Ehrh-on or Ehrh-off?
By Derek Jory
Regardless of where or how you’re spending Victoria Day, odds are good you’ve given some thought to the availability of Vancouver Canucks defenceman Christian Ehrhoff for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.
Ehrhoff was one of 13 Canucks to hit the ice for an optional practice Monday morning at Rogers Arena and although cryptic with his status for Tuesday’s Game 5, Ehrhoff confirmed afterwards that he felt “pretty good” shooting the puck and that the strength in his shoulder was also “pretty good.”
So is he playing, or not?
“I’m day-to-day, that’s all,” said Ehrhoff, who left Game 4 in San Jose after taking a hit from Sharks forward Jamie McGinn with 5:40 remaining in the first period.
“I definitely feel better than Friday after the game, that’s for sure,” said Ehrhoff, adding that the decision of whether or not he’ll play is simple: “Either it’s good to go, or it’s not.”
Coach Alain Vigneault did not offer any additional insight into Ehrhoff’s status, he also could not provide an update on Aaron Rome.
One win away
The Canucks can wrap up the Western Conference Final tomorrow night and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994, and third time in team history, but they know it won’t be easy.
“They say the fourth one is the toughest one to get and that’s been the case for us, both against Chicago and Nashville," said Henrik Sedin. "We’ve got to put all we can into tomorrow’s game and hopefully get out of here with a win."
Vancouver had a chance to close out rounds 1 & 2 in Game 5 at Rogers Arena, yet dropped both games by a combined score of 9-3. With that in mind, the Canucks are approaching Game 5 as a do-or-die Game 7.
“We’ve been here before, we’ve got to treat tomorrow as a Game 7, that’s a must win for us and we’re going to come out real excited," said Hank.
The Canucks can draw experience from their battles against Chicago and Nashville to help close out this series and one would think the urgency increases with a chance to go to the Cup Final, as opposed to advancing out of the first or second rounds.
“I don’t know,” smiled Roberto Luongo when quizzed about the potential increase in urgency.
“All I can say is that we’re excited right now, we’re close, we know we’re right there, we’re one step away, whether that raises the urgency or not, I couldn’t tell you.
“All I can say is that it’s so much fun right now just coming to the rink everyday, there’s only four teams playing hockey right now, we’ve got to realize that and enjoy the moment and come ready to play tomorrow and have a good time.”
Sparkling Salo stat
After scoring two goals separated by 16 seconds on May 22 at San Jose, Sami Salo set a new franchise record for the fastest two goals to be scored by a single player. The previous record was 45 seconds, scored by Trevor Linden on Apr. 23/93 at WPG. The NHL record for the fastest two goals in a playoff game is five seconds, scored by Detroit’s Norm Ullman on Apr. 11/65.