Found May 01, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
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!

Canucks' Schneider back at practice

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider returned to practice Monday. However his status for the first game of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks remained uncertain. Game 1 of the series is Wednesday night. Schneider was injured April 22 in a win over Chicago, when he played the whole game without any apparent discomfort. He had not practiced with the...

Canucks G Schneider practices

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider returned to practice Monday. However his status for the first game of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks remained uncertain. Game 1 of the series is Wednesday night. Schneider was injured April 22 in a win over Chicago, when he played the whole game without any apparent discomfort. He had not practiced with the...

Roberto Luongo will start Game 1 for the Canucks

Roberto Luongo will start Game 1 for the Canucks We just out via Sportsnet Pacific's twitter feed that Roberto Luongo will get the start for the Canucks in game 1 vs. the Sharks. He said "It was good for me to get a couple starts in before the playoffs" What do you think Vancouver? It appears Schneider isn't ready to return just yet. Schneider, who played...

It Is Gameday Vancouver! Game 1 Sharks vs. Canucks

It Is Gameday Vancouver! Game 1 Sharks vs. Canucks Are we ready Canucks fans? Jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride. The Canucks played their final two contests without Cory Schneider, who is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Will they get him back tonight? He's practicing so most will assume...yes! Chris Tanev remains out indefinitely with a leg injury, while...

Cam Gore: Luongo will get the start

The word in Vancouver is that Roberto Luongo will get the start in game one of the Western Conference quarter finals against the San Jose Sharks. Cory Schneider has been the number one goalie for the Canucks starting thirty games this year. Schneider missed the last two games of the season with a lower body injury. Luongo was shelled for seven goals in the final game of the season again...

Roberto Luongo Starting for Canucks in Game 1 Against Sharks

It’s been a really, really weird year for Roberto Luongo, and the twists and turns will continue into the playoffs apparently. Luongo told the media — and the Canucks confirmed shortly thereafter — Tuesday afternoon that the polarizing goalie will be in net for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoffs series with the San Jose Sharks. Cory...

Gulp! Vancouver Canucks start Roberto Luongo

After watching goaltender Cory Schneider handle a full practice workload, Vancouver media types assumed he would regain his starting role for the playoffs. Schneider looked fully recovered from his undisclosed injury. Former starter Roberto Luongo got shelled at the end of the regular season.That was one of the ugliest games of his career. All this added up to a Game 1 start for...

Luongo Starting Tonight

Numerous reports state Roberto Luongo will start in goal tonight for the Vancouver Canucks when the play the San Jose Sharks. Cory Schneider has practiced but may not be ready for a return. My question is, what will the Canucks do if Luongo wins tonight and Schneider is ready to play game 2?

Sharks-Canucks Preview

The San Jose Sharks have searched for an identity on their journey through this lockout-shortened season. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks don't know who their goaltender will be Wednesday night when they host Game 1 of this series as Cory Schneider tries to recover from an undisclosed injury in time to make the start. For the Sharks, there was the high-powered power play that...

Get loud for Lu! Rogers Arena should be louder than ever for Game 1

Get Off Your ASSES Vancouver! The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks thrived on home ice this season and are expected to continue the trend in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. With another Northwest Division title secured the Canucks return to the post-season with home ice advantage in the first round, but will the crowd at Rogers Arena be able to elevate its involvement...

Vancouver Canucks Playoff Preview Q & A

Tomorrow night the Western Conference’s #3 seed, the Vancouver Canucks, take on the #6 seed San Jose Sharks.  To give us a preview of what’s the be expected and some background on the Canucks, we called upon Mark from Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter at @NucksMisconduct. 1.  I guess the most obvious place to start would be in between the pipes...

NHL Playoff Observations -- Wednesday

Just a few things that caught my eye: The best trade that was never made. Yup. Roberto Luongo. Otherwise, Joe Cannata (yah, I don't know either) would have been in the blue paint tonight. Bobby Lou has something to prove and he'll carry this series. He'll also take the end of his composite and stick it up Alain Vignault's ... OK, so the green men...

Ian Esplen: Nucks/Sharks rd. 2

Follow me on twitter @IanEsplen to chat hockey, sports and life in general anytime After having a day of to lick their wounds and discuss as a team that they need to be better, Vancouver gets to try and put it all together tonight and earn a split. Roughly 87 per cent of the time going down two zip means you're done, so this is pretty much a must win game for Vancouver. ...
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