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Canucks Report: Now or never

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
Now or never. Do or die. Playoffs or off-season.

There are two ways things can play out for the Canucks tonight, but in the Vancouver dressing room, only one possibility was being discussed Thursday.

It’s time to turn this series around.

The Canucks have their backs against the wall down 3-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarter-Final series; Vancouver is taking things slow in Game 5 looking to win as many shifts, battles and periods as possible. And they’ll be trying to do so with Ryan Miller in net.

Coach Willie Desjardins confirmed during media availability he is starting Miller in Game 5.

“He’s been in big games before, but the biggest thing is how he looked in Calgary,” said coach. “Eddie has been really great for us, he did a great job down the stretch, but Miller looked good in Calgary, he was really clean those last two periods and out of that, I think he deserves a chance.”

Miller did not speak to the media, but it’s safe to assume he relishes the opportunity to win a game in front of home fans and help send the series back to Calgary.

Also of note from Desjardins: Alex Burrows remains in Calgary, still unable to travel home; Sven Baertschi will make his Canucks and NHL debut in Game 5 and Brad Richardson (who was one of seven Canucks to take part in morning skate) remains a game-time decision.

RICHARDSON HOPEFUL

It’s unclear what kept Brad Richardson from playing in Game 4 of this series, but he seems determined to overcome it and join the Canucks tonight.

Richardson skated Thursday and afterwards confirmed his ankle is not the issue; he wouldn't specify what he’s dealing with, just that he’s hopeful he’ll be back for Game 5.

“It’s been a long year, but definitely around this time of year you want to be playing,” said Richardson. “We know where we’re at and we want to have everyone we can going on all cylinders tonight.

“Hopefully I’m able to go tonight and we’ll have a great effort.”

BAERTSCHI IN

Would there be a more fitting way for Sven Baertschi to make his playoffs debut than by scoring the game-winning goal against his former team?

The Canucks need a spark on offence and Baertschi, who scored two goals his last time out for Vancouver, is hoping to provide that.

HOME ICE ADVANTAGE

Daniel Sedin is happy there will be a sea of blue and green at Rogers Arena tonight. That red was getting hard on the eyes.

The Canucks are expecting a sellout crowd of rabid fans when they hit the ice for Game 5 and they’ll get just that. Towel power will be in full effect as fans try to urge the home team to victory.

“They can get you going for sure, when it’s loud and they cheer you on, for sure it makes a difference,” said Daniel. “We’re excited to be home, we like this crowd and they’re going to be loud tonight.”

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