With the amazing home winning streak of 11 straight, Canuck fans are giddy with thoughts of a deep playoff run. It may be warranted but are the media focusing on that? But nooooooooo!
First, we had the mini-panic in the press over not obtaining anyone at the trade deadline, and especially losing out on snagging Anaheim's checking center Samuel Pahlsson and his going to the Nux possible first round matchup team, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Well, since then the Canucks have caught up and passed the Hawks. Add to that there seems to be no one out there who has not figured out that the Canucks do have a supreme checking line center by the name of Ryan Kesler. Obviously, now he makes his name as a high-flying offensive force on the Sundin line but if during the playoffs a series turns where the Nux need a "shutdown" center, Kesler is the man.
Also, is Ryan Johnson not a perfectly good second choice as a checking center?
Then I suppose people will get in a tizzy about taking Kesler off the top line. Well, the playoffs are a whole different nut to crack involving so many ebbs and flows so let's just see how it all plays out there, Dave Lowry, before we determine that the less than "great" checker Kyle Wellwood is locked into that 3rd line center spot.
Next was Roberto Luongo's puckhandling. Sure, he's no Martin Brodeur or Marty Turco but last I looked Patrick Roy seemed to be less than a Jacques Plante in his puckhandling skills and he seemed to do fairly well come playoff time.
Then there is this criticism over some "weak" goals Luongo has given up. He's not sieve a la the new flash in the pan Steve Penney clone there in Montreal so let's all calm down (speaking of which do Canuck fans really need to go "Luuuuuu" every single time the guy makes a save? How about we save that cheer for the great saves? Just a thought). His save pct. since the All-Star break is .915. So I'll take one weak goal a game as long as he's saving over 91% of the shots that comes his way.
The main stat fans should focus on is how the team does on the road (5W 3L since the All-Star break) and how the PK unit is doing (a poor 20th overall) as far as gauging the Canucks' ability to go deep in the playoffs. So the upcoming six-game road trip should be a fairly good look into how playoff ready this team is.