Five Potential Areas for Concern in Canuck-Land

Jeff Angus
April 28 2013 01:20PM

Be afraid Canucks fans, be very afraid.

The Canucks enter the postseason as the Northwest Division champs for the fifth consecutive year, and the current core has been through a lot together over those five years – lots of highs (San Jose Game 5, Chicago Game 7), and lots of lows (Boston Game 7, the first two Chicago matchups).

They know what it takes to win in the playoffs. Structured defense, discipline*, goaltending, and some luck.

The Canucks haven’t been the same electric offensive team in 2013 as they have been in the past few years, due in large part to personnel changes and injuries. However, they have tweaked the system and turned in some impressive defensive performances. The Chris Tanev high ankle sprain is a worrisome injury, and the team will be in tough to balance three pairings without him.

Let’s take a look at five possible areas of concern heading into the 2013 postseason.

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Handing Out NHL Hardware

Jeff Angus
April 25 2013 10:09AM

The conclusion of the lockout shortened 2013 NHL regular season is almost upon us, which means that it's time to hand out some hardware. Read on for my picks for the Hart, Norris, Vezina, and more.

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The Respectful Rivalry: Vancouver and Detroit

Jeff Angus
April 20 2013 09:55AM

The Canucks and Red Wings have had a very good (and understated) rivalry over the past decade or so. For so long, the Canucks were the little brother to Western Conference juggernauts from Colorado and Detroit, teams that would routinely feast on the Canucks and their subpar goaltending.

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Speed and Skill, or Size and Grit?

Jeff Angus
April 18 2013 09:08AM

Photo credit to Jeff Vinnick
Lapierre licking his chops as the playoffs approach (photo credit to Jeff Vinnick).

The Canucks, depending on who they end up facing in round one of the postseason, need to find a way to deploy three lines that are a threat to score. It is simply a requirement against three-line clubs like St. Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas (hey, Verne Fiddler is channeling his inner Wayne Gretzky right now). Okay, that last one may be a bit of a stretch, but the point remains.

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Breaking Down Mad Max's Gritty Goal

Jeff Angus
April 14 2013 12:56PM

I think I speak for all CanucksArmy writers when I say that I love the way Max Lapierre plays hockey. He's cleaned up his act considerably since coming to Vancouver two years ago, and does a great job as the fourth line center (he's essentially a third defenseman with how coach Alain VIgneault deploys him).

The Canucks slept-walked through most of the game against Calgary on Wednesday night, but Lapierre and linemade Andrew Ebbett provided some excitement with a prototypical "grinder" goal, and it kickstarted the rest of the team, as Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin added goals shortly after.

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