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Daniel Sedin practices, hopes to play for Canucks

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

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Daniel Sedin practices, hopes to play for Canucks
Daniel Sedin said he is feeling better, but stopped short of saying he would return to the Vancouver Canucks lineup Wednesday night for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Daniel Sedin said he is feeling better, but stopped short of saying he would return to the Vancouver Canucks lineup Wednesday night for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Los Angeles Kings.

Sedin appeared before a huge throng of reporters Tuesday and said he is doing well one month after he was concussed by an elbow from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.

"It's been a tough four weeks and it's good to be back and, first of all, feeling good," Sedin said. "That's my main issue."

Vancouver announced Monday that Sedin was fit to re-join practicing with the team. Sedin didn't commit to playing in Game 4.

"We'll see," he said. "We'll take it day-by-day. Today felt good and we'll see how it is tomorrow morning."

There is enormous pressure for Sedin to return. Vancouver trails 3-0 in this best-of-seven series and is on the verge of being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after claiming the Presidents' Trophy.

But Sedin said there was, "No pressure at all. This organization of GMs, coaches, trainers have been really good. No one's been holding me back. That's been the good thing about this. They're taking good care of me. I'm in touch with them every day."

Sedin acknowledged that he is not quite in game condition, given he has not played since that March 21 hit. What could he offer?

"I don't know," he said. "That's the thing, too. I haven't been able to work out, so my shape is probably about as slow as it's been in five years. We'll see how it goes. I mean, hopefully I can play on the power play and be a little bit of a difference there. That's my main focus."

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault reiterated that they will re-evaluate Sedin on Wednesday morning. That didn't stop Vigneault from trying Daniel and brother Henrik on a line with David Booth during Tuesday's practice.

"This was just practice," Vigneault said. "I'm not 100 percent sure who's playing tomorrow yet. I'm just trying a different look."

On April 9, Sedin took his spot on first line and the first power-play unit and stayed on for a conditioning skate, but the following day skated with the extras. He didn't appear again publicly until last Friday when he came out in full gear an hour before the morning skate of Game 2.

"We went through all the steps and when I left the ice to practice with the team, things didn't feel 100 percent," Daniel Sedin said. "I just took a step back after I took one long half-day off."

Sedin was asked when his last headache occurred.

"Sunday evening when we lost [Game 3]," he joked.

On a serious note, he said watching has been difficult because, "It's been tough to know that you could maybe have made a difference out there. I think it's been tight games. We knew going into the series it was going to be tight. We were one in the conference and they were eight. But you look at the teams … it's a tough matchup. We knew we were going to be in for a tough matchup. It's tough right now."

As for who will get the nod between the pipes, Vigneault said he had made a decision on his starting goaltender, but he wouldn't reveal if it was Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo.

"We haven't been told yet," Luongo said. "We're both getting ready as if we're playing and I'm sure at some point tonight or tomorrow morning we'll find out."

Vigneault went with Schneider in Game 3 in order to change the momentum -- even though Luongo's play seemed to be the least of Vancouver's issues.

Asked if he understood the decision, Luongo said, "Yeah."

Quote of the Day

He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter