Poll: Which Team Chasing the Canucks Scares You Most in the 1st Round?

With the final playoff push happening here in the Western Conference, the Canucks are sitting pretty 2nd in the Pacific Division. The four teams battling out for the last few playoffs spots could be potential opponents for the Vancouver Canucks. Each team having attributes to give Vancouver difficulties in the first round (if they matched up) but which team do you think would give the Canucks the hardest time, win or lose in the first round.

  • Minnesota Wild– The Wild are a hard team to pinpoint where they are ‘scary’. With the play of Devon Dubnyk  since being acquired by the Wild, they have been a very good team and a hard one to beat. They already have 37 ROWs, the Canucks have 38 and are only a point behind the Canucks. Luckily they are in the Central Division, but with the format of playoffs, they would be a formidable first round opponent. 
  • Calgary Flames– Flames have been surprising everyone this season. With a year the team was in a supposed ‘rebuild’, they are in a playoff position. They are best 3rd period scoring team in the NHL and have 36 wins (ROWs) on the season. Their biggest issue is the loss of their Captain, Mark Giordano for the remainder of the season with his torn bicep. However, the Flames are still finding ways to win. They are a team the Canucks do not want to stop pressuring in the offensive zone.
  •  Winnipeg Jets– The Jets are a big, fast and hard-hitting team. They are finding ways to win and managing their losses very well. Their biggest issue is actually who will be their starting goaltender if they make the playoffs. Paul Maurice has the team believing in themselves and it looks like Swaggerville could make an appearance in the NHL playoffs for the first times in decades.
  • Los Angeles Kings– The defending Stanley Cup Champions are the team on the outside looking in but are a threat to take that last playoff spot or even move up higher in the standings. Although they have cruised most of the regular season, the Kings are always considered a contender. Jonathan Quick has been nothing short of brilliant in recent playoff performances and they all seem to find a way to get it done, when it matters most.
Which team chasing the Canucks 'scares' you the most if they were to face them in the playoffs?

 LA is at the top of that list for me, followed by the Minnesota Wild. In reality, the playoffs are a different beast and the Canucks have to ‘flip the switch’ and play ‘balls out’ for 60 minutes plus a game. There are no shootouts and every goal either gets you closer to the next game or closer to golf course.


Hank and the boys are gearing up for playoffs, Vancouver are you?

Hank and the boys are gearing up for playoffs, Vancouver are you?



Justine Galo: Dear Rick Rypien…A letter from a fan.

Dear Rick Rypien:

Rick Rypien grabs Minnestoa Wild fan. Photo Credit: Sportsnet.caI just wanted say that I am a fan.  I think that every NHL team could use a “Rick Rypien” on their roster, but I am glad you’re a Vancouver Canuck.  Despite the aforementioned statement, I am heartily disappointed in your actions during the game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, October 19, 2010.  Although I understand that things heat up on the ice during energized moments, your actions against a fan were not warranted. Even if they were, you are a professional, and you shouldn’t have taken your aggression out on that fan.

I hope you are suspended and fined, I hope that the NHL comes down on you just enough to show that laying your hands on a fan is an absolute no-no.  Rick, if you were pissed off, you could have easily just gone to the dressing room and messed up all your sticks. I don’t care, break them over your legs, break them over your head, but you should never shove an official and/or a fan.

I was truly shocked to see that come from you. It’s been known you’re usually pretty good with taking the penalties and owning up to your actions. Although you were in a visiting arena, I’d like you to know, that fan, the one that you shoved, pays part of the salary of the Minnesota Wild players, and indirectly yours as well.   You are a PROFESSIONAL player, and you should have conducted yourself as one.

I hope this incident doesn’t not get blown out of proportion. I believe members of the media will make you look like a monster. Some might even say you have absolutely no business being in the NHL, but it would be great for you to prove them wrong. I also know that Rick Rypien is a fine hockey player who knows his role, does his work in the community and for the most part is a ‘nice guy’.

Let’s hope you and anyone one else in the league who has any intentions of retaliating on fans learns a lesson from this.  Don’t bite the hands that feed you, even if they, at times, taunt you and mock you.  You’re paid to play hockey, not paid to act like a thug.

A Canucks fan,

Justine Galo

Footnote:  I have met Rick Rypien on a few occasions, and through my interactions with him and some of his team members, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am about this whole situation.  His attitudes towards myself and others in the  public of not conducive to his recent actions in Minnesota.