Blackhawks News

PART 2: Who’s Who In The Western Conference: Performers and Pretenders

By Skylar Peters
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3 of 3

Vancouver Canucks

Oct 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Vancouver Canucks left wing

Chris Higgins

(20) is mobbed by teammates center

Henrik Sedin

(33), defenseman

Jason Garrison

(5), center

Ryan Kesler

(17) and defenseman

Kevin Bieksa

(3) after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers goalie

Steve Mason

(35) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Canucks defeated the Flyers, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 4-3-0

Season Summary So Far: The Canucks made minimal changes to their roster, but were still a brand-new team heading into the year, with John Tortorella taking the reigns as Head Coach. The Canucks have been on-and-off so far in the year, unable to pick up any real speed. Trading streaks between winning and losing, the Canucks haven’t lost to a team they should have beat yet, but dropped a decision in a game that could have gone either way, against the Montreal Canadiens. The Canucks have also lost identical 4-1 decisions to the San Jose Sharks on the first two Thursdays of the season.

Strengths: Great goaltending pair, established offensive weapons, underrated young players, great team chemistry

Weaknesses: Bad management, untimely injuries, flashes of selfishness

The Real Deal?: They’ll get to the playoffs; they always do. The regular season seems to be no problem for the Canucks, repeat President’s Trophy winners in 2010-11 and 2011-12, but they seem to hit a wall after that. Two years in a row, first-round losses have left something to be desired from the passionate fans in Vancouver. Roberto Luongo will have to shake his habit for bad playoff performances, as he is the #1 man now, and there is no debating that. A new coaching system could do the trick, but the players need to get fully accustomed first, which could be a long process. The Sedin twins will have to be more selfless: they have 3 shot blocks combined in the first seven games, all from Henrik.

As always, thanks for reading. For more Blackhawks conversation, “Like” us on Facebook: Blackhawk Up, and follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up. Check back each day for pre- and post-game reports, as well as unique content about the Blackhawks you won’t find anywhere else!

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