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Canucks Report: Onward and upward

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
They responded once and they plan on doing it again.

For the second time in their best-of-seven Western Conference Quarter-Final series against the Calgary Flames, the Vancouver Canucks find themselves trailing, now down two games to one.

After a tough 2-1 loss in Game 1, the Canucks responded with a dominant effort in Game 2.

Following a Game 3 loss Sunday night in Calgary, Vancouver has its sights set on improving in a few areas going into Game 4.

“We’ve got a few things we can do better: our forecheck wasn’t good enough last game, our breakouts weren’t good enough and if we can fix that, we’re going to create more and get more chances too,” assessed Daniel Sedin, one of 16 players who took part in Canucks practice Monday afternoon.

Missing from practice were Eddie Lack, Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, Shawn Matthias, Jannik Hansen, Bo Horvat and Brad Richardson; coach Willie Desjardins did not update the status of any players when he met with the media, but nothing suggests they won’t all be in the line-up Tuesday night.

During his press conference Desjardins’ discussed ice time, the physicality of the series and meeting with Flames coach Bob Hartley earlier in the day.

NO SWEAT

“Before the series, we knew it was going to be back and forth, we didn’t think we’d be in control the whole series and have no pushback,” said Kevin Bieksa, asked if he felt the Flames had control of the series right now.

It’s the playoffs and things change in and instance, so no Canucks are sweating the fact they trail the series three games in.

“I’m not sure how they’re thinking,” added Bieksa, “I’m sure they’re feeling pretty good about themselves right now and that’s great for us. We’ll come in and play a nice solid road game, hopefully get the two points and momentum will be on our side going back home.”

Bieksa acknowledged the Canucks need to focus more on playing between the whistles rather than battling after them. That led to some undisciplined penalties being called in Game 3, said Bieksa, and the Flames made them pay.

The Canucks aren’t letting anything from Game 3 distract them from what needs to happen in Game 4 – a must-win unless Vancouver really wants its back against the wall.

“We talked about this before the series, it’s going to be a series of ups and downs and we’re a team that’s gone through that several times. I think we’re able to handle those situations and we know we have to respond with a good effort. We know how momentum can switch really quickly. If we get this one, we go home to Vancouver with the momentum.

“We need to come out and have a good 1st period,” said Bieksa. “We’ve played some pretty good hockey in this series; last game there were times we didn’t play good hockey at all, so we’ll get back to how we played in Game 2. I think if we play our game, it’s going to be very tough for them.

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