Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/13/14

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks plays during the preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on September 17, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Flying V’s Keys To A Cup Run! The Vancouver Canucks have advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again, but after two consecutive Presidents’ Trophies the optimism in Vancouver could be higher heading into this year’s post-season. Could the Canucks surprise the Western Conference and make another lengthy run towards the Stanley Cup? If so, the reigning Northwest Division Champions may need a few favours from the Hockey Gods this time around. A healthy Cory Schneider Cory Schneider’s health has been the talk of Vancouver since his mysterious ” body injury” was first revealed last week, and after two poor performances from Roberto Luongo it seems Schneider’s health will be paramount in any potential Stanley Cup run. We may never know what exactly Schneider has suffered from all week, or whether this “injury” is simply an elaborate smoke-screen to take the pressure off his first post-season as Vancouver’s starter, but barring a return to health or a bounce-back from Roberto Luongo the Canucks could see some cracks start to show in their crease this post-season. Resilient rearguards The health of Kevin Bieksa and Chris Tanev is crucial heading into this year’s playoff run. Vancouver’s two original right-handed defenceman sat out for several games as the regular season came to a close, and will both be necessary to keep Vancouver’s blue line steady under the increased pressure and intensity of playoff hockey. Kevin Bieksa was seen practicing with the Canucks on Monday, while Chris Tanev remains “day-to-day” in a walking boot. Ryan Kesler was a key contributor against the Sharks in 2011, is a repeat performance possible? Kesler returns to form Ryan Kesler played a key role in the Vancouver Canucks’ 2011 playoff run, and will need to return to form once again opposite Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks in the head-to-head rematch. Kesler seems to play better with a chip on his shoulder, and facing off against Jumbo Joe once again should stoke the fire inside a well-rested #17 after playing his number’s worth in games during the regular season. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see a long anticipated fight to start the series. Sedins shine Henrik and Daniel Sedin have quietly enjoyed another near-point-per-game season for the Canucks, but have begun to embrace the defensive side of the game after facing criticism in season’s past for their cycle play, and lack-lustre defensive coverage. While the Sedins have run the cycle with great success over the years, their “fancy” stats this season show progress on the defensive side of the puck which should greatly benefit the Canucks in the post-season. Young guns The Vancouver Canucks will need some of their younger players to step up their game in the post-season. Zack Kassian had a fantastic start to the regular season but quickly fell from grace, putting up only 11 points in 39 games for the Canucks. After struggling to stay consistent Kassian needs to channel his inner Todd Bertuzzi in the playoffs and perform like the power forward Mike Gillis envisioned when he sent Cody Hodgson packing two years ago. Youngster Frank Corrado will need to learn playoff hockey on the fly after playing well in his first three games at the NHL level. Corrado is expected to start the playoffs alongside Andrew Alberts on Vancouver’s third defensive pairing while Keith Ballard remains locked in Alain Vigneault’s dog house. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Six teams have done background work on Adrian Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

Five teams that failed to improve this offseason

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Steelers fans were more profane on social media

Seahawks praise Tom Brady's trash-talking ability

Richard Sherman's girlfriend talks possible Super Bowl baby

DeMarco Murray: I don't pay attention to being replaced

Bucs believed to be going for Marcus Mariota with No. 1 pick

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

The Super Bowl and the things that can't be controlled

DeMarcus Cousins calls out writer for five-year-old tweet

What if Drew Bledsoe didn't get injured in 2001?

Who should make up the 2015 Hall of Fame class

WATCH: Porn sounds played during Predators broadcast

Five worst teams to win a Super Bowl

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck defend Patriots on Kimmel

Watch: John Oliver tackles the Super Bowl

The Washington Redskins and their forgotten dynasty

WATCH: Katy Perry cracks Deflategate, Marshawn jokes

Devon and Leah Still write a book for kids fighting cancer

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Cousins calls out writer's old tweet

Seahawks praise Brady's trash-talk

Who should be in 2015 HOF class

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.