As the Vancouver Canucks head into St Louis this weekend for games 3 and 4, many sports writers, bloggers, analysts and fans alike are seeing a recipe for a successful playoff run. What have the Vancouver Canucks done to make them the best team in the second half of the season? What has made them so good they now have a 2-0 series lead against the Blues?
1) A hot (and lucky) goaltender. One that is a puzzle to figure out, no matter how hard you try, you still can’t get it past him.
2) A healthy roster. Depth is important in the playoffs.
3) Strong defensive play.
4) The first line scorers doing what they get paid to do, score goals.
5) Secondary scoring, when the first line is going usually it tends to trickle down to the rest of the team.
6) Belief in each other as teammates. Belief from their coaching staff. No fake it to you make its. This all comes from the culture of the dressing room.
1) Bring in, arguably, the best goaltender in the league and make him your captain.
2) Bring in the right puzzle pieces to give the roster depth in scoring, toughness, and speed.
3) Bring in the philosophy of two-way hockey.
4) Bring in a culture in the dressing room with all the above components.
5) Sprinkle a whole of belief in your teammates, your coaches, your system and your goaltender.
Mix it well and fine tune it for April.
The Vancouver Canucks have certainly followed that recipe to a tee. They are up 2-0 in the series winning both games at home and now are heading to the “Show Me” State for games 3 and 4.
Roberto Luongo has been stellar and is showing everyone why he is an elite goaltender in the NHL. His poise, his confidence and his leadership are so valuable to his team’s success. That being said, Roberto has had some help this season. There are six guys on the Canucks that have 20+ goals this season. So the scoring support is there. The defense has tightened up and the Canucks are playing fantastic tactical hockey.
As a Canucks fan, I haven’t been this excited about this team in a long time. Last night, at GM Place, they proved to me that they can win it all, and they want to win it all. That’s the culture of a team that I want to see night in and night out, and especially at this time of year.
The Canucks have made believers out of many non-believers.
I’ll be in St. Louis, just out of pure coincidence, for game 4. I have my tickets and my brand new Roberto Luongo #1 jersey with the “C” on the front.
I believe, do you?
Go Canucks Go!
Musings from the mud.