Because it's the Cap: Vancouver Canucks

J.D. Burke
May 25 2016 02:00PM

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Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.

The Vancouver Canucks and their fan base just endured one of the worst, most drawn out and fruitless seasons in recent memory. That's no small order given that the Canucks are just two seasons removed from the John Tortorella era, in all its infamy. They set out to make the playoffs and failed. Miserably. They wound up finishing third last in the entire league and are now further in their halfway-rebuild to show for it.

Of course, one could hardly blame the Canucks or they're management team entirely. There was no accounting for the injuries to Brandon Sutter, Dan Hamhuis, Henrik Sedin, etc. that riddled the Canucks lineup at the most critical parts of their season. I don't think anyone expected Radim Vrbata to fall so far off from last season. The Canucks didn't help themselves last off-season, but it's not like they were loaned any by lady luck, either.

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2016 Stanley Cup First Round Preview: San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

J.D. Burke
April 14 2016 02:00PM

The idea of exercising demons is a narrative as traditionally ascribed to the playoffs as any. When you're as successful as the Los Angeles Kings, though, you find you're more often the demon than exorcist. The San Jose Sharks, a consistently dominant regular season club, have yet to take up that mantle.

It's not all that difficult to envision a scenario where the roles are altogether switched. Just two short seasons ago the Sharks held a 3-0 series lead over the Kings in Conference Quarterfinals action. Jonathan Quick bounced back from a moribund three-game stumble and the rest, as they say, was history. San Jose lost that series, and for all intents and purposes, the window to contend too seemed lost. Los Angeles earned a shiny new trophy.

All this is to say that the margin between a Stanley Cup and infamy can be pin-hole small. One game, in fact. There's four such occasions in this series already scheduled and likely another two or three on the horizon. Let's break it down and see which club has the better of the other in this rematch from seasons past.

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