Tough stretch possible playoff preview for Canucks
Jan 10, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler (17) is checked by St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 2-1. (Photo credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
The Canucks are in the midst of a very important stretch of six hard-fought games against ... The Dirty Half Dozen.
I circled this intimidating block of six the moment the Canucks schedule was released.
Let’s meet the teams — Los Angeles, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, St Louis and Los Angeles and Anaheim again.
OK, technically that’s just four teams.
There’s an excellent chance the Canucks could face either the Blues, Ducks or Kings in this year’s first round of post-season play, so it’s well worth it to see how the underdog (Vancouver) matches up against the divisional elite.
The difference between the Canucks and those teams really boils down to talent. The other clubs all share the ability to turn up the power, ultimately taking their game to another level — whereas the Vancouver Canucks don't, can't?
Most hockey fans seem to believe if they’re lucky enough to make the playoffs all that pressure that once crippled them late in games will suddenly lift and the team will find their way back placed on the shoulders of the favourite Kings, Blues and Ducks.
These six games, a stretch where the have got four out of eight points so far, may tell.