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3 Important Questions For Vancouver This Season + 6 Inconsistent Answers

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Gmonk & Jimmi team up to answer the unanswerable.

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Do you feel pucky, punk? Do you?
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The persistent (and fake) rumours that NM is part of a greater nation, named SBNATION, continue to plague our little self-absorbed part of fan myopia. Despite this, a couple well-seasoned (one of them is a chef after all) NM contributors were selected at random by SBNATION - without any adult supervision - to determine the really important questions the Canucks face this season and to answer them definitively. For the good of the nation and SB and NM and many other two letter acronyms. (If you haven’t already read the SBnational negative-nelly-telling fake 2017 predictions, you can see them lying here.)

Due to the competitive nature of sports blogging, SBNATION’s constitutional imperatives do not allow two NM contributors to share the illustrious masthead for the post. So jimmi was forced (by greedy impulses) to take the heat, assume the mantle and bask in the fake glory of alleged authoritative punditification.

Back at home though, we can reveal that the post wasn’t the work of a single twisted mind. There were two.

Because these burning questions could not be extinguished with certainty, we used baking soda (not baking powder - hot kitchen fire tip). Gmonk and Jimmi wrestled with these hot questions (and well-warmed answers) with thermal-mitted stubbornness using the combined power of garden-fresh insight and feculent cynicism.

Here’s the result:

1. Will the new younger (coached) team finish higher in the standings than last year?

gmonk33: This team has the potential to be considerably better than the team that was abysmal last year. With the additions of Sam Gagner, Michael Del Zotto, Anders Nilsson, Alexander Burmistrov and a full season of Brock Boeser the Canucks are poised to be more competitive. Add to that a healed up Erik Gudbranson, and the roster has more depth and potentially just enough scoring to move up 5 or 6 spots in the league rankings.

jimmi: How hard can clawing back up to the prestigious 25th position really be? Only a few games harder than slipping the other direction. That’s not so hard. Plus - after years of a futile powerplay, the powers that play with the team like a cheap puppet from the dollar store, have hired a new old wily powerplay coach from the team’s FREE Goals with Every Game era.

More importantly, like the Canucks, we may have set our goal total too low. We’ve been assured by an esteemed procrastinating colleague at NM that the Canucks will win the Cup this season - other predictions are redundant. However, to throw certainty in the sin bin for slashing, the 2020 lockout would be the ideal year for Vancouver to steal the Cup when no one is looking.

2. Is this the year that the Canucks establish a new first line with the Sedins stepping aside to become the new second line?

gmonk33: 2017-18 is going to be the year, I can feel it! After being an All-Star last year, Bo Horvat (and getting himself PAID in the off-season) is setting the table for Sven Baertschi and Brock Boeser (my pick for this line, could be Marcus Granlund) to become the new top line in Vancouver! The time is now for these folks to grab the brass ring and be the top players on the team.

jimmi: If they don’t become the first line this year then I want to change my answer to the first question from not so hard to pretty much impossible. The possible silver-haired lining in this scenario is that the Sedins have a bounce back year and the Canucks receive bountiful scoring from their 1A, 1B top six mashup.

(UPDATE: As a sign of our relentless Westy destiny, the Twins are no longer the slowest players in our division - we welcome Jagr to our timeless time zone)

If the Bo line succeeds will that tell us the rebuild is complete? Some worry that even winning the President’s Trophy and then the Cup will not be enough to appease hockey media sceptics. We may have to keep recycling the Detroit model - if you aren’t rebuilding, you’re regressing. We’re ok with that. Pittsburgh has been rebuilding since ‘07 and done pretty well. As has Edmonton in that same lost decade.

3. What can the Canucks expect from the 2018 Draft Lottery, other than being set for the 1st pick and receiving the 5th?

gmonk33: The 2018 Draft has a boatload of talent. A couple of players have game-breaking potential (Dahlin, Svechnikov) but the depth of top six/top four talent is going to leave some options regardless of where the Canucks pick. I still think that the Avalanche are in a more precarious spot than the Canucks, and the Golden Knights are an expansion team with a low ceiling. At worst this team is in the 3-6 range for the lottery and at best they could eek themselves to the 9-12 range if the injury faeries aren’t too vengeful.

jimmi: Expect the unexpected. It’s entirely possible, well...not entirely, that the league’s unhackable lotto machinations could favour the Canucks and push them up the draft ladder rather than kick them down a few rungs. Just because it’s never happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen ever. Probabilities are on our side. A thousand seasons from now Canucks’ fans will view that 100+ year Cup drought as just a statistical anomaly. 30th century Toronto fans will see their 750 year drought as something more disturbing.

gmonk33: Regardless of where the team drafts at the 2018 Entry Draft, the prospect pool is rounding out nicely.

jimmi: Hope we can cannonball into that infinity pool of prospects and towel off the next generational talent the league wanted to drown in a NY lotto fluke flood.

If we’ve missed any score-ching questions or searing answers that have inflamed your hair, scalp, or temper, please fire away in the comments.