BIEKSA OKAY, SALO SKATING
The Canucks returned to Vancouver early this morning after yesterday’s overtime loss to the Blackhawks that tied the series at 2-2.
Defenceman Sami Salo
skated this afternoon at the team’s optional practice and was joined on the ice by Jannik Hansen
, Jeff Cowan, Rob Davison and Jason LaBarbera.
Head coach Alain Vigneault said that Salo remains day to day with a lower body injury.
Defenceman Kevin Bieksa
told reporters this morning that he is fine and will be okay to play in Saturday’s Game #5 at GM Place. Bieksa appeared to be in pain after battling for the puck with Samuel Pahlsson
in yesterday’s overtime period.
“Lower body injury, it just kind of happened throughout the course of the game, nothing serious,” said Bieksa.NO ONE SAID IT’D BE EASY
The Canucks held a team meeting this morning to go over last night’s 2-1 overtime loss and identify areas they need to improve.
“We’re in good shape,” said Bieksa. “It’s the best two out of three now, we have two games on home ice, and we’re back at home where we play well. We’re in good shape right now. Last game was a game we probably felt we should have won, but we can’t really look back at it too much. We’re looking forward and we have a good opportunity ahead of us.
“We don’t change a whole lot, we’d like to generate more offensively I think. Defensively for the most part we were pretty sound, we limited them to 10 scoring chances which is good. So we don’t change a whole lot just generate a little more offensively.
The Canucks look to really test Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin next game and capitalize on their offensive chances.
“When we go into Chicago on the road in a tough environment and we score three goals and take a 3-0 lead [in Game #3], I think any other team in the NHL would buckle down and try and shut it down," said Vigneault. "In theory we’ve scored enough goals.
“Last night was a funny game. I mean they didn’t come out and burn the wheels also they had five shots in the first couple of minutes and then they had three in the last 17 minutes of that first period. Both teams got a little careful and that game sort of unfolded like that. Sometimes those are things that are going to happen during games.
“Again I stress the fact that we’re playing to win, we’re trying to win and we’re going to continue to do that.”
With both teams desperate to pull ahead 3-2 in the tight series, the Canucks will need to come out strong and play solid aat both ends. The players feel they have yet to play their best hockey and Vigneault looks to everyone to raise their game.
“I could name all of my forwards, except for my fourth line right now and I’m expecting bigger things from our guys also,” said Vigneault.