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FWIW Sports Forecaster picks Canucks...

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Old
08-16-2012, 05:11 PM
  #26
Turrican*
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Originally Posted by Yammer View Post
As a fan of hockey it is going to be cool seeing all that young talent gel together, Pittburgh West.

As a fan of the Canucks it is going to suck hard! They sure were hard to stomach in the 80s...coming in here, lazing around for 2 1/2 periods and then scoring five goals with insulting ease. I don't expect that from them soon or ever, but it is going to be almost as bad, as the Canucks are aging now.
Could be worse... You could have Feaster!... Or Tambellini.

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08-16-2012, 05:23 PM
  #27
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I just want to be ahead of Calgary hahahaha
IMO, you will be. Adding Wideman and (likely) subtracting Bouwmeester is a lateral move at best. Hudler is an OK addition up front on a solid value deal, but he alone is not going to jump start that aging offense.

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08-16-2012, 05:26 PM
  #28
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AVs are the second best team in the Northwest. They had real bad luck last year and Duchene slumping. They will be better.

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08-16-2012, 06:00 PM
  #29
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I still think the division title is the Canucks to lose, although it definitely be a lot closer than the last few years

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08-17-2012, 02:11 PM
  #30
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I find the Sports Forecaster to be the bust pre-season magazine, not necessarily for their predictions but how they organize them. Players are analyzed within the context of their team and a more detailed bio beyond a simple point prediction.

That said this prediction does seem kind of out their, I'm guessing they're putting a lot of faith in Varlamov and Johnson to break out big time. I could see the Avs having a more effective forward group than us, especially if Kesler starts injured, but their defense is kind of a mess.

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08-17-2012, 02:40 PM
  #31
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I believe 4 teams could have a chance at winning the division.

Vancouver would be my outright favorite. Two presidents trophies in a row, and really, an upgrade on defense with garrison. Also, Edler and Tanev hopefully moving forward with development. The Canucks forwards should be pretty similar to last year as well, and I am going to say the 'tending won't be far off the mark either, not because Schnieder is going to be as solid as Luongo, but because Luongo's season last year was more middle of the pack.



Minnesota has vastly improved, and not just because they threw around $$$.

They have solid goaltending.

They added an all-star calibre defenseman who can put up 50-ish points to a defense whose points leader last season on d was only 23 pts. This allows them to move the puck much easier from their own zone.

Last season, many players on the minny offense underperformed. It should be a safe bet that Heatley and Koivu move back towards their usual points totals. By adding Parise to the offense, Minnesota gets a dangerous top-6. In my opinion, Minnesota has the greatest chance of dethroning Vancouver in the division, "this season".


Edmonton and Colorado are in very similar positions right now. Both teams have young, elite forwards, with a weak defense, and below average goaltending. I would say that the main difference between the two is that Edmontons young guns are 'more elite', and that Colorado has a deeper top 9 forwards. IMO Edmonton could surprise alot of people this season, as all 3 of their current big 3, Eberle, Nuge, and Hall could put up 90+ point seasons. I don't see the Colorado players doing this.

I feel like Edmonton could grab the top spot if the big 3 absolutely go on a terror, and the sedins production decreases. Otherwise, they could very well miss the playoffs altogether, again.

The Northwest division has gone from a division with only 1 dangerous team, to a division that could have 4 teams contending for playoff spots, especially with the assumption Nashville, Detroit, and possibly even San Jose have all gotten weaker since last season.

haha, Calgary...


Last edited by EXTRAS: 08-17-2012 at 03:27 PM.
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Old
08-17-2012, 03:41 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Derp Kassian View Post
AVs are the second best team in the Northwest. They had real bad luck last year and Duchene slumping. They will be better.
Agreed. If there is a team to challenge us for first in the NW its the Avs.

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08-17-2012, 04:14 PM
  #33
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First, it would be better for the Canucks to have some competition in the NW.

Second, we will still win the division.

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08-17-2012, 04:30 PM
  #34
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J. Schultz and Petry will work well with the young players upfront for the Oilers. If Whitney is also healthy and somewhat back to his form of two years ago then the Oilers will have three solid puck moving dmen. Smid and N. Schultz (another new addition people sometimes forget about) are two very capable shut down guys. Potter is another useful player that is great in a 6/7 role and has a two way game. I think Edmonton's defense is going to be a lot better than most people are expecting.

The NW is going to be a bloodbath, Vancouver are the favourites to win the divison but if a few things don't go smoothly for Vancouver they could easily lose it to the teams below them. There's a good chance 3/5 of the teams will make the playoffs, maybe Vancouver, Minny and one of Edmonton or Colorado.

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08-17-2012, 04:30 PM
  #35
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More competition is better (hopefully we won't see the same lazy, uninterested play that dragged onwards from January). I thought we had some trouble with Calgary, and TBH, I didn't think we deserved to win any of the games against Colorado (even though we swept them...)

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08-17-2012, 05:23 PM
  #36
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for what it's worth, it's not worth much

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08-17-2012, 06:14 PM
  #37
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08-17-2012, 09:46 PM
  #38
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Colorado's blueline and goaltending are absolute rubbish. I have absolutely no idea how anyone with an ounce of sense could pick them to finish ahead of the 2X defending President's Trophy winners.

Same old thing - 'This team has lots of young players, they'll be awesome!!1!' and 'This team has the most new players, they'll be awesome!!!'. Exactly how it goes every year. Until April, when the teams who were great the previous year are the ones on top of the league again.

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08-17-2012, 10:07 PM
  #39
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Wouldn't underestimate the Avs. We're definitely being underestimated, though.

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Old
08-17-2012, 10:36 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Wisp View Post
Wouldn't underestimate the Avs. We're definitely being underestimated, though.
Colorado's back end currently looks like this :

Johnson - Hejda
O'Brien - Wilson
Zanon - O'Byrne/Hunwick/Elliot

Varlamov

That's bloody awful.

They have pretty decent 3-line scoring depth (although none of those guys scored more than 55 points last year) but no team with Shane O'Brien as their #3 defender or Semyon Varlamov starting 65 games is going to contend for a division title.

Bubble playoff team last year, bubble playoff team this year.

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08-17-2012, 10:47 PM
  #41
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The only way the Canucks finish as low as 6th is if Luongo finally gets traded, the return is low on the trade, and Schneider buckles under the pressure of being the go-to guy. With Luongo gone and the Luongo-Schneider tandem broken, there really aren't many candidates for back-up that inspire confidence. The only other risk factor is Kesler's status. If the season does start on time, 2C and 3C are glaring holes in the line-up. I don't think we have to worry about seeing any hockey before December anyway.

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08-18-2012, 02:40 AM
  #42
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I think Daniel will return as a second line player, but it will take all season to confirm this.

Kesler returning in December is an issue, but the greater issue, to me, is how he returns? If he can't go, he will slow his line to Sedin speeds and Vancouver will have two ponderous top lines.

The bottom six is so unclear that it can't really be quantified. Is Malhotra really a fourth liner? Is Kassian?

I look at the defense and I'm pretty happy, but I don't expect any scoring from them.

Goaltending is still up in the air, but I think it could be this team's greatest strength. Luongo backing up Schnieder is a dream pairing, no different than last season, except for who the nominal starter is. I think this will be important in a compressed season, if one should develop.

Coaching is well established. The Canucks have good coaching. It wasn't enough to rouse the team for the playoffs. This can be a card Gillis plays later. Fresh coaching voices down the stretch did not harm Los Angeles last season.

If the team does not significantly alter the line-up with trades, I think the Canucks will finish no worse than third in the division.

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Old
08-18-2012, 02:58 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by JuniorNelson View Post
I think Daniel will return as a second line player, but it will take all season to confirm this.

Kesler returning in December is an issue, but the greater issue, to me, is how he returns? If he can't go, he will slow his line to Sedin speeds and Vancouver will have two ponderous top lines.

The bottom six is so unclear that it can't really be quantified. Is Malhotra really a fourth liner? Is Kassian?

I look at the defense and I'm pretty happy, but I don't expect any scoring from them.

Goaltending is still up in the air, but I think it could be this team's greatest strength. Luongo backing up Schnieder is a dream pairing, no different than last season, except for who the nominal starter is. I think this will be important in a compressed season, if one should develop.

Coaching is well established. The Canucks have good coaching. It wasn't enough to rouse the team for the playoffs. This can be a card Gillis plays later. Fresh coaching voices down the stretch did not harm Los Angeles last season.

If the team does not significantly alter the line-up with trades, I think the Canucks will finish no worse than third in the division.
Don't agree with that Daniel assessment at all, and how can you not expect scoring at all from our back end? Our blueline is among the best in the league in terms of offense. Hamhuis, Bieksa, and Edler combined for 130 points this past season (one of the reasons we were able to stay afloat despite our offensive struggles up front, IMO).

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Old
08-18-2012, 04:04 AM
  #44
VinnyC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andbreatheme View Post
Don't agree with that Daniel assessment at all, and how can you not expect scoring at all from our back end? Our blueline is among the best in the league in terms of offense. Hamhuis, Bieksa, and Edler combined for 130 points this past season (one of the reasons we were able to stay afloat despite our offensive struggles up front, IMO).
Agreed. Bringing Garrison in place of Salo will also help offensive output IMO. And with Ballard stabilizing, who knows if we'll see more of that guy who can skate the puck up ice, take it to the net and generate good chances.

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