Coach Willie Desjardins didn’t hide the importance of Friday night’s Game 2 between the Canucks and Flames when he met with the media this morning. In fact, he said what we’re all thinking.
Win tonight and this series is just getting started. Lose and, well…
“I think the way you approach every game in the playoffs is that it’s a must-win,” added Desjardins. “You have to win that game because you don’t want to put yourself in that situation, and your margin of error goes down so much.”
Luckily the Canucks have been a resilient group this season, especially in the second half of the year when they failed to bounce back with a win after a loss only six times.
“That’s your leadership, if you have good leaders it makes a big difference,” said Desjardins. “We have real good character in our room and I think they realize how important every game is. We realized down the stretch we had to win games and we always found a way to come back and we’re in a similar situation today and we have to make sure we’re ready.”
Desjardins updated the status of defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who did not practice Thursday, saying he is a game-time decision, but that “he should be fine to play.”SBISA CAKE
Getting a win on home ice certainly won’t be a piece of cake, but Luca Sbisa said the Canucks took what they could from Wednesday’s loss and will be better tonight – they have to be.
“I think you have to take it one game at a time, obviously playoffs is a little different and you have seven games so you have to see the big picture, but we just need to focus on tonight,” said Sbisa. “It’s one game at a time, one shift at a time, that’s the only way you’re going to be successful in the playoffs.”
When asked about Vancouver’s ability to respond after disappointing games, Sbisa echoed his coach’s comments about the Canucks.
“I think it just shows the leadership we have in this dressing room. We’re not happy with losses, obviously in the playoffs it’s even more important – you can’t lose two in a row. We just need to go out there and play solid, forget what happened last time and just know you need to be better today.”OFFENCE NEEDED
In three home games against the Flames this season, the Canucks have scored four goals and one was Calgary scoring on itself (which is still hilarious, for the record.)
Also, with a loss Friday, Vancouver will set a record becoming the first team in NHL playoff history to lose eight straight home games.
People will focus on the streak, but it’s the lack of scoring that truly matters.
“We played well enough to score a few more, but that’s the way it goes and you have to look at the process, keep doing the right things and it’s going to pay off,” said Daniel Sedin, who had a team-high six shots in Game 1. “We can’t get frustrated, just go out there and play.”
Asked about the seven game home losing streak, which stretches back to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, Daniel Sedin brushed it off and rightfully so.
“We’re got new management, a new coach and a lot of new players, so we don’t look at the last few playoffs, we look at this year and we lost the first game and we have to come back and have a good one tonight.”WELCOME TO THE CLUB
With his goal in Game 1, Bo Horvat became the 15th player in franchise history to score in his NHL playoff debut; he’s also the fourth Canucks player to notch his first career post-season score against the Flames.
Other notable Canucks who scored in their playoff debuts include Pavel Bure, Thomas Gradin, Stan Smyl, Greg Adams, Mattias Ohlund and Todd Bertuzzi.JUST WIN
Radim Vrbata doesn’t mess around.
Asked what the Canucks need to do in Game 2 to win, he was very straightforward.
“Try to play your game, limit mistakes and try to score, then a second and third goal.”