Roberto Luongo will have to be at his best all season if the Canucks want to make a playoff push. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Are you worried Canucks fans?
You should be.
Look at the additions your team made in the off-season: Pavol Demitra, Steve Bernier, Ryan Johnson, Kyle Wellwood, Darcy Hordichuk and Rob Davison. Oh, and no Mats Sundin.
You would think a team that failed to make the playoffs last season and changed GMs might have been just a tad more aggressive when it came to filling its greatest need: more scoring. And Sundin would have been a very good addition, even if the offer was intended to make a bigger splash in the headlines than it might have on the ice this season.
The sad truth is Demitra scored just 15 goals in 68 games with Minnesota last season and his best days are behind him. It’s hard to say yet what kind of an upside Bernier has, though it’s hard to imagine him ever hitting the 30-goal mark and Wellwood, though crafty, doesn’t seem willing to pay the price to be a bona fide front-line player.
This puts the Canucks’ chances of making the playoffs right where they have been the past two years: at the feet of goalie Roberto Luongo. And that would be OK if he weren’t coming off a so-so season.
The Hockey News still believes Luongo is the best stopper in the league, which is why we have him rated as the league’s No. 1 goalie in our annual Top 50 Players rankings in the THN Yearbook.
That said, this guy needs a little help and it’s going to be awfully difficult for GM Mike Gillis to find him any once the season gets rolling. And if that is the case, I don’t like Alain Vigneault’s chances of still being behind the bench when the season concludes, even though I believe he is a superb coach.
Could be a long campaign for the Canucks.
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