AIMING FOR SUNDAY
Daniel Sedin, who has been sidelined for 17 games with a broken foot, is aiming for a return Sunday when the team faces off against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Everyone thinks it was more of a setback, but I had to try,” explained Daniel who flew out to join the team on the road, but never suited up.
“There was more soreness and [the doctors and training staff] said if it’s sore or painful take a few days off or a week off and that’s what I did. I knew right away it was a pretty tough bone to heal and it’s going to take some time. You want to come back as soon as you can at the same time they told me not to push it.”
Daniel, who did not skate with the team today, is slated to skate on his own tomorrow and then make a decision come Sunday.
‘IT IS WHAT IT IS’
After shaking off the rust of a new season, battling through injuries, the flu bug and a scoring drought, the Canucks, a quarter of the way through the season, rank 11th in the Western Conference sitting at one game above .500 (11-10-0).
While the club has had players step up to fill the injury void, like Henrik Sedin who has been spectacular without Daniel, Ryan Kesler who has consistently played well, Mason Raymond who is using his speed to kick start his offensive game, Mikael Samuelsson who put up points early this season, and Andrew Raycroft who stepped in and lead the league in GAA during Roberto Luongo’s absence, they have also had players struggle during the first quarter.
Kyle Wellwood, after an impressive training camp, has had a slow start hampered by the flu and then an injured toe that sidelined him for few games stalling his record to 1 assist in 17 games.
"It's mind-boggling, to tell you the truth," said head coach Alain Vigneault. “One assist with his skill level, with the power-play time he's getting, sooner or later he’s going to have to produce. This is a performance based business.”
“It is, like a famous player once said, what it is,” said AV tapping into former Vancouver forward Todd Bertuzzi. “We’ll stick with him here and see what happens.”
"I'd say his last three games have been his best three games of the year,” said teammate Ryan Kesler. “It's going to come; it's only a matter of time.”
At 5’10” and 181lbs, the 26 year-old, Windsor, Ontario native notched 18 goals and 9 assists (18-9-27) in 72 games last season with the Canucks.
While the Canucks power play has been clicking, ranked 8th in the league with a 23.1 per cent efficiency rating, their penalty kill has struggled ranking 21st in the league functioning at 78.6 per cent.
Their road game has also suffered as they collected only eight points away from home falling 4-8-0. At home the club’s been visibly better recoding a 7-2-0 home record, which is good news for the team as they gear up for a five game home stand starting Friday night when the club welcomes back the Colorado Avalanche.
“Goals for and goals against at home have been real good,” explained AV, who’s team’s netted 31 goals for while limiting their opponents to 17 goals against.
“Seems like we’ve been able to put our ‘A’ game on the ice, and now we’ve got a stretch here of five games against conference teams, our record needs to get better within our conference, and we’ve got to take these games one at a time.”