In early February, canucks fans were unsure if their team could make it to the playoffs. Now the canucks have their division on lockdown and are awaiting their opponents to join them at GM Place. But should canucks fans have a lot of optimism for the post season? On the one hand, it seems that the canucks have finally found a player in Alex Burrows who can score consistently with the Sedin's. Ryan Kesler had a breakthrough season and was awarded MVP for the team, by breaking his old personal best by 22 points. Not to mention Roberto Luongo, who looks to be on his A-game finishing the season with 2 consecutive shutouts which proves he has the ability to win games for the Vancouver canucks.
But it's not all fire and brimstone for the canucks, because there are still a lot of questionable areas on the team. Kevin Bieksa's play has been deteriorating. While he did set a personal best in points, he only averaged a -4 on the season, and his defensive play at times was highly questionable, costing the canucks goals at inopportune moments.
Mats Sundin is another problem. The canucks have played good with him and good without him. But Mike Gillis is essentially paying 8 million for a forward that stands behind the net to set up Kesler and demitra. Another player on the canucks could easily fill that roll for far less money. But Mats has 74 points in 83 career playoff games. He has been a clutch performer in the past, and canucks fans are hoping he will elevate his play for this years playoffs.
In the canucks playoff run two years ago, their point leader was Trevor linden with 7 points in 12 games. But in the regular season, Linden was only 12th place on the team for points. It shows that veteran players have the ability to lead a team at crucial times of the season. Considering that mats Sundin has provided very little offense for the canucks this season, not scoring in the final 13 games of the regular season, the mats Sundin saga has so far been a bust. But if Sundin can give a linden-esque 06/07 performance, the canucks will be able to turn their biggest disappointment of the regular season into their strongest asset of the playoffs.