Western Conference Playoff Preview-#1 Canucks vs #8 Kings

All trails lead to Vancouver Again (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USPRESSWIRE)

 

#1 Vancouver Canucks  (51-22-9 111 points) vs #8 LA Kings  (40-27-15 95 points)

Season Series

Series was tied 2-2

Series Schedule

4-11 At Canucks

4-13 At Canucks

4-15 At Kings

4-18 At Kings

4-22 At Canucks

4-24 At Kings

4-26 At Canucks

Vancouver

As much as Chicago Blackhawks hate the Canucks this is a very good and balanced team.  This season was a slight step back in scoring and goal-tending, but they still finished in the top 6 in most major categories.  They won the Presidents Trophy for most points in the season which wins you nothing if you don’t win the Stanley Cup!  One major issue heading to the playoffs will be if Daniel Sedin returns from the Duncan Keith elbow, he has not returned since the incident.  The key to a long Canuck march back to the Finals will be the play of Roberto Luongo. He has the ablility to get rattled or be spectacular, which one shows up this year could be the deciding factor for the Canucks fate.

LEADING SCORER- Henrik Sedin 14g 67a- 81 points

BACKSTOP- Roberto Luongo- 31-14-8 2.41 Goals Against .919 save%

EX-BLACKHAWK FACTOR-Andrew Ebbett

DIFFERENCE MAKER- Ryan Kesler his two way play may not get the headlines of the Sedins or Luongo, but he is a crucial part of what makes the Canucks click.

LA KINGS

The Kings only scored 194 goals this season, and struggled to find the net for most of it. They did find their scoring touch late in the final 13 games of the year, by scoring 3 or more goals in 8 of their last 13.  The telling stat for the Kings is they cannot be behind entering the 3rd period, they went an abysmal 1-22-3 if trailing entering the 3rd period (LA crowds must have loved this stat getting out of the stadium after 2 periods) LA also has one of its stars injured in Jeff Carter.  The story of the Kings season has to begin and end with Jimmy Quick! He’s the only reason, with the Kings poor offensive game, that they reached the playoffs, and he will have to stand on his head for them to advance!

LEADING SCORER- Anze Kopitar 25g 51a 76 points

BACKSTOP- Jimmy Quick 35-21-13 1.95 GAA .929 Save%

EX-BLACKHAWK FACTOR- Colin Fraser

DIFFERENCE MAKER- If LA has any chance to win this series it will be based 100% on Quick stopping the Canucks offense!

Season Series- Series tied 2-2

Prediction Sure to go Wrong- Vancouver wins in 7 games but this will not be easy for the Canucks especially if Quick has a great series. LA’s lack of offense will be it’s undoing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Andrew Ebbett, Colin Fraser, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Jeff Carter, Jimmy Quick, LA Kings, Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

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