Cup Scouting Report: Canucks
Opponents provide breakdown on how to battle, beat Vancouver
Craig Custance chats with rival scouts and players to break down the strengths and weaknesses of the Vancouver Canucks.
The story with the Vancouver Canucks during the playoffs looks to be the same thing it was for most of the regular season: Goaltending. Is Cory Schneider healthy? Will Roberto Luongo get one last shot to guide this team on a playoff run? Is it a positive that Vancouver has this duo? Is it a distraction?
"Whether it's a controversy or not, they both can play," said one Western Conference coach.
And it's not a controversy if Schneider is slowed with a "body" injury.
"That whole discussion around the goaltending becomes moot if one guy is hurt," said an NHL scout. "If [Schneider] is not hurt, it becomes a discussion again."
There's less of a playoff book on Schneider, but multiple Western Conference players said he's the goalie they would fear more in a playoff series against the Canucks.
"I think so," said a veteran defenseman. "Every time I've played against Luongo, I've had more success than playing against Schneider. I don't know what it is. They're a team that's going to be looking to find the right guy to ride."
KEY STRENGTH: "What makes them good is their skill. High-end skill. That's the biggest thing," said a Western Conference forward. "What's really dangerous for them is when they get that feeling -- the goal-scoring feeling -- I feel like they can burst out at any moment for a ton of goals."
This is a team that capitalizes on the rush and has some of the league's most dangerous players when there's enough space to operate.
"Obviously the Sedins are the top duo in the league," said a Western Conference goalie. "They just know each other really well. They're so good at making plays through players from behind the net and positions where you don't think there's a play to be made."
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