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In the 2010 NHL playoffs, Vancouver draws the 6th seeded Los Angeles Kings, whom they bested 3 games to 1 in their 4 game season series.


Mason Raymond has the puck knocked off his stick by Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings April 1st, 2010 at the Staples Center

When covering playoff series in Fantasy leagues, I will often refer readers first to the season series. It doesn't always tell the full tale of the tape, and there are always anomalies, but usually offers a rough, workable outline. I'm not a full on mathematician, but percentages and probability rate factor into most sports. I haven't seen the "Las Vegas line" for this series, but I'm assuming Vancouver is a favorite to win this series.

Being a Western conference team, the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks were scheduled 4 regular season games. Using this as my reference point, the numbers indicate the Canucks won the lions share, 75% of the games this season. Here's a quick breakdown of those contests:


Henrik Sedin signals to the bench prior to a first period faceoff against the Kings in Los Angeles April 1st(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Oct. 29, 2009 - Whether a fan of the shootout or not, it's here, and it favored the Canucks. Scott Parse opened scoring in the 1st period, and Mikael Samuelsson answered in the 2nd period. Samuelsson would also roof a beautiful backhand shot past Jonathan Quick in the shootout. Andrew Raycroft was an anchor in net, making 30 stops earning a .967 sv %. Vancouver wins 2-1.

Nov. 26, 2009 - Wayne Simmonds officially registers himself as a pain in the Canucks side. The 21 yr old scores the Kings lone goal and forechecks with aplomb. Burrows, Henrik, Glass and Wellwood reply for the Canucks, as Luongo begins to overcome a slow start, improves to 8-8-0. Jonathan Quick makes 30 stops and records a .909 sv %.

Dec. 14, 2009 - The Kings get a good taste of the Canucks 2nd line, who outworked a tired L.A. team. Ryan Kesler broke open the scoring 64 seconds in on a nice setup from Mikael Samuelsson and Mason Raymond. Sami Salo pounds one in from the point on a play made by the twins, though Alexander Frolov cut the lead with 7 seconds to go in the 1st period. Raymond finished off a nice play by Kesler and Shane O'Brien with 5 minutes to go in the third. Luongo makes 24 saves for a .960 sv % and improves to 14-10-0, as the Canucks win 3-1.


Mikael Samuelsson hasn't been talked about much prior to this playoff series, but he should be a factor, especially considering Oct. 29th game (Images courtesy of Yardbarker)

Apr. 1, 2010 - The Canucks wish that the 8-3 score listed in the newspapers was indeed an April Fool's joke leader, but it wasn't. Sports journalists have a hay day at Roberto Luongo's expense, quoting "His worst game ever" and "Career low" (.724 sv %) in their columns. A number of sub-plots also rose to the surface, including Vigneault's reluctance to pull Luongo despite the run-up score. Power forward Dustin Brown leads the way with a hat-trick, while Frolov, Kopitar, Stoll, Williams and Handzus contribute singles. Kyle Wellwood pots a pair, and Ryan Kesler scores in a losing cause. Jonathan Bernier earns the win with a .900 sv % and 27 saves.


Without Willie Mitchell to help clear the crease, the writing is on the wall for the Canucks defense: Luongo must be protected (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Honestly, I can't think of a better lesson for the Canucks to learn from in their final regular season meeting with Los Angeles. "We can't sit back," said Ryan Kesler, one of the league's top defensive forwards, who had a breakout offensive year (75 pts). "If we change our game and become a defensive-minded team we're not playing to our strengths. We have who I think is the best goalie in the NHL and he allows us to take chances offensively."

Based on the 2009/10 season, the law of averages argues that the Canucks should take this series. Roberto Luongo should be one of the deciding factors in this series, leveraging them above the Kings and their inexperienced goaltending tandem. The Sedins are rolling in hot and should prove too much for the Kings, who are going to have a very difficult time limiting Vancouver's cycle. Canucks in 6.


Playoff series have a way of producing rivalries, and it seems inevitable there will be even less love lost between Vancouver and Los Angeles post-playoffs

With files from Yardbarker, Getty Images and The Province, I'm Larenzo Jensen

Need more 'Nucks? http://thecanuckway.com


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The line of Kes Raymond and Sammy were very effective against L.a. during the regular season. I personaly do not think Demitra deserves to take Raymonds spot on the second line. They were together as a line for almost the whole year until Demitra came back, and they were one of the reasons that we had consistent scoring from two lines throughout the year. Imo Demitra should be on the third line with Wellwood and whoever you think deserves that other spot.Obviously the top line stays together, so it will be important to have at least one line that can consistently take the pressure off the twins and Burr. If you water down the second and third lines too much trying to create optimum offense, you may end up with two okay lines instead of a strong second line and a decent third line. Chemistry will be very important.

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