The Canucks are working with much the same cast that lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Bruins in 2011, although ex-BC Eagle Cory Schneider is their No. 1 goalie provided he is back at full strength from a recent (undisclosed) injury. If not, the chores fall again to Roberto Luongo. So keep that tire pump handy. The Canucks these past three seasons have been eliminated by the club that eventually won the Cup. The key to their attack remains the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, and an overall, shall we say, edginess to their style of play. The Sharks typically enter the postseason as Cup favorites, then perennially find ways to go home early or earlier, with ex-Bruin Jumbo Joe Thornton the face of franchise frustration (with Patrick Marleau often in a co-lead role). But this year is different, the Sharks were all but eliminated from postseason contention less than a month ago, prompting GM Doug Wilson to deal away Ryan Clowe (Rangers) and Doug Murray (Pittsburgh). And voila, a strong April (8-5-1) vaulted them into the No. 6 spot and provided them with a new role: potential spoilers.
Prediction: Sharks in 6.