favor of stronger, physical, more well rounded player/s with speed is a fair assessment. The group as it stands have holes and lack balance. Ehrhoff needs to play with someone who can log responsible 2nd pairing minutes (Salo could do, but what happens when he is injured). Mitchell needs a durable, speedier shutdown defensemen to play with (again Salo, but injuries...and he can't be in two places at once), and Schneider needs a speedier, physical, responsible guy to play with (Neither Edler, the way we have seen him play this year, nor Bieksa seems to be the right guy for him to play with). Bieksa doesnt really fit into any of those slots.
In the end, it is a balance issue as opposed to not believing in the players.
But even if we fix that, we have a forward group that lacks stanley cup championship balance too.
We need a third line that can be a tough one to play against and produce some goals- a shut down group that can hurt opponents going the other way. Wellwood is not the right guy to lead that line. But put a more physical guy in that role, and hook him up with Hansen and Bernier and once healthy, the team begins to look more balanced.
The canucks have played 12 games at home and 12 on the road so far. Yes, they have that awful 14 game roadtrip in the middle of the season, but they also have some long homestands in there too. They have an 8 game homestand in December and a 5 game homestand and two 4 game homestands later.
However they have 14 consecutive games on the road.