Five things the Canucks need to succeed

Canucks v Flames

1) A new Trevor Linden: While the current Trevor Linden is one of the team’s leaders, he’s not the force on the ice he once was. Though he can dig in and provide a few goals when needed (25 points in 80 games is pretty good for a third line player) he’s not someone that the Canucks can build a team around anymore. The team needs a player who might not lead the team in points, will lead them by being a role model that mixes passion and dedication. For awhile it seemed like Todd Bertuzzi could have stepped into that role, but that didn’t work out. Ryan Smyth would have been perfect in the role, but ended up in Colorado instead.

2) A career year from Markus Naslund: The sort of numbers Naslund produced last year would have been impressive but down from the year before and quite a bit lower than his golden period of 1998-1999. Despite the fact that the Sedins have stepped up their offensive output Naslund is still the team’s main scoring threat. A successful playoff run depends on him being effective every game, with no dry spells. There’s only a few more great years left in him, this needs to be one.

3) A healthy Roberto Luongo: Let’s face it Luongo is the first netminder since Kirk McLean that the Canucks have had who can win them games. Previously fans have just had to be content with holding their breath and hoping that the team’s goalie wouldn’t let in a shot from centre ice. However the club has been through goalie injury troubles before, and if Luongo gets hurt the entire year could be thrown into chaos. Let me say it again, Roberto Luongo is currently the cornerstone of the franchise and without him we might as well just change our name to Seattle and cheer for the Super Marinerhawks.

4) The bobble head twins continuing to play well: I’ll be the first to admit that the idea of drafting identical twin Swedes seemed, what’s the phrase… oh that’s right, “Fucking Insane”. At most I figured it was some sort of weird marketing thing (“Hey we drafted the conjoined twins from Stuck On You [wp], come buy a game worn jersey!”), but the Sedins have become the Canucks’ highest goal scorers. I don’t know if it’s some kind of weird twin telepathy, or it’s just really confounding to play against clones or something but whatever magic they’ve tapped into is working.

5) Other teams have to drop the ball: The self-desctruction of the Edmonton Oilers last year certainly helped the Canucks get into the playoffs, but the reality is that other teams have done more to improve during the off-season than the Canucks. Colorado has added Ryan Smyth, and the already strong Anaheim Ducks have added our old friend Todd Bertuzzi. To get to the Stanley Cup Final the Canucks need to win in the west, and that’s not going to be easy.

2 Comments so far

  1. Dustin (unregistered) on July 29th, 2007 @ 11:42 pm

    I would replace #5 with “add another high quality offensive player to the team.”

  2. Andrew (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 11:35 am

    Those are all good points. one that could be added maybe in the six or seven spot, is a needed improvement on the Canucks powerplay. That sunk them in the series against the ducks. Infact they didn’t score a single powerplay goal on the road in the playoffs. A guy like eric cole, or maybe swing a trade for a guy like mike richards or Jeff Carter from philidelphia would go a long way in helping that issue.

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