10. Jannnik Hansen will score 50 points
He skates hard, has some good speed, and has shown he can score timely goals. It would not be a surprise to see him get some time, to start the year at least, on the second line with Ryan Kesler.
9. The Canucks will struggle out of the gate
History (The past three Octobers:a combined record of 16-15-2) and the injuries (see Edler, Kesler, and I guess, Raymond) will almost guarantee a slow start for the Canucks.
8. Mason Raymond will score less than 30 points
It's a no-brainer prediction. Heck, even if he were healthy I think he'd barely crack 30.
7. Cody Hodgson will not be a factor
Barring any miracle or some magical juice, Hodgson will not make the team.
6. Cory Schneider will not be traded
I agree with this. Having Schneider backing up our OCD kid is a very good insurance. Plus, Schneider is arguably the best backup out there right now.
5. Ryan Kesler's point production will drop
4. Chris Tanev will crack the top four
Tremendous upside and poise will land him in the top 4.
3. Roberto Luongo will have another great season
Yup for sure. But whether he'll carry the team to the holy grail remains unknown.
2. Alex Burrows won't bite anyone
This year we will hear more about how disciplined the Canucks are going to play. This year Burrows will stick with it.
When he does he is a great player. He is a sniper, can kill penalties and plays with a lot of energy. When he doesn’t, he goes over the line and becomes a lightning rod to the opponents.
This season Burrows will learn from the biting incident and play a clean season, score lots of goals, and have another great year.
1. The Canucks will lose the western conference finals
Their Western Conference rivals have improved, and with the Finals hangover slowing them down a bit the Canucks will not repeat as Western Conference Champions.
They will have another tremendous year, however. They will win the Northwest Division handily and that will give them at least a third seed and home ice.
The Canucks will fall just short this year and will have to reload again in 2012.
Southern_Canuck wrote:I wasn't surprised to see the positive prediction for Ballard from dhabums, also known as Ballard's only Norris Vote, but to see the entire board predict his success has me puzzled...
Did everyone see something in Ballard's performance last season that was a predictor of success in 2011-12... or is it just wishful thinking?
Fred wrote:When Ballard played for the Coyotes I thought he was a real quality player, when MG traded for him I was impressed. What he showed last season was not the player I watched back then. He got the ice time he deserved, I was very disappointed. Originally drafted by Buffalo then onto the Coyotes, Florida, and now the Canucks. This is a game when you're rated by your last shift
Meds wrote:While I picked Ballard to have a good season this year, I should qualify that by saying it is contingent upon Vigneault. IF Gillis has/had a sit down with his coach and told him to quit playing favorites and utilize the team Gillis has built by applying player's strengths rather than trying to mold NHL vets (with more NHL on-ice time than Vigneault has btw) into what he envisions the ideal player to be at each position, and IF Vigneault listens, I think Ballard will make the most of it and be worth at least most of his cap hit to the team.
Meds wrote:According to Vigneault Aaron Rome is better than Ballard in all of those areas.
If Vigneault plays the same games with Ballard again and continues to give Rome, Tanev, and Alberts more ice-time than Ballard, then all optimistic predictions about Ballard go out the window.
Southern_Canuck wrote:With Vigneault, it's a matter of trust.
Ballard has not earned the trust of a very good coaching staff, and in my opinion, it is all on him --- not Vigneault.
Fred wrote:rats19 wrote:Or a pesimistic peter
Any place for an Honest Harry
rats19 wrote:Fred wrote:rats19 wrote:Or a pesimistic peter
Honest hank, maybe shouldn't be making predictions in September...?
Any place for an Honest Harry
Right beside humble hank...row 17..section 111
Southern_Canuck wrote:Meds wrote:While I picked Ballard to have a good season this year, I should qualify that by saying it is contingent upon Vigneault. IF Gillis has/had a sit down with his coach and told him to quit playing favorites and utilize the team Gillis has built by applying player's strengths rather than trying to mold NHL vets (with more NHL on-ice time than Vigneault has btw) into what he envisions the ideal player to be at each position, and IF Vigneault listens, I think Ballard will make the most of it and be worth at least most of his cap hit to the team.
Yeah, 'cause the coach that helped the Sedins go to first liners and then All-Stars, took Kesler from a 3rd liner to star player, took Burrows from the ECHL to NHL 30 goal scorer, presided over Raymond's development to 25 goal scorer, coached Alex Edler's emergence as a top notch 2-way defenceman, helped Jannik Hansen become a legit 2/3 liner, revived Christian Ehrohoff's career as a top notch offensive defenceman, and coaxed Josh Green, Jan Bulis, Mike Weaver, Rory Fitzpatrick, Rick Rypien, Shane O'Brien, Aaron Rome, Tanner Glass, Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins, and Maxim Lapierre into excellent role players.
But somehow he doesn't know what he's doing with regard to Ballard. Riiiiggghhht.
VANCOUVER—The Canucks organization and all of its incumbent players are eager to get started with the new NHL season. With the team coming within one win away from bringing home the Stanley Cup trophy, the team looks ahead to another trip to the playoffs, and eventually a return to the finals.
All the participants are aware that the hockey season is winding and demanding. Momentum can often turn from one shift to the other. Therefore, the Canucks know there is plenty of work ahead of them.
Here are 10 factors that can affect the Canucks bid for a Stanley Cup in 2011/2012 NHL Season:
1) Health and Injuries. Last season, the Vancouver Canucks used 13 different defensemen at some point of the regular season and playoffs. With so many newcomers entering the fold, the team struggled to play with consistency. If they want better success, staying healthy is crucial.
2) Art Ross Winners. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the face of the franchise. Elder brother Henrik won the Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophy in 2010. Younger brother Daniel followed suit with a strong year, winning the Art Ross and Ted Lindsay Award. The Canucks need both of these players to remain dominate five-on-five, and lead the powerplay.
3) Last line of Defense. The Vancouver media can be unforgiving at times when it comes to criticizing the goaltending of the hockey club. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were good enough to win the William Jennings Award in 2011 for least goals against during the regular season. However, when it counted the most, Roberto Luongo had trouble keeping the puck out of the net. That has to improve.
4) Coaching staff and game-planning. Alain Vigneault prefers to let the skaters figure out how to play sound defensively, before rushing the puck to generate scoring chances. The style the Canucks played was successful for the most part, but the team showed weaknesses slowing down the big bruisers like the Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins.
5) Physical and mental toughness. Last playoffs, the Canucks were outmatched physically by their opponents. In the Chicago series, the Canucks won whenever they out-hit the opposition, and lost when they were out-hit. Against the Boston Bruins, physicality boiled over, when the mean-spirited Bruins took the Canucks to school. Toughness must be addressed.
6) New additions or subtractions? During the off-season, Christian Ehrhoff agreed to contract with the Buffalo Sabres, $40 million over 10 years. Rugged winger, Raffi Torres, signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. Tanner Glass and Rick Rypien also departed. Management inserted Marco Sturm, Alexander Sulzer, Mark Mancari and Andrew Ebbett, hoping to add some elements they were lacking last season.
7) Top-six defense. The Canucks front office stressed the importance of preparing enough depth on defense to battle the rigors of an 82-game regular season schedule, and playoffs. Last year, they tested the defense depth 13-deep. This year, losing Christian Ehrhoff forces others to fill the void in the Top-six, and on the powerplay. Someone must step up.
8 ) Face-off Dominance. In 2010-2011, the Canucks were among the best teams in terms of face-off winning percentage, and face-off wins total. Led by free agent signing of Manny Malhotra, the team improved it’s puck-possession game by controlling the puck from the blow of the whistle. It made setting up plays easier, made penalty-killing easier, and it made goaltending a lot more comfortable. Look for this facet of the game continuing on to dictate success.
9) Versatility and Imposing Will. For the Canucks to beat teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the team must learn to adapt and impose their will on their opponents. Rather than adjusting to play other team’s style of hockey, the Canucks should dictate play by using their team speed, skill, and sound goaltending.
10) Do you believe in Hockey Gods? Luck plays a factor in all sports. Sometimes, one has to be good to be lucky, but in the case of hockey, getting a favourable bounce can really help the team advance further in competition. Timeliness of goals, bounces, breaks, injuries, and game-saving saves can be one of the intangible factors.
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