And yet, they're still not getting any respect. Here's a quote from a forum I frequent:
I'm still not convinced the Canucks can compete with the Sharks, Red Wings, and Ducks. Especially if Luongo is still hurting. The Blues are not a terribly good team, and the Canucks only beat them 2-1, 3-0, 3-2, and 3-2. That said, a sweep is a sweep and it's still impressive.
Hahahahahaha! I'm sorry, but that's hilarious to me. The Blues were literally the best team in the NHL over the last half of the season. They battled hard and finished in 6th spot in the Western Conference and got outplayed and outgoaltended by the Canucks. Luongo's fine: word is that he was dehydrated and had some major cramps, but nothing more serious than that. Besides, the Canucks swept, so the team has plenty of time to recover from any injuries over the next week or so.
Against Detroit this season, the Canucks were a respectable 2-2-0. Heck, one of their wins came with Curtis Sanford in net. Don't be fooled by Detroit's performance against the Bluejackets: Columbus was good during the regular season, but not great. They were depending too much on a rookie netminder and very shallow depth on both offense and defense. If they face the Canucks, it will be an entirely different story.
The Sharks? Heck, the Sharks might not even make it out of the first round. However, the Canucks weren't great against them during the regular season (but no one really was): 1-2-1. Two of those losses came during their terrible streak in January and they are a much different team now. The emergence of Burrows and Kesler as legitimate top-six forwards changes the dynamic of the team significantly.
The Canucks were 2-0-2 against the Ducks this season. The Ducks have yet to beat them in regulation this year...
So, judging by their regular season records against those teams, they can, at the very least, "compete." It's a ridiculous claim, but not a surprising one. I'm honestly tired of them being so underrated: every single "expert" prior to the beginning of this season predicted that they would miss the playoffs. Almost every single "expert" then predicted that the St. Louis Blues would beat them in the first round of the playoffs. I think it's time that they got some respect as one of the best teams in the NHL. Other teams should be, and likely are, intimidated by them, especially by Luongo.
The Canucks just swept the hottest team in the NHL. Respect.