WESTERN CONFERENCE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ROUND 1
#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #8 Los Angeles Kings
Top Players: Henrik Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin, Alex Edler, Alex Burrows
President’s Trophy winners for the 2nd year in the row, the Canucks managed to lead the Western Conference at a time when they looked like they were going to be trumped by the Blues but the Nucks fought to the top spot without one of their top players (D Sedin has been out with a concussion since March 22 via Duncan Keith’s chicken wing). With depth like theirs, they could be facing another cup run if the stars align.
Muck Nucks: The Nucks are one of few teams that are fortunate enough to have two good goaltenders. In the event, Bobby Lu isn’t able to suit up, Corey Schneider can step into his spot. The strongly underrated Alex Edler and his defensive brethren will need to fill in the goaltending holes in the few situations they are needed. To go all the way, the Canucks need their captain’s better half back. He led the team in assists and will be needed, if not in the first round, the second and further rounds.
Top Players: Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown,
Disputably one of the best goalies in the league, Quickie wears the crown when it comes to shutouts. As a team with moderately decent defensemen in the start of the season, the Kings struggled with scoring, therefore they traded Jack Johnson for the “power forward” Jeff Carter. Carts was more than eager to begin his career in LA and thanked them with 6 goals and 3 assists in 16 games. If Quick lives up to his name, the Kings can do some damage.
Cinderfella and his glass foot: For all the work Jonathan Quick puts into shutting out his opponents, the Kings still struggle with lighting the lamp. Jeff Carter was expected to be the answer to their prayers and, per usual come post season, he suffered a foot injury (does the guy know what a foot guard is?!) and is expected to hopefully return sometime in the first round. To get past the Canucks, the Kings need to score, make hits, and stand up for their goalie.
Upperhand based on 11-12 regular season: tied (2-2)
Low scoring, great goaltending, decent defense that only got worse when Jack Johnson was traded for Jeff Carter