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This was no rookie mistake

Wednesday, 04.13.2011 / 2:49 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

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2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog
This was no rookie mistake
VANCOUVER -- Canucks rookie Cody Hodgson spent the morning before his first NHL playoff game working out off the ice while most of his veteran teammates were on the ice at Rogers Arena going through a typical morning skate.

What's this again? A rookie not skating the morning of Game 1? How dare he?

"It was an optional skate and I was just making sure everything is good for tonight so I'm ready to go," Hodgson said.

Yeah, but he had to catch some serious heat from his teammates, right? They couldn't possibly like the fact that this kid, all of 21 years old, didn't join them in the pre-game workout.

Not true.

"I talked to them (Tuesday) and made sure it was alright in playoff time, and I got a unanimous yes from every single person I asked," Hodgson said. "The guys I asked all said the same thing, 'Do what you need to do for playoffs.' "

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault certainly didn't mind that Hodgson chose to workout off the ice. Heck, Vigneault wasn't even on the ice Wednesday morning.

"For me, optionals are optionals," Vigneault said. "I'm just not a believer in morning skates. The twins usually don't go out. A player's job is to do what he believes is going to get him ready for that game at night. The players decide what is best for them and I respect that."

It's not as if Hodgson was lounging on the couch watching NHL Network. He was sweating as he spoke in front of his stall inside the Canucks' dressing room because he had just finished his rigorous dry land workout.

Hodgson has battled back issues in his short career and he said he has a routine that will allow him to loosen up and get ready for the game. His usual gameday routine does not include pregame skates.

"I just do a long workout before and with the pregame skates it can be a little much," he said. "I just take it the way I do everyday and I will be ready tonight. Obviously I worked hard the last couple of weeks preparing for this and I'm feeling ready already."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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