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McKenzie: The Canucks are facing an uphill battle

Bob McKenzie
4/14/2012 1:30:10 AM
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As discussed on the NHL on TSN Panel on Saturday night:
 
While things look daunting for the Vancouver Canucks after their 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2, it should be noted that last season's Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins trailed the Montreal Canadiens 2-0, so it can be done.

With that said though, it might be difficult for the Canucks to get four wins in their next five games against Jonathan Quick

On Friday, the Canucks really started to mount an offensive challenge from the middle of the second period on with Alex Burrows, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler all stepping up their play.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, Quick stood tall, making 45 saves on 47 shots.

The Canucks have put themselves in a perilous position.  They're now two games down and will have to try to get pucks past a goaltender in Quick, who could end up winning the Vezina Trophy.

The Flyers deserve credit

It's incredible character by the Philadelphia Flyers, there's no question about that, but it's also incredible talent - precocious young talent.
 
Claude Giroux, who was taken 22nd overall in the 2006 draft, and now Sean Couturier. Giroux gets six points on Friday night in Game 2 against Pittsburgh, and Couturier gets four including the hat trick and the game-winning goal.
 
A year ago at this time, everyone was talking about how Couturier's draft stock was plummeting. He went eighth overall to the Flyers, he was part of that big Jeff Carter trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Couturier is a guy who has been a stud on both sides of the puck all season long. This guy is still eligible to play junior hockey in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. But he's out there playing head-to-head against Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby on any given night, and he's coming out on top defensively and now he's coming out on top offensively.
 
I can't say enough about the job the Philadelphia Flyers management and scouting staff has done of acquiring talent. When you look at a guy like Giroux - like I said, taken 22nd overall in the draft - and when you look at a guy like Couturier who went eighth overall, you should also credit Paul Holmgren for having the jam to be able to pull the trigger on the Carter deal and the Richards deal (who by the way, have played well obviously for the L.A. Kings).
 
But for them to be able to do what they have done in these first two games with the youth of this team and in comeback fashion...unbelievable.

Bob McKenzie

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