Experience Has Helped Mikael Samuelsson Manage Expectations

It all seems to be a semi-perfect storm for a slow start. Of course, the Canucks went 7-0-2 last pre-season, then stumbled to a 0-3 start. So maybe Vancouver comes bursting out of the gate Saturday against the Kings.

“If you’re not ready, you realize it for sure at the first game,” winger Mikael Samuelsson. “It’s way too early to predict anything. Obviously, we have a good team, but there are a lot of good teams.”

Samuelsson, the only Canuck regular with a Stanley Cup ring, was on several great teams in Detroit. The Red Wings averaged 116 points — the Canucks’ best total ever is 105 — during Samuelsson’s four seasons. He won his Stanley Cup in 2008, but the Wings were expected to play for one each year.

Samuelsson knows about expectations. He said the key is managing emotions and not treating each win or loss as a validation or repudiation of those expectations.

“The year we won in Detroit, we had a really bad last month,” Samuelsson said. “That wasn’t a bad thing, actually. It brings you down and makes you think: OK, what made us win? Hard work or whatever it is, you get back to those basic things.

“We’re going to have some bumps along the way. We’re not going to win 82 games or 70 games. Hopefully, we win enough games to make the playoffs and we go from there. The start is important to feel good about your team and know you can win.”

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