SALO STAYS IN VANCOUVER
The Canucks headed to Chicago yesterday following the 6-3 loss in Game 2 to the Blackhawks, which tied the series at 1-1.
Defenceman Sami Salo
, who left Saturday night’s game after scoring the opening goal in the first period, did not travel with the team. Salo remains in Vancouver for treatment on a lower body injury.
It is not known if he will fly to Chicago at a later time and join the team. Salo's status is day to day and he is questionable for Game 3 that will take place Tuesday at the United Centre. If he does not play, it is likely that Ossi Vaananen will slot into the lineup in his place.
Salo missed Game 4 of the first round against the St. Louis Blues with an undisclosed lower body injury and was replaced by fellow Finn, Vaananen.
“Obviously Sami is a big part of our team and any time you loss one of your top D, it doesn’t matter what team you are it’ll have the old trickle-down effect,” said Shane O’Brien following Saturday’s loss. “We do need Sami, but that wasn’t the reason we lost [Saturday].”BACK ON THE ICE
The Canucks were back to work this morning, preparing for Game 3 after dropping their first playoff game Saturday to the Blackhawks. Looking to bounce back from the loss the team has put the game behind them and hope to rebound with a solid third game.
A notable absence from the team practice was forward Pavol Demitra who did not join his teammates on the ice. Mason Raymond
practiced with Ryan Kesler
and Mats Sundin on the second line and Taylor Pyatt skated with Kyle Wellwood and Steve Bernier.
Head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters after practice that Demitra should play in Game 3"in theory."
Pyatt who rejoined the team after a personal leave of absence, took part in the pregame skate for Game 2, but was a healthy scratch along with Jannik Hansen
, Jeff Cowan, Rob Davison and Vaananen. All five players are in Chicago.
Ryan Johnson had x-rays after blocking four shots in Saturday's game, but Vigneault said they were just precautionary and Johnson will play tomorrow night.
The team knows they will have to ice a better game tomorrow night to regain the lead in this series.
"We'll make adjustments through video and the coaching staff,"said O'Brien. "That's why it's four-out-of-seven. We didn't think we'd sweep our way to the Stanley Cup.
"I didn't feel like they grinded us down too much. I just felt we made a few mistakes coverage-wise and it ended up in the back of our net. That's how it happens in this league. If you make one little mistake, next thing you know the guy gets behind you and it's in the net. Chicago can finish. We knew that going in."
Vancouver will look to play to their strengths in Game 3, playing a solid defensive game.
"Chicago was skating and doing a good job," said Mats Sundin. "We're in the second round of the playoffs. We knew we were going to play some great teams. It doesn't matter who you're facing out there. We have to play the way we did in the first round and take care of our own end as a group."Samuel Pahlsson
, Matt Walker and Andrew Ladd were missing from the Blackhawks practice today, but all are expected to play tomorrow. NASLUND HANGS UP HIS SKATES
After 15 seasons in the NHL, Markus Naslund announced his retirement today. The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native spent 12 years with the Canucks, serving as team captain for eight seasons (2000-01 – 2007-08).
"I would like to sincerely thank Glen Sather and the New York Rangers for giving me the opportunity this past season in New York," said Naslund. "I would also like to thank the Vancouver Canucks and all of their fans for their support over the 11-plus seasons I was a part of their organization, as well as to the Pittsburgh Penguins where I began my NHL career." More