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Canucks Report - Practice day

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks


The Canucks held a team practice at UBC this morning as they prepare to host the San Jose Sharks this Saturday.

Pavol Demitra and Sami Salo were both given the day off, but both will play in Saturday's game against the visiting Sharks.

"Sami's got the hamstring and a couple little issues, nothing serious, it's just a maintenance day," said head coach Alain Vigneault.

"With Pavol it's his pinky. I think it's a normal fracture, a fracture is 3-4 weeks. He wants to play through it, so what we do is when we have a practice, like today when we can give him a day off, we give him it off and he'll skate on game days. I figure a couple more weeks here and he should be fine."

Winger Jannik Hansen, sidelined with a fractured finger in the game against Ottawa two weeks ago, is skating on his own but still a few weeks away from returning to the lineup.

The team is focusing on this weekend's match up as they look to continue improving and gaining ground in the tight Western Conference standings. The Canucks are fifth in the West, four points ahead of Columbus and seven points behind Chicago.

"It's a fine line in this League between winning and losing," said Mats Sundin. "I like our overall efforts in the last few weeks. Whether we've been on the road or at home we've played the same game. We don't try to complicate things. Our power play is doing a good job, our PK is doing a good job. I think we're all trying to be better defensively and we know we have enough players here to get production offensively. So overall we've been playing better."

The team is significantly more confident now than in January, having won 11 of their last 13 games and the players believe this group has what it takes to be successful when they're playing to their strengths.

"I really like the players that are in the dressing room," said Sundin. "I like the chemistry in the dressing room. I think there's a lot of great players in every aspect. If we can keep building on the play we've had in the last few weeks here I think we still have room for improvement as a group."
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