There’s no denying it; the Vancouver Canucks have been one of the NHL’s best in recent years. Back to back Presidents Cup winners, Stanley Cup finalists in the 2010/11 season, several award winning players. Aside from winning it all, the Canucks have pretty much done it all over the past few seasons.
During these “good times”, the one thing the Canucks have not relied on too heavily is being an overly tough team to play against. Sure, they’ve had guys in the lineup that can play the body and compete hard for the puck and they’ve had guys that can “throw em” if they are called on, but they haven’t had a REAL deterrent (or two) on the team, or a couple of guys down in the minors they can call up from time to time, when the need is there.
For the MOST PART the need has NOT been there and for the MOST PART the Canucks have been able to hold their own when the going gets tough.
But, for many Vancouver fans, it’s gotten to the point that enough is enough and the “most part” isn’t going to cut it anymore and it’s definitely not going to win you a Cup.
It’s time to fight fire with fire.
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Last night the San Jose Sharks simply outweighed the Canucks in the corners, on the boards and in the middle of the ring. Sure, Kassian and Volpatti were game, but they are simply not in the same weight category as guys like Ryan Clowe and Douglas Murray. Perhaps in a few years Kassian will fill out and that extra 20 pounds will let him hang with guys like Clowe, but not just yet.
Do the Canucks need to employ “deterrents” EVERY night? Not a chance. But it doesn’t take a genius to look at the opposition’s roster and figure it out. Plays the Oilers, toughness is not an issue, but play the Sharks the Blues or the Kings then ya, it’s time to bring out the beef.
Once the Canucks get Ryan Kesler and David Booth back and they find their games again, the Canucks have enough offence to compete with ANYONE in this league. They’ve proven that much. Now, it’s time to REALLY address their toughness issue. No more Band-Aids, we have enough of them on our middleweights’ knuckles.
Canuck fans deserve it! They sell the joint out every night and the team is THAT close to bringing home a Cup. So Mr. Gillis, if and when you get around to moving Mr. Luongo, keep that in mind would ya. A nice prospect and a solid hunk of scariness (or two). Please and thank you.