I just found out via TSN that Vancouver got Brent Sopel for a couple measly draft picks (via tsn):
The Vancouver Canucks jumped the deadline in acquiring former Canuck Brent Sopel from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2nd and 4th round draft pick. In addition Vancouver added veteran centre Bryan Smolinski from the Chicago blackhawks for a conditional 2nd round pick.That's peanuts for a guy like Sopel. Amazingly, he's a plus player on frickin' Los Angeles. He's got a lot of points for a d-man. He's only 30. I think with additions like this, an already solid team like Vancouver is that more dangerous.
It's amazing how much Luongo has improved that team. Now that they're starting to build up a competent defense, it's starting to worry me -- especially against Calgary. I've always been a big defensive hockey fan, so I'm naturally a bit apprehensive about the Flames' defensive play this year, or lack thereof. Playfair has almost turned the Flames into a run n' gun team, and I'm certain that's not what Sutter had in mind when he built this team. While some people blame Kiprusoff not being unreal for the reason we're letting in more goals, I think that's a small part of it. Sure, there have been an unusual amount of softies he's let in, but he's also still making unreal saves.
The problem is he's seeing too much rubber. Calgary is #19 league-wide in shots against per game (30.4) this season, while last season Calgary was #6 with 27.6 and in 03-04 we were #5 with 25.5. That is not a positive trend.
So I am definitely more worried about Vancouver now than I have been before. Their glaring weakspot is their offense -- namely, if you shut down the Sedin Sisters you win the game, but Calgary historically has had some problems with that.
Buck up, it's going to be a wild ride...