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Canucks Report: Cowboy up

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
Now or never – again.

The Vancouver Canucks are once again in a do or die situation heading into Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final against the Calgary Flames, but unlike in Game 5, a win tonight would put the teams back on even terms.

Calgary leads the best-of-seven series 3-2 and a win tonight puts the Flames in the second round for the first time since 2004.

Vancouver has other plans for Saturday night - just win, baby.

“We have to have a shooting mentality,” said Kevin Bieksa. “Earlier in this building, maybe we were trying to get a little too perfect, too cute, trying to generate grade-A chances rather than just throwing pucks at the net and seeing what happens. Our second goal last game was just a bad angle shot and a rebound that Danny didn’t even get a whole lot on – those are playoff type goals.”

In preparation for Game 6 (6 p.m. PST puck drop), the Canucks skated Saturday morning; 13 players took part, namely Bieksa, Sbisa, Vey, Bonino, Richardson, Stanton, Higgins, McMillan, Kenins, Baertschi, Horvat, Miller and Lack.

Coach Willie Desjardins was not on the ice, but game day or not, he speaks to the media and he said tonight’s game comes down to who is willing to work for it.

“Both teams know each other pretty well, so I expect it comes down to how hard you battle and how much you have left,” said Desjardins, who would not comment on any possible roster changes the Canucks are making.

DOME SWEET DOME

The C of Red will be ready and the Canucks couldn’t care less.

Bieksa was asked about how the intensity of the home crowd at Scotiabank Saddledome impacts the Canucks. He was frank in saying it can’t, or Vancouver isn’t focusing on what it needs to.

“We don’t really pay too much attention to the crowd,” said Bieksa. “They’ll feed off the crowd more, for us we just try to play a good solid game and be aware that they’re going to be loud at times, they’re going to cheer for their games when they go in and give hits and that’s fine, it just can’t affect the way we feel about ourselves or the decisions we make on the ice.”

OUT OF THE GATES

How important is having a good start to the game for the Canucks?

Vancouver is one of five playoff teams to have a 100 per cent winning percentage when leading after the 1st period.

Answer: it’s crucial.

“It’s always good playing a game after a win, we feel confident we can win tonight,” said Chris Higgins, who is hoping his team can feed off its Game 5 win. “We’re just concerned about a good start and going from there.”

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