The 2013-14 NHL season has officially begun, and the hockey discussion in and around Langara College is rampant.
Just over a week into the start of the new campaign, keen students are making their predictions, looking to crown an early Stanley Cup favourite. The days of the Canucks having that distinction look to have come and gone, while the picks for which club will capture hockey’s Holy Grail varied greatly.
Opinions galore for 2014 champion
“I could see Chicago making it again,” said kinesiology student Brandon Cardinal. “They kept a lot of their good players that won last year and in 2010.”
Fellow kinesiology student Zak Gillis went somewhat off the board with his selection of the Anaheim Ducks, who finished second in the West last season before a first-round elimination at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.
Arts student Arlen Bourque went with the reigning Cup finalist Boston Bruins. “I don’t see them losing,” he asserted.
Predictions for who will be the league’s most valuable player weren’t quite as scattered. All prognosticators had Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby as their pick.
“If he stays healthy, he’s a safe bet,” Gillis said.
Little love for the blue and green
Only one person had the hometown Canucks going all the way – human kinetics student Martin Wardowicz, who emphasized the value of new head coach John Tortorella. For others, Vancouver is an afterthought.
“They’re a team [where] everyone jumps on and off the bandwagon,” said Cardinal. “They’re easy to hate – especially [Roberto] Luongo,” alluding to the often-scrutinized Canucks goaltender, acknowledged by many as a potential Achilles heel.
Bourque, clearly one of those off the aforementioned bandwagon, had a bleak outlook. “Terrible. I think they’re going to absolutely collapse,” he said, after being asked for a projected Canucks’ performance.
Vancouver is off to a 3-1-0 start, and will host the San Jose Sharks in their next game on Thursday at Rogers Arena.
Reported by Quinn Mell-Cobb & Warren Jané