Canada’s lost sons, the Vancouver Canucks may be getting their leading scorer in Daniel Sedin back in the lineup after quite an absence. Having lost their last six playoff games, a seventh loss means the Canucks will be golfing a tad earlier than they had planned.
While the Canucks put up a great effort in Game 3, they were unable to solve Jonathan Quick or put the clamps down on either Mike Richards or Dustin Brown.
This team is still extremely talented, and figures to come out firing on all cylinders. Problem is, they are still going to be swept tonight, and here’s five reasons why.
5. Dustin Penner is alive
The last time I saw a Dustin Penner play this way in the playoffs was when he was wearing a Duck sweater. Let’s just stop talking there #badmemories.
4. Roberto Luongo is still Alain Vigneault’s man.
Easy enough to figure out right? Lu is still the man for head coach Alain Vigneault, despite the fact that Schneider has been superior than the over-rated Luongo. Vigneault claims to have already made his decision, but is not ready to claim his starter as of noon Wednesday.
3. Ryan Kesler and Dustin Brown
After winning over some critics last year with his play in the postseason, Kesler has reverted back to the same whining, diving antics that often detracted from what tremendous skill he did have.
All the little things this guy does on the ice are no good when he’s flopping around and allowing his emotions dictate his actions. He’s been held without a goal for the last 16 games, and it’s clear the Kings are completely in his head.
I’ll admit, I’ve said my share fair of barbs when it comes to the Los Angeles captain. I’ve called him overrated, a poor leader, and a choker, but not this year. After being dangled at the trade deadline, GM Dean Lombardi has certainly lit a fire under the captain.
He’s had an up and down year so far, but is putting it together when it counts. With four goals in the series, he has the same amount of goals as the entire Canucks roster.
2. Special Teams and Defense
Once one of the strongest teams in the NHL, the Canucks just aren’t the same on defense and the power play / penalty kill anymore.
The Kings have racked up five of the team’s nine goals via special teams, which also includes two shorthanded scores.
Alex Edler has also made some horrible mistakes this series, just a small snapshot of what exactly is wrong with the Canucks blueline.
1. Jonathan Quick
And you were expecting???? Quick has quietly joined the elite ranks of NHL goaltending this year. In stark contrast to his performance against these very same Canucks two years ago, Quick looks dominant and in the zone.
He’s allowed four goals in three games, and with four in his last 11 games he’s got as good of an Conn Smythe argument as anyone in the NHL right now.
Best of all? the Canucks don’t seem like they believe they can solve Quick, especially after Game 3 where Vancouver clearly outplayed LA but failed to get the job done.
Yes, the fourth win is the hardest. Yes the Canucks will be fighting for their lives. Yes this is uncharted territory for the Kings.
No, none of this sways my pick of LA sweeping Vancouver out of the playoffs
If you own a business in Vancouver, now might be the time to sell.