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6 Signs the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup Window Is Closing


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Poll: 6 Signs the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup Window Is Closing (160 member(s) have cast votes)

Are the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup Window Closing ?

  1. Yes (96 votes [60.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.00%

  2. No (64 votes [40.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.00%

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#1 SCVRUSH

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:28 PM

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Found This On Bleacher Report Today


6 Signs the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup Window Is Closing


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"We'll get 'em next year!"
Those were the words on the lips of many a fan after the Vancouver Canucks'heartbreaking game 7 loss to Boston in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. When a team gets that close, it's clear that it has all the tools it needs to capture the big prize—it just needs the hockey gods to smile.
As it turns out, those hockey gods were even less gracious in 2012, sending theCanucks packing in the first round with just one playoff win.
Is this the beginning of the end? Have the Canucks missed out on their golden opportunity to go all the way?
Here are six reasons why this could be the case.

1.It's Tough to Get Back

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In the salary-cap era of the NHL, past performance is not an indication of future performance.
Since the 2004-05 lockout year, the only two teams to appear in the Stanley Cup Final more than once have been Detroit andPittsburgh, who traded Cups in 2008 and 2009.
That means 12 of the NHL's 30 teams have appeared in the Final in the past seven years.
In the age of parity, there is not a lot to choose between one team and the next. As we saw in this year's upset-riddled playoffs, a little confidence and some puck luck can go a long way towards determining the outcome of a seven-game series.
2. The Sedins Aren't Getting Any Younger
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They look eternally boyish, but Daniel and Henrik Sedin will turn 32 in September. Certainly, today's well-conditioned NHLers can play longer than their counterparts from years gone by, but there comes a time when every player becomes more injury-prone and starts to lose a step.
Skating has never been the twins' strong suit. Their game is based more on smarts than on speed, and they're in great shape, but even a small slip in mobility could prove problematic down the road.
Henrik's production has dropped for the past two years since his 112-point Art Ross trophy season in 2009-10. Daniel's production also dropped significantly after his own 104-point Art Ross year in 2010-11. Last season marked the first time since 2007-08 that both twins finished with less than a point a game.
For the Canucks to contend, they need their top line to be on par with the best in the league. The Sedins are key to Vancouver's success, but it's hard to know how much longer they can maintain their current level of play.
3. Ryan Kesler May Not Return to Form
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During the 2010-11 regular season and Stanley Cup run, Ryan Keslerwas the player who stepped in when the Sedins faltered.
After a career-high 41 goal regular season which also featured enough strong defensive play to win the Selke trophy, Kesler was the difference-maker in the Canucks' second-round series againstNashville. He tore his labrum during the last game of the conference final against San Jose, a fact that wasn't revealed until the playoffs were over. He kept playing, but his effectiveness was diminished in the Final against Boston. That might have been the difference in the series.
After his hip surgery, Kesler did not come back strongly during the 2011-12 regular season. He scored just 22 goals and seemed frustrated for much of the year. It was eventually revealed that he'd developed a shoulder problem which would require major surgery.
It's hard to know how Kesler will perform once he returns, but it's certain that the Canucks need him to be the beast he was two years ago if they hope to get back in the Stanley Cup picture.
4. Who Can Step Up?
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Once you look past the Canucks' first line, there are plenty of question marks.
The only players that have shown consistent improvement of late have been goaltender Cory Schneider and young defenseman Chris Tanev.
Alex Edler looked like he was on track to join the elite and made his first All-Star Game appearance, but the end of his regular season was rocky and he had a terrible playoff against Los Angeles.
Mason Raymond missed the first two months of the regular season recovering from the broken back he suffered in the Stanley Cup Finals, and struggled to find his form. It's hoped that a full summer of training will bring him back to his 25-goal production level of 2009-10.
Manny Malhotra suffered permanent damage to his eye after getting hit by a puck near the end of the 2010-11 regular season. This has limited his effectiveness as a defensive specialist to very specific situations.
Sami Salo and Aaron Rome signed free-agent deals with other teams, and the only significant new face so far is free-agent acquisition Jason Garrison.
The Canucks are still a very good team and will likely finish near the top of the standings once again, but they'll need to see some of their role players take big steps forward if they hope to contend for the Stanley Cup.
5. Toughness Is Still an Issue
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The Canucks' continued interest inShane Doan is a sure sign that they know they need to get grittier.
Vancouver is a team built on skill, but Boston definitely beat them in the corners in the Stanley Cup Final, and Los Angeles was a bigger, tougher team in this year's playoffs.
Vancouver has a reputation as a team that can be intimidated. Zack Kassian was added last year at the trade deadline with the hope that he could help provide a physical presence. So far, his NHL skills haven't been strong enough to keep him in the lineup on a regular basis.
The Canucks need their existing players to show grit, and they need to add a big body or two if they hope to match up against today's Stanley Cup contenders during the grueling playoff run.
6. Other Teams Are Getting Better
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In the first round of the 2010 playoffs, the Canucks had a tough time with the Los Angeles Kings. Despite the 3-vs-6 matchup, the Canucks fell behind 2-1 in their series before rallying to take the series in six games.
In 2012, the Canucks might have been just as good, but the Kings were a lot better. This time, the matchup was 1-vs-8, but that didn't stop Los Angeles from dominating the series in five games before rolling all the way to the Stanley Cup.
The Kings aren't the only Western Conference rival making big changes. Minnesotaserved noticed that they're a force to be reckoned with when they signed Zach Pariseand Ryan Suter to their $98 million free-agent contracts this summer. Other teams have also been working to improve without dominating the headlines quite so dramatically.
When the new season starts, we'll start to see who has made the most effective adjustments. If the Canucks aren't also getting better, then they're sliding backwards.



By.
Carol Schram

Bleacher Report

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#2 canuck_trevor16

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:29 PM

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Bleacher Report sucks........yawn
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One day some of us will look back on the year and look at the chicago, and most of us will realize that it was a small bump in the road to the cup


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#3 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

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Carol needs to Schram. Toughness was never this team's problem. Our problem was that we never had enough high-end offensive players that can put the puck in the back of the net. No one on this team can snipe.

Edited by The Brahma Bull, 12 August 2012 - 04:35 PM.

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#4 Erik Karlsson

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:41 PM

We need hitters and snipers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#5 uber_pwnzor

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:41 PM

Well yeah, the Sedins aren't getting any younger, that's true, but the other five points were just bulls**t.
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#6 Peaches

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:45 PM

Bleacher Report=Lists dont mean anything


If it was on like NHL.com it would have slight meaning

Edited by Cody Hodgson 9, 12 August 2012 - 06:37 PM.

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#7 DESCHNEID

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:46 PM

Most of the points were fair. The team as a whole isn't getting younger, and our prospect pool is fairly thin.

The bigger problem as aforementioned is our depth players' inability to perform in the post-season. They are all reliant on better players to produce, and have trouble lifting the puck up, creating chances on their own, and sniping.
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#8 Canuck Surfer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:49 PM

Incorrect.

When we went to the SCF we had the top offense in the league. We only slipped to 5th last year. The problem is mislabelled as toughness. What in fact is the problem is that 3 of our 4 key scoring forwards are all 185 lbs or less and play on the same line. They are too easy to load up size against and neutralize the infamous cycle game in a seven game series.

We need to add size plain and simple, and start spreading or double shifting the Twins with other players so the Julien's, Quenneville's and Darly Sutter's of the world cant line match so damn easy.

Would not hurt if Kesler was healthy either...


Carol needs to Schram. Toughness was never this team's problem. Our problem was that we never had enough high-end offensive players that can put the puck in the back of the net. No one on this team can snipe.


Edited by Canuck Surfer, 12 August 2012 - 04:59 PM.

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#9 awalk

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:49 PM

Blah blah blah Sedins have at least 3-4 good years left in them....at least. Many many things will happen between now and that time.

Kesler isn't going anywhere but back up...people need to stop ignoring all of the factors going in to last season hampering the Canucks. Bruins lost out in the first round as well, did they not?

Gillis is actively counteracting this whole "window" thing by getting the team younger, bigger and stronger.
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#10 billabong

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:51 PM

ummm duh...news flash you arent gonna stay at this level for ever.

we have another two years with this crop of players....after that who knows where this team will be
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#11 tas

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:55 PM

i personally think the window is realistically closed, not closing, even if it doesn't look that way. i view the canucks going into this coming season a lot like the team of 05-06. that team missed its chance in 2002-03 (like this one did losing in 2010-11), was upset the following year (again the same), and came into the 05-06 season as definite contenders, if not favourites to win. that team crapped the bed that year and missed the playoffs. i'm not sure the team will miss the playoffs this year (i'm not sure it's even possible with how terrible the division is), but i think it'll be another first round exit and time to blow things up after.
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#12 John.Tallhouse

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:02 PM

I don't believe in "windows", I think the Canucks will be contenders for many years to come. they'll evolve into a greater team over time... they're hungry to get back to that cup.. and they will get back to it...
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#13 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

Incorrect.

When we went to the SCF we had the top offense in the league. We only slipped to 5th last year. The problem is mislabelled as toughness. What in fact is the problem is that 3 of our 4 key scoring forwards are all 185 lbs or less and play on the same line. They are too easy to load up size against and neutralize the infamous cycle game in a seven game series.

We need to add size plain and simple, and start spreading or double shifting the Twins with other players so the Julien's, Quenneville's and Darly Sutter's of the world cant line match so damn easy.

Would not hurt if Kesler was healthy either...


Our O wasn't that great 5 on 5 the entire season. We just killed teams with our power play. Our team fell apart in the finals. This team had no idea how to beat Tim Thomas because of how much he challenges shots. Our team's offense is based more on hard work and great passing. Sometimes, things don't go well and you need a player that can put the entire team on his back and create goals by himself. There is no one on this team that can dangle/snipe on this team. Yeah, it's too bad about kesler. Even on one leg he was giving it his all. however, even kesler can't dangle worth a damn. Sedins can't dangle either. When your top offensive players can't dangle, you're going to end up in trouble sooner or later.

Edited by The Brahma Bull, 12 August 2012 - 05:05 PM.

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#14 tas

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:06 PM

its not a lack of competitive talent that worries me but dressing room chemistry. it just seems to run out eventually for every core group of players. and it makes sense when you think about it. the longer you stay working at any one job with the same group of people, the more complacent you get and the more stagnant you become. everybody needs a change of scenery and some new life breathed into their routine once in awhile.
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#15 Where's Wellwood

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:08 PM

7. A lockout will take away one of the only great years this version of the team has left.

Edited by Where's Wellwood, 12 August 2012 - 05:08 PM.

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#16 Jai604

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:10 PM

Anything written on Bleacher Report = garbage


Not that some of the points aren't partially valid, but the people who write for BR are a joke.
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#17 _Kick_Save_

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:10 PM

I think these points are incredibly simplistic but I will agree that our window is closing. There is so much Parity in the league that the fact that we are consistently in the top 3-5 teams in the league this past decade is remarkable. The fact that we have had only one run to the finals in that time speaks even more to the fact that this team has not got it done when its mattered. I do not think that the roster additions this year will change that fact.
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#18 c00kies

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:11 PM

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There's only one reason why the Canuck's window to win is closing:

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#19 Jai604

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

Honestly, people should just stop posting "articles" from Bleacher Report. Just a bunch of hack "writers" who don't know much more than the average poster on CDC.
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#20 tas

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

blaming gary bettman for anything is the idiot's way out.
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#21 canIcrytoo

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:15 PM

"Are the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup window closing?"



uhhhh say what, edumaction hard at work.
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#22 Zoolander

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:17 PM

A cup window doesnt go away, the faces involved do. The Sedin,Luongo Era will come to an end but will be followed by a Kesler,Edler,Cory Era will begin. I for one, am looking forward to a new era with many new faces that will lead this team to a cup.
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#23 Jester13

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

WRONG! Let me put it this way...

Will we be making the playoffs every year for a long time? The answer to this is YES 100% which means that we have a chance to win every single year. All it takes to win the cup is for the stars to align just right and to get stellar goaltending. Our window is closing if we are missing the playoffs like Calgary and we won't be missing the playoffs any time soon. As for our prospect pool, look at our roster... do you honestly think that the names on our team cannot fetch some amazing prospects or picks down the road if we ever need to? Nuff said:)
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#24 7thMan

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

Sure, the windows is closing, but we should still have a couple more years left of Cup contention. I don't think we can be a dynasty like the Red Wings were, being near the top year after year. We don't have that many up and comers and the Sedins have said that they don't plan on staying in the NHL forever. They probably have three or four years left, so unless we sign some big free agents or the Nicklas Jensens and Zack Kassians develop into first-liners, we'll probably fall apart.
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#25 ButterBean

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:19 PM

Carol needs to Schram. Toughness was never this team's problem. Our problem was that we never had enough high-end offensive players that can put the puck in the back of the net. No one on this team can snipe.

I disagree. Toughness was a pretty big factor into why we lost and why teams like Boston and LA won a cup. Staying healthy en route to a cup is very important and mixing skill and toughness is what Chicago, LA, and Boston did best. Our top players were thrown around with barely any pushback at all and having guys on the top 2 lines that can hit people and protect teammates is important. I do agree that we lack a true sniper/playmaker on the 2nd line but to say it was never a problem is silly in my opinion.
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#26 Dral

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:20 PM

How can you say on the one hand all you need is a little confidence and puck luck to win the cup, but then on the other hand make an argument for the window is closing? Does that puck luck go both ways or just against the Nucks.

That's just completely contradictory.

Edited by Dral, 12 August 2012 - 05:22 PM.

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#27 Bob Singh

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:22 PM

i'd have to agree
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#28 Flying Man

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

Found This On Bleacher Report Today


I stopped reading here.
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#29 LeanBeef

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:41 PM

its not a lack of competitive talent that worries me but dressing room chemistry. it just seems to run out eventually for every core group of players. and it makes sense when you think about it. the longer you stay working at any one job with the same group of people, the more complacent you get and the more stagnant you become. everybody needs a change of scenery and some new life breathed into their routine once in awhile.

I completely agree with you here. Check out all the new players in our 2011 roster

Malhotra
Torres
Higgins
Lapierre
Oreskovich
Tanev
Ballard
Hamhuis

Most, if not all of these players made a significant impact on the team that year, they gave the team a new look; a good one.
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#30 Lups

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:56 PM

We need hitters and snipers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We dont need any more snipers. We need someone who can pass
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