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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Sedin practices; Game 1 status a 'medical decision'

By Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent



Daniel Sedin
Daniel Sedin
Left Wing - VAN
GOALS: 30 | ASST: 37 | PTS: 67
SOG: 229 | +/-: 14
VANCOUVER -- Daniel Sedin felt good enough to practice with the Canucks on Monday for the first time since missing nine games with a concussion, but not to talk to the media.

According to Henrik Sedin, however, his twin brother is "100 percent."

Daniel, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer last season, took his usual spot on the top line alongside Henrik and Alexandre Burrows, and worked on the power play. It was his first time on the ice with teammates since being concussed by an elbow from Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith on March 21, and Daniel lasted until the very end, staying through a lengthy conditioning skate at the conclusion, a positive sign he could be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs, Wednesday against Los Angeles.

"That's not going to be my decision, that's going to be a medical decision," coach Alain Vigneault said, confirming Daniel had skated on his own prior to Monday -- but refusing to say how many times. "He looked good for first practice with teammates in a little while."

Henrik was also careful to defer comments about the possibility of Daniel playing in Game 1, but used "100 percent" when asked about the Kings targeting his brother.

"I don't think it's going to be any different than before, guys are going to hit him and me," Henrik said. "That's the thing with a concussion, it doesn't have to be a hit to the head, but he's 100 percent now, so they say it's no different for him than for me taking a hit."

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Sedin, who still leads the team with 30 goals and is second with 67 points despite missing the final nine games, skated on his own with a skills coach before practice and stayed out with the main group when they took to the ice. He wasn't wearing a white helmet the way defenseman Keith Ballard, who has been out since early February with a concussion, did before he was cleared for full contact in practice last week, another good sign.

"If he wouldn't have been out there today he would have been a real long shot to play on Wednesday, so that's a good sign," Henrik said. "He's one of the best forwards in the League, and it's always nice to have those guys in the lineup. We've been missing him."

Keith was suspended five games for the hit, but the Canucks won eight of their last nine games without Daniel to secure a second straight Presidents' Trophy.

"Fortunately we did well when he was not playing, but adding a player like that will make us better," said Ballard, who is also "getting close" but doesn't expect to play Game 1.

As for Daniel, Ballard liked what he saw in practice, including a few bumps in front of the net.

"I didn't look that good on day one," Ballard said. "Ideally symptoms are gone and you're feeling normal and for everyone it's just getting feel back and skating back and I don't think that should take Danny too long, he's a very skilled hockey player. I don't think there should be any concern there."

For Henrik, the best part is seeing his brother's personality come back.

"The first couple of days, you could tell just calling him something was wrong," Henrik said. "He's a guy that is always happy. When he talks to our parents back home, he says it's sunny every day, so he's that kind of guy that never sees anything bad in anything. That was tough for me to talk to him and tell that something was off."

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1