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Can this team get it done in the playoffs?

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Old
08-03-2010, 02:45 PM
  #1
Finnish Your Czechs
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Can this team get it done in the playoffs?

Seems most fans (myself included) are very happy with GMMG this summer. But Can this team get it done when it counts?

Sedins: Fair or not, the twins take a lot of crap from fans for their post-season play. Don't elevate their games, not physical enough, production drops etc etc. It should be noted that last post-season, both Sedins collected 14 points in 12 GP. Not too shabby.

Luongo: Questions about his post-season play come up a lot. Personally, I'm reserving full judgement for our next playoff run. If he isn't burnt out by next spring, I think we'll be happy with his play. He was solid in his first ever NHL playoffs with Vancouver in '06, but the jury is still out, I suppose.

Kesler: Improving every year. Last spring, he got a lot of assists, but not very many goals. In his last 2 post-seasons, he's scored 14 points in 22 games. But only 3 of those 14 points came off of goals.

Burrows: I realize that he was injured for most of the playoffs, but statistically speaking, he's never really been a noted playoff performer. Much like Kesler, he improves every year though.

Raymond: Speed generates chances, but his regular season numbers are much more attractive than his post-season numbers.

Ballard: Hasn't been to the post-season in his NHL career.

Hamhuis: I admit that I've never really watched Nashville playoff games, but it should be noted that in 6 attempts with Nashville, Hamhuis has never seen the second round.

All of this is just for conversational value. What do you guys think?

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08-03-2010, 03:00 PM
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Dado
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Last year we had Art Ross, Selke and Olympic Gold Goalie, and it all went down in flames. I think this team is built for the regular season, and will again crack under playoff stress.

Just IMO, etc.

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Old
08-03-2010, 03:02 PM
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VanEric
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It depends on the matchups as always. In the cap world, you can only build your team up so much. They all have holes and weaknesses so matchups are more important than ever.

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08-03-2010, 03:07 PM
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I think maturity will play a large role. We will see if this team can handle expectations, and how it will handle tough times.

I definitely agree with match ups coming into play, I don't think a physical series is in our favour.

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08-03-2010, 03:10 PM
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I think they definately can. Chicago was the better team last year, and San Jose was a bit better as well. Things have evened out a bit this off-season at the top of the conference, and I think the team is primed to go a bit further this year.

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08-03-2010, 03:11 PM
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I think it is more of a mental thing with this team. They seem to deflate pretty easily.

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08-03-2010, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dado View Post
Last year we had Art Ross, Selke and Olympic Gold Goalie, and it all went down in flames. I think this team is built for the regular season, and will again crack under playoff stress.

Just IMO, etc.
You had the Selke Runner up.

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Old
08-03-2010, 03:17 PM
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Luongo's the only concern IMO.

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08-03-2010, 03:20 PM
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I think in the last 2 playoffs the Canucks have played pretty well, they've just run into the clearly better Hawks. plus, both times we've had defensive issues, last year especially.

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08-03-2010, 03:24 PM
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One big benefit we should see is that Hamhuis and Ballard are very durable. I don't know how much better the Canucks would have done against Chicago with Willie Mitchell but it certainly wouldn't have hurt to had one of our Top 4 defensemen in the lineup.

Will Kesler and/or Burrows be able to have a more healthy playoff run? Will someone like Hodgson be able to step up in the short term if one of those guys gets too banged up?

When I get too annoyed/frustrated with the Canucks, I try to remind myself not to take for granted that they're in the mix every year.

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08-03-2010, 05:45 PM
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I think you forgot a key piece in Samuelsson who was really really clutch last year and has been clutch while playing on the 3rd line with the Wings.

The biggest concern (besides injuries) is without a doubt Luongo. For the past 2 years, he had excuses of not being there mentally during the playoffs (first baby + just coming off an injury + extended rest after injury and then post gold medal letdown) but next year he should have no more excuses. Its really Luongo time to shrine and if he doesn't, then he will be labeled as a bust until he wins a cup (and the contract MG gave Luongo will really be a heated topic next off season).

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08-03-2010, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCiarniello View Post

Hamhuis: I admit that I've never really watched Nashville playoff games, but it should be noted that in 6 attempts with Nashville, Hamhuis has never seen the second round.

All of this is just for conversational value. What do you guys think?
I think Hamuis has been to the playoffs 5 times, not 6. 28 GP according to the HDB.


Last edited by mrmyheadhurts: 08-03-2010 at 06:05 PM.
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Old
08-03-2010, 06:02 PM
  #13
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I think we'll be fine in the playoffs. It's not so much about grit and size anymore. More about determination and which team performs at which time.

Keys to the playoffs (in order):

1. Luongo - He was not good enough to win too many nights in the playoffs. He's our captain and highest paid player. There should be no concerns about his game. If he's not on his game next April, may be time to look in another direction. It is that important he has a good performance I think. His reputation depends on it.

2. New D - It's fresh and fast and talented. But is it gritty enough? I have no concerns about Ballard, and if we can get Mitchell, we probably couldn't do much better. None of the guys we got are known as punishing guys, but they can throw a hit and play smart. Personally I don't see this as a problem.

3. Bottom 6 - Overmatched too often in the playoffs. Playoffs are about depth. Gillis would be smart to bring some in. We need hunger, bite and courage on the bottom lines. Find some guys that bring that. A saavy veteran would go a long way on the lower lines. If we could just get Mike Keane in Victor Oreskovich's body...

4. Injuries/depth - Most of us realized we had no shot in the playoffs without Mitchell. Need to make sure we're not in that spot again heading into the playoffs.

5. Sedins - They scored, but were they as dominant as the regular season? Should we expect that? I think as long as the Sedins are putting up points, they are helping, really don't see them as a big issue.

Basically if we don't run into another stacked team circumventing the cap, with our best defenceman injured, I don't see an issue. I thought the team showed guts just had a lot of injuries and couldn't deal with the Hawks' depth. No team could. I don't see anything structurally wrong with this team as far as ability to perform in the playoffs is concerned. Everything has to go right of course, but as far as "can this team get it done in the playoffs?"

I think we're better equipped than nearly every other team at this point. And there should be more to go. Personally, I'm all right with that.

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08-03-2010, 06:15 PM
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The key is to have more players than can step up and contribute. Kesler Burrows and Raymond have yet to do so. Raymond has progressed but hasn't produced. Kesler and Burrows are no-shows so far.

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08-03-2010, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by quysauce View Post
The key is to have more players than can step up and contribute. Kesler Burrows and Raymond have yet to do so. Raymond has progressed but hasn't produced. Kesler and Burrows are no-shows so far.
Agreed. Burrows and Kesler and supposed to be the type of guys that step up in the playoffs. Granted they have been injured, but they will need to step up their game when the stakes are high.

I think In order, it would be:

1) Luongo
2) Kesler
3) Burrows

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08-03-2010, 06:41 PM
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It's a cliche, but winning in the playoffs is sort of an 'all of the above' situation:

-You need luck with injuries;
-You need your core players to step-up;
-You need unexpected contributions from auxiliary players at key times.

We've had some pretty notable injury issues the last two seasons, also made some pro-scouting errors that made our auxiliary guys less effective (Johnson, Hordichuk, etc.) and we've had some consistency issues from our core guys (Luongo, Kesler, Burrows, Sedins, etc).

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Old
08-03-2010, 09:18 PM
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It's a cliche, but winning in the playoffs is sort of an 'all of the above' situation:

-You need luck with injuries;
-You need your core players to step-up;
-You need unexpected contributions from auxiliary players at key times.

We've had some pretty notable injury issues the last two seasons, also made some pro-scouting errors that made our auxiliary guys less effective (Johnson, Hordichuk, etc.) and we've had some consistency issues from our core guys (Luongo, Kesler, Burrows, Sedins, etc).
^^^This.

You also need your coaching staff to come up with strategies that can beat the other guys' and our coaching staff came up miserably short two years running.

Yes, we're going to need health, luck, our best players to be at their best, and a few lucky breaks from the zebras. None of those things happened this year. Our D fell apart like a Dollar Store dvd player, Kes and Burr were negated into nothingness by injury, AV was woefully outcoached (again), Lu left his Superman cape in his Florida condo, and the goalie interference call ceased to exist.

Okay, Wellwood had some good moments but as was remarked upon, if he's your best forward you're in big trouble. And when O'Brien's logging top 4 minutes alongside a one-balled Sami Salo, it's pretty much the Death Knell for playoff hopes.

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08-03-2010, 09:36 PM
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People forget we lost to an unrealistically deep cup champion team.

The Blackhawks had two top line superstars on ELCs allowing them to spend $3M easily on QUALITY Third liners.


We got beat by a better team. That team is no longer there. If the Hawks were knocked out by the Preds I think it's safe to say we go to the finals.

Of course this team can get it done in the playoffs. It's absurd to think otherwise. Only one team out of 30 gets to win the cup every year, there's bound to be disappointment in 29 team's fanbases.

There's a matter of luck involved as well.


EDIT: And people need to stop acting like we got swept. We took it to 6 games both times...


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Old
08-03-2010, 09:41 PM
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Get it done in the playoffs... you mean win the cup or what is considered getting it done in the playoffs?

We can win the first round. After that I dunno.

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08-03-2010, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GCM View Post
People forget we lost to an unrealistically deep cup champion team.

The Blackhawks had two top line superstars on ELCs allowing them to spend $3M easily on QUALITY Third liners.


We got beat by a better team. That team is no longer there. If the Hawks were knocked out by the Preds I think it's safe to say we go to the finals.

Of course this team can get it done in the playoffs. It's absurd to think otherwise. Only one team out of 30 gets to win the cup every year, there's bound to be disappointment in 29 team's fanbases.

There's a matter of luck involved as well.
Great point! we know for a fact we won't be playing a team as deep as the Hawks were. If we assume that our team will either be equal or better than it has been the past two years I don't see how we can't see ourselves having some outstanding playoff success.

As long as we aren't destroyed by injuries, the depth is there, and Luongo plays well we have a serious shot at the finals.

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08-03-2010, 09:59 PM
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Point productin in playoffs

You can't expect players to perform in the playoffs like the regular season

1. You are generally playing much tougher teams

2. The teams get an extended look at your players and learn how to marginalize them.

The Canucks have played well, and are a good shot again this year.

God, there are a lot of "the glass is half empty" people on here.

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08-03-2010, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HenrikSedinFan View Post
Great point! we know for a fact we won't be playing a team as deep as the Hawks were. If we assume that our team will either be equal or better than it has been the past two years I don't see how we can't see ourselves having some outstanding playoff success.

As long as we aren't destroyed by injuries, the depth is there, and Luongo plays well we have a serious shot at the finals.
Yes, and that's just the bare minimum facts of the matter.

Taking the optimists P.O.V Luongo will have a lessened schedule (I'm hearing Schneider is getting a guaranteed 20 games).

Not to mention there's no Olympics OR 14 game road trip this season.

All that adds up to a more rested Luongo for the playoffs.

Plus this year he wasn't even that bad. If he rebounds it's all the better.


On top of that we have a real defense in front of him for one of the first times in a while. If we actually had Mitchell, Salo, Edler (played with injured ankle) in the line up we might've gotten past the Hawks.

But forget that now, we've dumped Mitchell (face it, he's not coming back...) added Hamhuis and Ballard.

Ballard was THIRD in the league in blocked shots. There's a lot of people in the league. That means less shots even make their way to Luongo.

Hamhuis is no slouch in that department either.


this is just all defensively speaking. If you've seen Ballard play he has an AMAZING pass. I can't wait to see him with the Sedins. He's fed Frolik amazing passes just imagine what he can do if he can be a fourth wheel in the cycle? Not only even strength but especially on the Power Play.


A lot of people forget that one of the major problems for us in the playoffs (my opinion) was special teams.

Our Power Play wasn't scoring and our Penalty Kill wasn't shutting them down.


I think we've made leaps and bounds of improvement in both.


Plus regarding injuries, in the last 5 years COMBINED Ballard and Hamhuis have only missed 13 games. So we've made improvements in durability as well.

Gillis also specifically targeted Oreskovich in the trade with Florida. I'm not saying Oreskovich is the last piece of the puzzle or anything like that. What I am saying is that he can certainly play and will most likely actually be dressed in the playoffs. Hordichuk was not for a reason. He will probably be waived.

Everyone including Gillis has seen the Chicago cup model and it's one based off depth. Not everyone has the cap space to do the whole ELC contract syncing thing to upgrade the bottom 6 but at the very least we can upgrade from what we have.

Malhotra is where I'm going with this. He's another shutdown center. That means the other team's top line is getting Kesler and their second line is getting Malhotra in the face. If the match ups play our way that is. That means their third line is up against the Sedins. Obviously this won't always be the case, Vineauglt has to fight for the match up but he surely will. There's a reason the Sedins tend to score off of faceoffs caused by icings from the other team.

We couldn't rely on Wellwood to shut down anything last season. Switching the third line to a defensive one changes things dramatically. Especially for home games (last change).

Not to mention Malhotra had the best faceoff percentage in the entire league last year. More faceoffs = more possession = less time in our zone = more time to cycle.


It's undeniable that we are better than last year and most of the competitors in the West from last year have lost huge pieces.

Questions for other teams:

Are the hawks finally mortal now that they've lost their depth?

How far is the drop from Nabokov to Niittymaki? How will Antero perform in the playoffs if they even make it there?

One more year on a lot of players on the Red Wings. Now they've added Modano. A lot of people say that they won't be suffering from the same injuries. I'm not so sure, injuries and age correlate. Are their players getting more brittle?

Those are three of the Western Powerhouses and they've all developed some type of negative question. The Canucks have only gotten better. They didn't lose any big pieces and on top of that they upgraded the small ones.

I'm sure we'll capture the NW Division title and I think we might not be the 3rd seed this time. 1st or 2nd is a great possibility. That'll help us match up against one of the lower seeded teams. There's more of a gap between 2nd and 8th than there is between 3rd and 6th, obviously.





So in summation, yeah, looking at it with a little bit of optimism things are looking really good in Canucks land.

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Old
08-03-2010, 10:11 PM
  #23
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Canucks were the only team to have a series lead on the Blackhawks as far as I can remember these playoffs.

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08-03-2010, 10:28 PM
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Zanon
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Canucks were the only team to have a series lead on the Blackhawks as far as I can remember these playoffs.
Nashville did, too.

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Old
08-03-2010, 10:36 PM
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I like thier chances a whole lot better now that they have a competent defense and 3rd line center. If they can't go on a deep playoff run this year the core just isn't good enough.

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