Canucks 'mere mortals' heading into playoffs

Canucks' Zack Kassian is congratulated by teammates Henrik Sedin and his brother Daniel after...

Canucks' Zack Kassian is congratulated by teammates Henrik Sedin and his brother Daniel after scoring against the Blackhawks during NHL action on April 22, 2013. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 AM ET

EDMONTON - Heavy favourite isn't working for them, so the Vancouver Canucks are going to give the underdog role a try.

They have no choice. It's what they are.

After charging into the last two playoffs in first place overall, only to lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champions Ñ L.A. in the first round last season and Boston in Game 7 of the Cup final in 2011 Ñ they're mere mortals this time around, third seed in the West and probably behind L.A. and St. Louis, too, if people are picking conference favourites.

And with Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa also in the playoffs, they won't have the eyes of an entire nation burning a hole in their backs this time.

Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?

"It was a challenging year because of the shortened season," said Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault. "And personnel-wise we were really challenged, we basically didn't have a second line all year long."


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