Did they deserve it?

The Vancouver Canucks are going to the Conference finals for the first time in 17 years, a staggering figure for any NHL team. They managed to do what they couldn't against Chicago; beat their opponents early, as they beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 in Game six. Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin both scored for the 'Nucks, while David Legwand had his sixth goal of the playoffs in a losing cause.

However, amidst the high fives and hugging, one question still has to loom for this team; did they deserve it?

When you look at the Canucks, you can take a handful of players that went above and beyond the call of duty. Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo, Chris Higgins, Kevin Bieksa, Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond all played fantastic hockey, proving that this is not your fathers Canuck team. But what about the not named? Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler are the most important omissions. While they were undoubtly the more talented team in the Nashville series, where they the better team in Game 6? Or for that matter, most of the series? In Game 1, the Canucks were far better, out hitting, out shooting and out scoring a tired, flat Predators squad. In game 2, they were awful, losing in Overtime and being out shot by a wide margain.

Game 3 was a win, and a hard fought one at that. Call it a toss up.

Game 4 was supposed to be the breakout game for the Sedins, as Henrik had three points. He didn't.

Game 5 was a win by the predators, and a complete no show by every canuck except Ryan Kesler. Which brings us to Game 6, a squeaker of a win. They scored two early goals, managed a dismal two shots in the second period, and ten in the third. They were outshot, again, 24 to 19. In a game where they were supposed to be the superior team, they eeked out a win and made Ryan Kesler once again steal the show. Daniel Sedin had a tap in goal, but other than that, were the Sedins really noticable?

The Canucks will advance and play a tough team no matter what, whether it be San Jose or Detroit. These teams can score. They have decent goaltending. If the Sedins don't show up, if Luongo keeps letting in "oops" goals like he did the entire Nashville series, what could happen?

Take a wild guess. This is the third round; time to step it up. And I mean more than just Ryan Kesler.

4 Comments

Greg Duley's picture

Congratulations on Van's win, it was a great series and a couple games could have went either way. Kesler is amazing and the heat and soul of the team.

Hopefully the Sedins do better next round or it could be a short on for Vancouver.

George Prax's picture

I don't think a team can win the cup without going through some adversity. It isn't fun for Canucks fans, but I think the right team won in both series. You're definitely right though when you say that it's time for everyone plus Kesler to step it up for round three. Luongo has no more excuses, neither do the Sedins. Whether it's the Sharks or Wings it's going to be the Canucks toughest opponents yet.

Hockeybroad's picture

General consensus is that Henrik is playing hurt. (Have heard 'back issues' most frequently.) This idea can be supported by his off play and a lot less minutes played in G6 of this series. This is the playoffs: no matter how busted up you are, you play. Chances are good that the Canucks in general are pretty banged up, and two long series including a highly emotional first round are going to just make each following round tougher.

Kesler's leash was finally loosened for this series; and the Preds couldn't shut down both Kesler's line and the Sedins so they choose the bigger offensive threat to focus on. It makes Toews and the Chicago's top line look that much more impressive when you realize that the Toews and Kesler lines effectively neutralized one another in the first series, AND Chicago kept the Sedins in check as well.

I was really hoping for Nashville to at least make it to the WCF - they've been unrecognized for too long and this series put a shining spotlight on the team and their fans. It was to Nashville's great benefit that the two teams don't really have much rivalry prior to this series -- their fans treated one another with respect, and the vast Canadian media came in with almost zero perceptions about what to expect out of Nashville, not only as a team, but as a hockey city. Having the spotlight thrust upon them will only benefit the Preds going forward.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

Adversity is huge for team building, but the problem I have is that with all of the star power and how loaded this team is, they shouldn't be winning they way they are. Its not a knock against a great team, its more of a push. They have so much talent and with Kesler playing the best hockey of anyone recently this team needs to step up. Both Sedins have been weak, I have heard as hockeybroad mentioned, that Henrick is hurt, but what is Daniel's excuse? This team is going to gain experience from this and they are still the favorite out of the west, but yes you can question what this team is doing. With all of that said they are still winning and it doesn't really matter how you win those 16 games as long as you win them.