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Canucks Report: Looking to sweep

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks go for the season sweep tonight in Chicago, but the always-dangerous Blackhawks won’t be going down without a fight.

The Canucks skated Thursday morning and every player on the trip took to the ice. The skate was Vancouver’s first time on the ice since beating the Nashville Predators Tuesday since Wednesday was a day off.

No line-up changes are expected for the Canucks, who are trying to win their third game of this four-game road trip and sixth straight road game overall.

Coach Desjardins said his team isn’t taking anything for granted. Vancouver is not in the playoffs, yet.

“I just want to get to the playoffs, but that’s still a ways away – and I mean that honestly,” said Desjardins. “With the way teams are playing and the way teams are winning, we’re still a long ways away and we need to win some games if we want to get there.”

To win those games, Desjardins said the Canucks need to be a more disciplined team than the one that squeaked out a 5-4 shootout win in Nashville. He had a meeting with some of the veteran players on the team Wednesday, including Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa, to reinforce how important staying on the ice is down the stretch and into the playoffs.

“We were fortunate to get out of that game,” said Desjardins. “How would we have felt if we played that hard and ended up losing that with one minute left in the game, that would have been a lot of work for nothing and we put ourselves in that spot. We can’t do that, we can’t put ourselves in that spot and that’s what we talked about.”

NO SUSPENSION

Alex Burrows is relieved the NHL saw his hit on Paul Gaustad as incidental contact and not as a headshot. He is not facing suspension and will be in the line-up tonight.

“I thought when it happened it was incidental and an accident and I didn’t want anything to do with it,” explained Burrows. “I hope he’s alright, you never want to see someone go down like that.”

Burrows said he’s moved on from the hit and is focused on the Blackhawks.

“This is personally one of my favourite buildings to play in, it’s such a good feeling when you win in this building.”

RIVALRY ALIVE?

Kevin Bieksa was asked if he believes the bad blood between the Canucks and Blackhawks from a few years back is still around today.

Yes and no.

“I think there’s still a rivalry, but it’s a different kind. It used to be more physical and hate, now it’s two of the best teams in the league fighting for big points right around the playoffs and we’ve had some really good games against these guys, especially in this building. It’s a fun place to play.”

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