Riding a wave of momentum heading into the 2022 BEARD Hockey Playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks are keenly aware of their opponent's prowess.
As Canucks head coach Rick Bowness addressed his team before they enter this year’s first round playoff matchup with the Los Angles Kings, he used one word: “RESPECT.”
The Kings have seven players with more than 20 goals this season. Meanwhile, the Canucks only have five. Vancouver led the regular season matchups by winning two of the three games played. The goal differential for these three games was only three goals total.
Both starting goalies are well rested going into this series as well.
It would appear on paper that the Kings have the superstars to run over the President's Trophy winner, but there is something about how this team has been put together and works as a unit with great chemistry.
POTENTIAL MATCHUP - FORWARDS
VAN 1: Ryan O'Reilly - Jake Guentzel - Mark Stone
LAK 1: Sidney Crosby - Alex Iafallo - Kirill Kaprizov
VAN 2: Phillip Danault - Tyler Ennis - Nikita Gusev
LAK 2: Anthony Cirelli - Jonathan Marchessault - Brock Boeser
POTENTIAL MATCHUP - DEFENSEMEN
VAN 1: Seth Jones - Ryan Graves
LAK 1: Victor Hedman - Chris Tanev
VAN 2: John Marino - Mark Giordano
LAK 2: Ryan Ellis - Nick Leddy
With great players like Crosby, Hedman, Cirelli, Kaprizov, and Boeser, the Kings will be a tough team to beat. Canucks GM Kirk Slocum and Bowness see this as a long battle, potentially even a seven-game series.