No matter what anyone may think of the matchup between Vancouver and San Jose, one thing is pretty clear.
The Canucks should be abundantly more prepared for these playoffs this season than they were last year.
For starters, they’ve played just 48 games this season. It’s been intense but mercifully short, so much so that Ryan Kesler hasn’t even had time to get hurt yet. And therein lies a huge positive over last season, as has he’s played only 17 games, this outstanding player is fresh, hungry and ready to go, a huge lift for any team.
Traditionally this team plays its best between games 45 through 65 when they pull away before coasting home. The timing is right if that pattern still holds, although to be fair, this year it’s not just the usual run of the middle regular-season games they’ll be trying to win.
The older roster has not just finished a grind of 82 games whereby they underperformed from...