NHL Opening Night: Schedule, News, Updates and Analysis

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NHL Opening Night: Schedule, News, Updates and Analysis
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Can the Vancouver Canucks repeat or improve their runner-up performance from last year? It won't be easy.

The Canucks depth chart looks quite different this year, Marco Sturm is listed on their second line, and their fourth line will have two new faces outside Maxim Lapierre. They'll also start the year without Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond.

On the blue line, many assumed both Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff would give the Canucks a discount to keep their top defensemen off the market. But when Ehrhoff took his 50 points to Buffalo for a decade-long deal, the Canucks were left with six defensemen among whom none skated more than 66 games last year.

Will Alex Edler stay on the ice for 75 games and replace Ehrhoff's production? Will Cody Hodgson make good on the promise that's had him at the top of the organization's prospect list for the last couple years?

Lots of questions need answers in Vancouver, and they'll start being answered on Thursday night.

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