ROME SKATES WITH THE TEAM
Aaron Rome skated with the team today at practice after missing the Canucks' last regular season game and game one of the series against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday.
Up until today, he had been skating on his own. He is still considered day-to-day with his injury, but is getting close.
"Ultimately, I have to take the time to make sure things are good and be playing as close to one hundred percent as I can," said Rome. "You don't want to go out there and play too early, re-injure it, and not help the team. I'm just trying to be careful, and hopefully soon."
Sami Salo did not attend practice for a maintenance day.
Michael Grabner was seen skating on the fourth line with Rick Rypien and Steve Bernier after being a healthy scratch last game. However the lineup for tomorrow's match will be a game-day decision.
Canuck defenceman Alex Edler brought the fans to their feet Thursday night with a big hit to top Kings defenceman Drew Doughty right in front of Roberto Luongo. That was one of six great hits by the 23 year old Swede who’s intensity seemed to rise for game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"The coaches told me they wanted to see more intensity and I tried to bring that," said Edler.
After fellow defenceman Andrew Alberts left the game with a five minute boarding penalty and game misconduct, Edler, along with Christian Ehrhoff had to fill in and up their minutes that game. Ehrhoff led the team in minutes with 30:35 TOI, followed by Edler with 27:10 TOI.
"Prior to the playoffs, we talked to Alex about making sure he was intense all the time," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "He's a highly skilled and big defenceman and when his intensity is at the level that it was last night, he's a very effective two-way defenceman on the ice and he proved that last night."
He’s set new career highs this season in points (42) and assists (37). He recorded more hits last night (6) than in his last three regular season games combined (4). In the 2009-10 regular season, he averaged only 1.1 hits per game.
"He's usually a pretty calm and nice guy, but now I'm a little intimidated by him, I should watch out what I say around him, he was flying all over the ice out there," O'Brien joked. "I guess he was pumped up with all the excitement in the building and he had a great game for us."
The Canucks recorded 25 hits overall on Thursday while LA had 17. Five of those 25 hits were from players who are not normally recognized as highly physical on the ice .Speedster Mason Raymond had three hits last night when only averaging 0.8 hits per game in the regular season, while Daniel Sedin had two hits after averaging only 0.1 hits per game.
THOUGHTS ON GAME TWO
Though the Canucks now lead the series 1-0, without Roberto Luongo’s impressive overtime save, the results could have gone the other way. With game two just one day away, the Canucks hope to improve on certain areas in order to avoid such a tight game.
"I thought we played a pretty good game last night, obviously we gave up two goals on the penalty kill so maybe try and do a better job at that," said Luongo. "But all in all, it was a decent game on both ends of the ice. We didn't give up that much defensively and generated a lot of scoring chances."
The Canucks outshot the Kings 44 to 27 but let in two power-play goals. With key penalty killer, Ryan Johnson out of the picture for likely the first two playoff rounds with a broken foot, the Canucks PK needs to step it up, and do the little things to keep it out of their net.
"We have to do what got us here, but at the same time, do what you do a little bit better," said O'Brien. "If you can chip in in other areas that you haven't in the regular season. Like in the third period, [Mikael] Samuelsson lying down to block a shot, just little things like that you have to do in the playoffs to advance."
Vancouver did a good job of shutting down LA’s top scorers Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Dustin Brown, who combined for zero goals on seven shots, the same number of shots Mikael Samuelsson had on his own where he netted two goals including the game-winner.
"We played really solid defensively, even though we played a good offensive team," said Daniel Sedin. "We need to play the same way and take hold of our chances."