Home > Hockey > 2012 NHL Playoffs Preview: Canucks vs. Kings

2012 NHL Playoffs Preview: Canucks vs. Kings

Canvassing the Caucuses: An Election-Style NHL Playoff Preview during Election Season

PART 5

by Peter Nygaard (follow him on Twitter)

We’ve already taken a look at the Eastern primaries, so now let’s examine the polls out West.

Western Primary

Vancouver Canucks (1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (8)

[also see: St.Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes vs. Chicago Blackhawks,  & Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings]

  • The Issues:
    Family Values — In the 1999 NHL Draft, Vancouver held the second and third picks in the first round. After drafting left-winger Daniel Sedin, the Canucks opted to use the third pick on his twin brother, center Henrik Sedin. The Canucks have played them almost exclusively on the same line throughout their entire collective career. When Henrik won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2009-10, he was even considerate enough to get injured the next year, giving Daniel a chance to showcase his skills.
  • Health and Fitness — Nobody asked to see Ryan Kesler buck naked in this year’s Sports Illustrated “Body Issue,” but that having been said, you can’t deny that the dude’s in good shape.
  • Political Dirt:
    The Canucks enjoy tremendous depth. Some teams have gone as far as accusing Vancouver of stealing its players when they were turned around. The NHL has yet to file a formal inquiry.
  • Campaign Promises:
    If elected, the Canucks promise not to riot. Seriously, we only riot when we lose in Game 7 of the Cup Finals. Or when we get to the Cup Finals. Or when we beat the Blackhawks. Promise. :o)

  • The Issues:
    American Exceptionalism — Team captain Dustin Brown and starting goalie Jonathan Quick are two prominent members of the Team USA hockey club. They are also prominent reasons why the Kings are where they are. Quick posted a Vezina-worthy season, winning way too many 2-1 and 1-0 games for a goalie’s comfort, while Brown led all L.A. forwards in plus-minus, while dealing with the responsibilities that come with wearing the ‘C’.
  • A Winning Combination — Less than a season after the Flyers took such great care in breaking up forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the two were reunited when Carter was traded to the Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson. The Flyers soured on the perceived immaturity displayed by the talented twosome, but they both played key roles in Philly’s run to the Cup Finals in 2011.
  • Kingdom Confidence — according to the LA’s Twitter, the Kings are playing for every Canadian that does not reside in British Columbia.
  • Political Dirt:
    The Kings are the second-lowest scoring team in the NHL and score less than all of their playoff peers. Can such a chaste team rally support in Hollywoodland? The Kings score less than A.C. Green.
  • Campaign Promises:
    If elected, the Kings promise to make hockey relevant again in the City of Angels. L.A. was rabid about the Kings in the Gretzky days. It’s a stretch to say they’ll become that popular again, but a playoff run would certainly be a start.

Vote For: Vancouver Canucks in 7

[editors note: SDC has LA winning the series]

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