Despite winning the Presidents' Trophy for the second consecutive year in 2011-12, the Vancouver Canucks did not see banner performances from many of their players. After Cody Hodgson was traded, Jannik Hansen and Cory Schneider were the only remaining Canucks to show continued progress in his development.
Except for the last few games of the Stanley Cup Final, the bounces went the Canucks' way in 2010-11. They topped the league standings and reached Game 7 of the finals, and many players put up the best stats of their careers. Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler and the goaltending tandem of Luongo and Schneider were all rewarded with league trophies for their efforts.
Whether it was the grueling grind of the emotional playoff run or simply the law of averages, things didn't come so easily for Vancouver last year.
Looking at the roster from top to bottom, fans are hoping that almost every player is able to bring more than last year when the new campaign begins—whenever that may be.
There's no doubt that Schneider will be asked to take another step forward in his presumed new role as No. 1 goaltender.
Here are five other Canucks that need to make serious strides in order for the team to be successful. A couple are working to bounce back from injury, a couple are striving to live up to the expectations attached to their big contracts and one is hoping to simply continue his NHL development.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments—who do the Canucks need to show significant improvement when the puck drops for the 2012-13 season?