Welcome back to another effusive edition of What Do You Think Thursday.
By the time you’re reading this, the Vancouver Canucks will be just over two weeks away from the beginning of their scheduled play-in series against the Minnesota Wild.
And it’s finally starting to feel like a real thing that might actually happen.
With training camp kicking off this week — with our own David Quadrelli and Chris Faber on hand to provide up-to-the-minute coverage — most fans are understandably too caught up in the excitement of seeing Elias Pettersson and the gang back on the ice to pay their upcoming opponents much mind.
But that’s going to wear off soon, and then the focus will have to shift to the Wild and how best to beat them — or, at least, to not get beaten by them.
To that end, it’s worth noting that the Wild, as has often been the case throughout their franchise history, have a fairly nondescript roster that’s devoid of any true superstar. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a handful of players on the team with the potential to make a big impact on the series — and not in the way Vancouver fans are hoping for.
With that in mind, this week we’re asking you for a fear-based scouting report:
Which players on the Minnesota Wild are you most worried about heading in to the play-in series?
Speaking of tough opponents, last week we asked:
Do you think the Canucks currently have a rival team? And if not, who will the next one be?
Your responses are below!
As rivals are typically gained through blood accumulated in the playoffs — well, its been a while. Until then, their chief rival remains Bettman and all the different ways he continues to screw this franchise.
Looking ahead, the pieces are in place for a Smythe Division rivalry to re-emerge. Hopefully Seattle gains some traction early so we can develop some hate for them too. The future looks fun!
Beer Can Boyd:
Yep, no playoffs = no rivals. However, should they have a good five-game series, should the Boeser-for-Dumba trade happen, and should both teams end up in the playoffs for the next couple seasons, the Wild might be back in the picture.
The Canucks certainly had their rivals a decade or so ago, and Chicago without a doubt topped that list. Calgary is always on that list, especially with the Torts incident, among other goonery by the Flames, throughout the years.
The Boston rivalry from 2011 may have also mellowed since almost a decade ago.
But after several years of losing hockey and players leaving and younger ones coming in, those old rivalries have just become hockey opponents that you want to beat.
If I were to name a rival though, it would have to be the Flames. These guys are thugs and we see them a lot. Calgary hockey has remained more or less unchanged over the decades, as they remain an undisciplined group of thugs and goons. I party every time we beat them.
No present rival stands out for the Canucks at this juncture. Will have to agree, though, that the Seattle franchise will develop into one — but it may take a while. It’s a natural.
As for rivals, I don’t think there is one. At times, animosity heated up, but it’s long cooled off.
I am not sure Canucks will even have a rivalry with Seattle for a while. I can see a lot of people thrilled at the novelty of having a new team within driving range. It takes more than just a local to make a rival.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Rivalries tend to be created and prolonged by the more aggressive players on a team. If there is a rivalry with the Bruins, it’s Marchand and Chara that feed it. With Calgary, it’s that weasel Matty Turtles.
When the Canucks had Kesler, Bieksa, and Burrows rivalries fired up pretty fast. Lapierre and others fed into and off those conflicts. Roussel is the kind of player who can fire things up, but he really wasn’t very effective so far this season.
Right now, there are no heated rivalries, nor do the Canucks really have much in personnel likely to stoke any up. The Canucks better players tend to be almost all business, as the Sedins were. This just isn’t very conducive to heating up a rivalry.
Rivals, nothing feels better than a win over Boston. Not only are they our rival, but a Cup contender.
I hate hate hate the Flames. My favourite Canuck goal is Bure scoring against the Flames, triple overtime, Game 7. My daughter is a Flames fan and she always lets me know if they beat the Canucks.
The Bruins raise my BP every time I see them. I guess I still haven’t gotten over 2011 yet. Has anyone?
There will be no rival teams until the Canucks can be a contender.
North Van Halen:
Short answer no.
Longer answer, there’s no geographic rival since Calgary – Edmonton will always hate each other first, leaving us not liking either (historically, more Calgary, from three Game 7’s) but we can never match the natural hatred those two cities share.
There’s no historic rival since multiple expansions and division and conference realignments have all but ruined those for everyone except the Original Six teams.
There’s also no real playoff rival anymore since the Sedins retired. We have had a few over the years; Calgary a couple different times, Colorado in the WCE era, and, obviously, most recently with Chicago and Boston. There’s still some of the gang we hated left in both those cities; Toews, Kane, & Keith and Marchand, Bergeron, & Chara — but with only Edler really left for us, there are only memories in those games, not rivalries.
Hopefully Seattle will become a true rivalry one day. First, we need a bit of what the Whitecaps have developed with the Sounders over the years, with fans from both cities going back and forth, bringing lots of energy and revelry. Then, we need to meet each other in a couple of playoff series to add some real animosity. That’s when we’ll have a true rival where the players can change, but the hatred stays.
I already hate those nameless Seattle scum. A worse gang of ruffians, misfits, hooligans, pickpockets, and ne’er do wells I have never seen. I bet their mothers still have to tie up their skates for them.
Do the Canucks currently have a rival?
Besides Bettman? Definitely Calgary.
Only rival Canucks currently have is the playoffs, future rival will probably be the Oil.