28 March 2010
In my recent memory of Canuck season, I can't remember a season where the Canucks hadn't been fighting for the NW Division lead or a playoff spot right till the bitter end. With only seven games to go, having a 5 point on the Avalanche, and only needing 3 more points to clinch a playoff spot, the Canucks are in a good spot.
This week we'll face the Coyotes on Tuesday followed by a road back to back game (but no huge travel requirement) on Thursday and Friday against Los Angeles and Anaheim respectively. The Canucks could, by end of Thursday night, clinch a playoff spot. Next week's games are spread out evenly against the Wild, Avalanche, Sharks and the Flames to end the season.
With a 5 point lead over the Avalanche, the Canucks don't seem like they are going anywhere from the spot on top of the NW Division. Unless the Canucks have a complete meltdown, the Canucks may end up with some games at the end of the season to rest players or work on some nagging issues.
Before heading into the last four game stretch, do the Canucks think about resting Sami Salo? or perhaps Christian Ehrhoff? The second game of the back to back against Anaheim in particular is the one I'm thinking about. Both are key defencemen who both participated in the Olympics. After the Olympic break Ehrhoff in particular looked tired, and it was noticeable on the ice. He's back to his normal form now, but with no ETA for Willie Mitchell, I have concerns that the two will be worn down through the playoffs. Salo, dare I say it, has been healthy recently, shocking I know. But maybe we should give him some extra rest, just as say perhaps, a precaution?
All of this hypothetical thinking depends on how the Canucks do against Phoenix and LA first, but it's nice to be able to even have the thought of resting your players instead of playing for a shot in the playoffs.
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