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Canucks Report - Ready for Sharks

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks


The Canucks practiced at UBC Thunderbird arena again today as the team prepares to host the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night at GM Place.

Sami Salo joined the team today after missing yesterday's skate to rest a lingering hamstring problem. Pavol Demitra did not practice, but is expected to participate in tomorrow's game day skate. Both will play Saturday against the Sharks.

"I feel good, I have no problems, it was just an extra day off and I feel good so I'm happy to be back on the ice," said Salo.

"It's just been a little nagging injury that whenever we have a chance we give it a little extra rest and work on it a bit, but it doesn't really bother me playing. It's been going on for quite a while."

"They're fine," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "With Pavol obviously this is going to be going on for a couple more weeks. And Sami looked good today and will be fine."

The lineup for tomorrow night's game is not expected to change. Ossi Vaananen and Rob Davison are likely to be healthy scratches.

"It's a game to game basis right now," said Vigneault. "Our six d-men played really well against Minnesota and I thought they played really well against Columbus. So for now we're focusing on San Jose and going with the same defencemen."

The Canucks are excited to test themselves against the League leading Sharks a team they have yet to defeat this season in three meetings. Both teams are coming off match ups against the Minnesota Wild, the Canucks won their game 4-2 on Tuesday, while San Jose lost 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.

"Obviously they're the best team in the Conference and I think guys are excited," said Roberto Luongo. "It's going to be a good challenge for us and we're looking forward to playing tomorrow night.

"I think we want to play them kind of the same way we played them back in San Jose [on January 20th]. I thought we really played well within ourselves and the system that one time, obviously we'd like to generate a little more. But we are a different team now, we have that confidence that we can win these games and we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Saturday's game against San Jose will be a test for the Canucks who have won 11 of their last 13 games, and sit fifth in the Western Conference, tenth overall. The Sharks are tied with Detroit for first in the League, with two games in hand over the Red Wings.

"We're fairly happy with how we've been playing lately, but tomorrow is going to be [against] the top team in the West," said Salo. "We have to be really sharp in all areas of our game. We know that we played a fairly good game against them before the All-Star break, but came up short. I think everyone feels that we can still play a little bit better and tomorrow night is going to be a big test for us."
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