I predict that:
1) the first half of the season will be a bit of a mess, but our division is so weak, we'll be in first or very close to a surprising Flames team by mid-season point, after that the team gets it's groove on.
2) Pleasant surprise #1 will be Ballard having a very solid season, healthy, prepared and given enough time to show he can be a top 4 guy
3) pleasant surprise #2, one of Schroeder or Hodgson, forced into action with the early season injuries, proves they are a keeper.
4) Bad news #1: Sammuellson and Raymond are either too old or injured to ever get back to top 6 form....questions about the 2nd line haunt the team and clog up the radio call in shows
5) Bad news #2: the Luongo/Schneider tandem become a distraction in the first half of the year as Lou is still trying to get his head back together after June and Schneids is riding a hot hand, Lou even has a minor injury, Schneids plays 8-9 games in a row and it is the best stretch for the Canucks in the first half....the debate rages on, Lou or Ginger!?
6) After mid-season, the team takes off, with let's say Hodgson on a line with Jannik Hansen proving to be a bankable pair that can move from 3rd line to 2nd line as need be, and also form part of a 2nd PP unit that has success
7) the team gets some major distance in the division and puts itself in position to finish 2nd in the conference, behind SJ.
8) But then there is a season-ending injury on D, Edler's back is acting up again, and he's got to shut it down
9) that leads to the big league introduction of Kevin Connauton and what do you know, while he makes some mistakes and does not make up for the loss of Edler, the kid can play!
10) Schneider is traded for that power forward and a goalie who can back up RL...I don't know who, I can only see so well at this distance!
11) Canucks have no problem winning the first round, let's say against a rejuvenated CBJ, in 5 games, and then in the next round struggle but still prevail in 6 over, yes indeed, the Hawks, showing that the tables have turned on that rivalry...but the run stops at the Conference finals as SJ finally figures it out and takes us in 7, as they have home ice as conference champs (unfortunately for SJ they lose in the final to the Leafs - ha! - no, the Flyers, with Pronger giving it one last push to a Cup.)
12) Longer term prediction...with young Canucks Hodgson, Schroeder and Connautan important pieces of the team in 2012-13 (no lockout by the way), it proves to finally be our year, the Cup is hoisted in June 2013, over the Tampa Bolts in 5 games....
14) with that Cup victory, Boston Canucker stops writing prediction lists as a way to procrastinate from doing his work!