The Vancouver Canucks begin the 2011-2012 NHL season Thursday with a home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canucks are hoping to accomplish what the Penguins were able to do in 2009, win the Stanley Cup a year after losing it.
Like that Penguins team, the Canucks return a roster, mostly intact, that won the Presidents' Trophy, led the league in scoring and goals allowed and came within one game of winning the Cup. They return the last two Art Ross winners, a Hart winner, a Selke winner and a Vezina nominee in net.
Needless to say they are once again amongst the front-runners in the NHL this season.
Getting back to the finals is a tough proposition. The playoffs are grueling and the further you progress through them, the shorter your recovery time is. Vancouver went as far as you can go, seven games in the finals.
Coming off the shortest offseason in franchise history and facing a Western Conference full of teams that made big moves to knock them off, the Canucks have their hands full.
So, will they do it? Will they climb that mountain?
If they do, here are the reasons why it will happen.