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

Details emerge from McDonald's domestic violence arrest

Eagles rookie receiver arriving early to practice in a taxi

Eric Berry 'doing well' after finishing cancer treatments

WATCH: Blatt has special message for LeBron

Shaq once threatened to murder Kobe Bryant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bryce Harper: Mike Trout is the best player in baseball

Report: Wilson skipped OTAs to attend funeral with Graham

Antonio Brown on contract: 'I've got enough' money

Kaepernick posts insensitive joke about Houston floods

50 Cent’s boxing company files for bankruptcy

Rangers-Lightning Game 6: Prediction for elimination game

JR Smith’s mom quotes Drake after sweep of Hawks

Hawks radio announcer calls Dellavedova 'Tonya Harding'

FIFA officials arrested, to be extradited to US for corruption

WATCH: LeBron throws down huge dunk from inside FT line

Nick Saban says he caught 6-foot, 180-pound fish

WATCH: Vin Scully tells story about Gomes being attacked by wolf

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches home run off scoreboard

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Robinson Cano's slump: The good news, the bad news

Joe Maddon unhappy over Cubs’ ‘awkward schedule’

Buck Showalter takes shot at Marlins over management

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

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

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

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.