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Are the Canucks playoff contenders or pretenders? ft. Frank Seravalli: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
1 month ago
On yesterday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal welcomed NHL insider Frank Seravalli to discuss the Canucks’ chances of making a deep playoff run.
After a tough 6-3 loss to Vegas on Tuesday night, the Canucks bounced back against the Coyotes last night in Arizona, solidifying their hold on the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Frank offered his thoughts on the Canucks heading into the playoffs:
“Are they contenders or pretenders? My answer would be somewhere in the middle,” Frank said. “A lot of teams realized how talented Vancouver is and how strong their structure was at various points this year. I don’t think anyone is necessarily quaking in their boots to face them if they were to end up being the top seed out of the Pacific. That’s not a knock against them; it’s just that the West is so good, you’re going to have to go through good teams regardless. Are the Canucks more or less feared than Vegas, even though they’re going to finish ahead of them in the standings? The answer is Vegas is more feared. My level of concern for Vancouver right now is a seven. It’s not nothing, but considering that games always get harder at this point in the year and the difficulty ratchets up in a big way, I’m a little surprised that this team – which has had those elements all season long – is suddenly missing the consistency marks. The other part is that teams are just playing better, and they’re not rising to that level. Part of it’s on them, part of it is matching what’s being thrown at them.”
Harm: “Are you a believer in the concept that a team needs to be peaking heading into the playoffs? Or do you think the playoffs are just completely different, and what you did in game 82 doesn’t matter?”
“I tend to lean toward it not mattering as much,” Frank answered. “Look at the Florida Panthers last year – they quite literally lost their way into the postseason. They were down and out, and if it weren’t for the Pittsburgh Penguins gagging at home against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Panthers wouldn’t have been in the playoffs. I don’t know that you necessarily have to be at your absolute best, but what you need to recognize, and what Rick Tocchet is saying, is: ‘If you think this is hard, it’s only going to get five times harder when it comes to the playoffs, and you better get ready for it.’
“There’s another narrative that’s going to be interesting to watch unfold when it comes to the Canucks: the idea or philosophy that somehow you need to have lost along the way. That’s one the Canucks are in a position to challenge. Unlike the Kings, who have lost two years in a row to the Oilers in the first round, they have a taste of it. This Canucks team? I guess you could look back at the bubble and say there’s maybe a little of it, but it’s a totally different team, different coach, different everything. So, I say, ‘how do they react when they’re thrown into the deep end of the pool?’ We’ll see, but it’s an interesting narrative to challenge because almost every team that’s broken through and won the Stanley Cup, almost none of them did it on the first try.”
You can watch the full segment below:

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