Predicting The Pacific is a week-long event where we will look at a different team each day of the week and take a guess at where they will be amongst the rest of the Pacific Division come the end of next season. Here we go.
Our last stop of this series takes us north of the border for a visit with the Vancouver Canucks. Out of all the new teams in the Pacific Division, I am most intrigued by the addition of the Canucks. The recent history and bad blood between the Kings and Vancouver’s diving team makes for an instant rivalry and will bring about some great hockey.
The Canucks made some waves during the offseason and of course it involved their goalie situation. The Canucks had been stuck in between a rock and a hard place when it came to the crease. They had an all-star goalie in Roberto Luongo who wanted out-of-town and a more than capable back up in Corey Schneider waiting to step in.
So, what ends up happening? Schneider gets traded to New Jersey where he wont be the number one guy for at least another season and Luongo is still stuck in Vancouver. Oh Vancouver, never change.
Away from the soap opera in net, it is no secret where the Canucks’ success stems from. Henrik and Daniel Sedin have been Vancouver’s bread and butter for over a decade now and that will not change this season. For the Canucks to be competitive, the Sedin twins will have to continue to be elite NHL players, a task that might be getting harder for the duo that turns 33 later this year.
The Canucks are transitioning into the Pacific Division out of the Northwest Division, a division they won the last five-seasons. It is no secret that the competition in the new Pacific Division will be a lot tougher than that of the late Northwest Division.
So can the Canucks and new coach John Tortorella get their division dominance to transfer over to the Pacific? Or will they stumble out of the gates and fall to the middle of the pack?
Vancouver will make its first visit to the Staples Center November 9th. Make sure to grab Kings vs. Canucks tickets as these two heavyweights battle for the division crown.