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Belsy91

When healthy is this Canucks roster better than the 2011 Stanley Cup Final team?

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On paper, my vote goes to this years team (if we're talking playoffs). Ehrhoff didn't do much in the playoffs, so I'd prefer Garrison's size and grit. Salo we will missed for sure, but I think our overall defense has the edge with an improved Tanev and Ballard. Alberts is the same and although Rome is grittier, Barker has some offensive upside. I'm not sure about Vandy. Edler has had a bad season this year, but appears to be putting it together. His past two games have show a steady improvement.

Kes really only stayed healthy in the 1st two rounds, so we'll see how that pans out. I think the Sedins will do well, now that we have 3 scoring lines (Lappy as the 3rd line C was awful). We have good offense and defence on all 3 top lines. If Booth can return, he will add to those lines.

If Schneids continues to improve, he may even win us a game or two. If he falters, we still have Lu.

The only real concern I have is team motivation and commitment. So far, I haven't seen anything that compares to the drive of the '11 team. This is what takes a team to the finals. Kes will be coming back full of motivation and energy after spending the season in recovery mode. Hopefully his exuberance will rub off on the others during the final regular season games and playoffs.

I don't think the teams in the west have improved as much as people are suggesting (besides Minny and it's a toss up as to how they will do). I think the Canucks can match up well against any of the western teams, but it depends on their head space. I think they make it to the conference final.

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The forward group, when healthy, it's 4x times better than the 2011 team. Easily. Not even close. Not only are they better on paper, but they have a deeper and more versatile group.

I wrote this in another thread, but you'll recall the 2011 team not having a 4th line - at all. The plugs/AHLers that were rolled out during the playoffs were highly sheltered and often a liability. Therefore, AV gave them little TOI. Now, 2 of 3 fourth liners play on the PK and eat heavy d-zone starts. Basically, the 4th line now plays an important role on the team.

2011 3rd line was Hansen- Lappy - Torres. While they were a physical line, they combined for 9 goals in 25 playoff games - or 3 goals each in 25 playoff games. That's pretty sad considering the amount of ice time they were getting.

Quite frankly looking back, I'm not sure how the 2011 team got to gm 7 with only 1.5 lines. It was all Sedins, Kesler, Luongo and the d-core. Raymond had 2 freekin goals, Samuelsson had 1, Higgins had 4 and that was it. It's easy to see why shutting down the Sedins and a hobbled Kesler was the demise in gm 7.

The 2011 team and this team have the same puck possession underlying #'s. The PP stinks this yr, but I really don't care cause they're not getting PP's in the playoffs. They need to be a strong even strength team with a great PK.

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This team's playoff hopes rests solely on which Kesler shows up for the playoffs.

We ain't going nowhere if Kesler doesn't play at his best.

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It's not about the individual skill of the players.. If we're looking at it like that, then sure we're better this year.

What was so special about the 2011 team was that they knew they were the best and played like they were the best. They understood that nobody could possibly beat them if they were on their game. Does this team have that mindset? No, not even close.

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This team's playoff hopes rests solely on which Kesler shows up for the playoffs.

We ain't going nowhere if Kesler doesn't play at his best.

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In 2011, Boston's PP was atrocious too.

Last year, LA Kings barely made the playoffs.

Point is, l wouldn't make the PP record the indicator of greatness.

Anything can happen leading to and in the playoffs.

l don't want to expect too much anymore,

bcoz as we all know, the Lord Stanley Cup IS the hardest trophy to win in all of sports.

Just enjoy and relax,

if this is our year, then thank you hockey gods.

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Correction: This team's playoff hopes rests solely on the health of Kesler.

Kesler is the heart and soul of this team and always gives his 100% in the playoffs. You are talking about a guy who asked to have his finger amputated to get back sooner. When he "doesn't show up", it's because he's playing through injuries.

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In 2011 we had the best offence, the best defense and the best special teams in the league. We were by far the best team in the league and had the Art Ross winner on it. We had Raffi destroying people. The Sedins were better than they are right now and Kesler was in beast mode. The only reason we lost was because of so many injuries. This year if we win it's an upset against teams like the Hawks or Penguins. That's not saying we can't win, we just need to stay healthy.

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This version of the Canucks imo has as good a chance to win as ever.

The top 9 imo has never been better.

The blueline is a wash, although I prefer this version because I think it is more durable, a better shutdown blueline, and still has plenty of ability to provide scoring punch.

The goaltending is as good as ever.

The only area where I think there is a noticeable difference is the absence of a faceoff and shutdown specialist like Manny - however with Lapierre playing his role, and all the additional upside that Roy brings to the third C spot, while being a solid two way center as well, I think this team is better balanced than ever. The second and third lines are dangerous. \

I liked the idea of getting Roy, and the price was far better than expected - I think he adds a vital element to the Canucks.

The Canucks also have a handful of depth guys who have proven themselves capable.

A lot of people who don't care much for the Canucks have been rather smug anticipating this team's decline - it doesn't quite look that way now, though, does it?

I like this team's chances - they held their own with a lot of injures, and they could hit their stride at just the right time.

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Your analysis on our forwards is very good, but you made poor comparisons w.r.t. Tanev and Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff drove our PP and was like a 4th Sedin on the ice (Burr being the other one). Tanev is not an offensive player.

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Sedins & Burrows (now VS then):

It seems like a lot of people are really really really committed to believing that the Sedins have declined. But there’s really very little basis for such a claim. They're 31 freakin' years old people. Not 40. Not 35. 31. That’s not even old. That’s when guys are in the prime of their careers. This is especially true of guys like them who’s effectiveness doesn’t rely at all on sheer physical ability. Furthermore, their 5v5 numbers have been fine. More or less as good as ever. And that’s despite having to take a lot more defensive zone starts because of our lack of other centers for most of the year. Sure, the PP needs to get going but that obviously has a lot to do with missing our best PP player all year. To suggest that the Sedins abilities have somehow declined on the PP massively but not at all 5v5 is totally arbitray and implausible. They’re fine. They’re still elite players just as they were in 2011.

Kesler (now VS then):

Not even much to say here. The only time Kes hasn’t looked great as usual is when he’s been playing through injury which he won’t be when he comes back. “But he’s INJURY PRONE” I hear you saying. No. He’s not. Because that isn’t a thing. It only exists in your control freak brain that can’t accept that sometimes things in hockey happen for utterly random and unpredictable reasons.

Higgins, Hansen and Raymond (now VS then):

Much better, especially Hansen. This kid has always been a tenacious checker but his offensive game has really come along. He’s still not exactly a dominant scorer but in a 2/3 line role he’s gonna contribute some serious secondary offense. Higgins has been better too. He was good in 2011 but didn’t fully hit his stride until 2012. He has really developed into a great two way player. He pretty much does everything. He’s effective at both ends of the ice and can play anywhere with anyone. Raymond is having a great bounce back year too. To be fair, he was pretty good in 2011 before his injury too but I think this might be the best he’s ever played. All in all, our middle six wingers are going to be quite a bit better than in 2011.

Kassian VS Torres:

Kassian can be inconsistent. At times he’s struggled. But more often he’s looked pretty good. Overall he’s a nice asset in a 2nd or 3rd line role. He’s bigger, faster, and stronger than Torres and has a much stronger offensive touch. He’s put up essentially comparable numbers despite playing with the gaping offensive vacuum that is the Canucks bottom six centers this year and has way more potential to take off if played alongside a great center like Kesler. Also, if you take off your rose colored glasses you’ll note that Torres was super streaky himself. He’d come out some games and look great but completely disappear in others.

Samuelsson VS Booth:

Who the heck knows! We really have no idea what Booth is capable of. He’s been so devastated by injuries that he’s never really had a fair chance to show what he can do consistently. In any case, it’s pretty irrelevant. Booth is probably done for the season and Samuelsson only lasted a round and a half in 2011. Neither are especially relevant to their respective teams playoff success.

Roy VS Lappiere (as a 3rd line center):

Lapierre is a good defensive player and him stepping up in 2011 after Malhorta’s injury was very big. However, he has little to no offensive ability. As a result, he kinda sucks the life out of his linemates offensively. Roy is still solid defensively and a top 6 center by all rights. With him we’ve got one of the deepest center groups in the league. He’s shown instant chemistry with Higgins and Hansen. He’ll surely bring out the best in them and give us three dynamic scoring lines. I really cannot overstate what an improvement this is for us.

Lapierre (as a 4th line center) VS Bolduc? Hodgson? Malhorta (sans eye)?

Who was our 4th line center in 2011 again? Did we even have one? Our 4th line barely played and this was the reason. Meanwhile, Lapierre is a very solid defensive player and always steps up big come playoff time. I mean, this guy was our third line center in 2011 and we’re gonna be able to shift him down to the fourth line. That’s a massive improvement.

Wiese & Sestito VS Glass & Oreskovich:

Ug. Oreskovich. The guy had no drive. He obviously wasn’t fully committed to hockey. He wouldn’t hit or fight. Completely useless. And Glass was the exact opposite. Great drive but never had the physical tools to be especially effective. The guys we have now are a huge improvement. Wiese is actually a stellar possession player. He drives play into the offensive zone and can ever score occasionally. Sestito holds up okay defensively (he’s not great but not a liability either) and he finally gives us a really big heavyweight who can hit and mix things up. Combined with Lappy we’re gonna have a great 4th line that can actually play. They can take some defensive starts and take pressure off our other guys. In the end, I’ll acknowledge that a fourth line isn’t going to make or break our team but it’s a nice asset to have and it’ll definitely help.

Salo VS Garrison:

Hands down Garrison is a better player. They’re largely comparable in terms of skill set but Garrison just does everything a bit better. He’s a little bigger and definitely stronger. He can protect the front of the net. Salo was fine defensively but Garrison is just a really strong D man. Him with Hamhuis finally gives us a really exceptional and consistent shutdown D pairing. Plus, while both guys have big shots, Garrison is better at actually using him. Salo was always such a frustrating player. He had the ability but he rarely managed to actually put the puck on net. I think Salo would always look for the opening which meant he would usually just fire it over the net while trying to pick a corner. But Garrison isn’t afraid to just drill people which is what you gotta do. It creates rebounds and makes the other team pay for blocking up the front of the net. All in all a clear upgrade here.

Erhoff VS Tanev:

Sure, we had Tanev in 2011. But as pleasant a surprise as he was, he still played an extremely limited role. Current Tanev is ready to be a top 4 D man and play big minutes against even the toughest quality of competition. He’ll be huge, especially if we lose anyone to injury (which will probably happen at some point). As for Erhoff...apparently this is the chic thing among Canucks fans now. Apparently, Erhoff was totally the driving force behind the 2011 team. We just can’t hope to win without him. Ya, okay guys. Sure. In reality, Erhoff was a defensive liability. Despite his apparent scoring prowess he was -13 by the end of the playoffs. Will we lose something offensively without him? Sure. He was great in that department. But it’s not like we can’t replace those contributions. We’ve still got Edler and Bieksa and now Garrison who provides an upgrade on Salo and finally Hamhuis who has really developed him offensive game. Maybe our PP will never be quite as good but 5v5 we’re not much worse off offensively.

In the end, it’s tough to compare these guys because they are two polar opposite players in terms of what they bring to the table. It’s definitely a tradeoff as opposed to a case of one or the other being straight up better. It’s definitely a trade off I like though. I think makes a lot of sense. That 2011 team’s defence had an excess of offensive ability but a real lack of defense. Once you get past Hamhuis...well there’s Bieksa who was usually good but often highly unpredictable and Salo who was okay but that was about it. Adding another defensive D man, even at the expense of an offensive one will pay off bigtime, especially come playoff time where tight defensive play becomes all the more vital.

So all in all...yeah. We're better. We haven't exactly looked like it although when you realize that we've been without Kesler all year (not to mention a mountain of other injuries) this is not surprising. We're much deeper at center and should see more scoring from our middle 6 wingers. Our D is better too. Our PP will probably never be AS good as it was in 2011 but we make up for it 5v5 and defensively. And I'll take better defensive and 5v5 play over a good PP any day in the playoffs.

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This team is better.

They are tougher than the 2011 team. They are starting to amp up their play and the defense is playing itself into playoff shape.

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Booth will be back to hunt some bruins in round 4

Sedin Sedin Burrows

Raymond Kesler Kassian

Higgins Roy Hansen

Ebbett (Booth round 3&4) Lapierre Weise

Hamhuis Bieksa

Edler Garrison

Ballard Tanev

Alberts

Schneider

Luongo

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