Instead of answering questions about facing the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final Monday, the Vancouver Canucks were trying to figure out what went wrong.
The Canucks lost to the Flames 7-4 Saturday and were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Monday the players met with the media to discuss everything from the Flames and post-season injuries, to the 2014-15 season in general.LOOKING BACK
The media was looking for answers. If the Canucks had them, it wouldn’t have been locker clean out day at Rogers Arena.
”I thought we took a step in the right direction this year from where we were last year and with the changes we made and the organization, I think it’s a small step, but it’s a good step in the right direction,” said Henrik Sedin.
”It’s always disappointing losing out in the playoffs,” added Daniel Sedin. “I thought we played a good series, but when you lose out, it’s always tough.”
As disappointed as people are, the Sedins said they’re excited for the youthful injection of energy the Canucks got this year. They’re looking forward to that continuing next year as well.
”We’re excited for the future and we have a lot of younger guys who can come up and help us,” said Daniel.
”You could tell this year what the younger guys meant to this team and the excitement they bring in. I think you can bring up those guys and you can still have the expectations of getting 101 points, I don’t see that drop off. This is the first time since we came in that I’ve felt that excitement with the young guys and prospects. If they can come in and be a part of this team, that goes a long way.”
It may be cloudy right now, but the Canucks future looks bright as far as young talent goes.BURROWS UPDATE
Alex Burrows is finally back in Vancouver.
Burrows was part of the first group to meet the media, alongside the Sedins and Alex Edler, and checking in on his health was top order.
Burrows said he’s feeling better and clarified what exactly happened: he suffered fractured and dislocated rib cartilage after fighting with Kris Russell in Game 3. “It may have been after the fight, the linesman kind of fell on me and I think that’s when it happened.”
The forward never lost consciousness, but had a tough time moving and breathing.
“I was in a lot of pain, I was lying on the table and couldn’t move too much,” said Burrows. “The doctors called the ambulance, making sure they were taking all the right steps.
“I was really disappointed I couldn’t go out and help the guys, you play all year to play in the playoffs and you’re looking forward to it all the time, it’s the best time of the year, and knowing I couldn’t play and was going to be done for a while was crushing.”KASSIAN UPDATE
“It’s no secret I hurt my back, it’s nothing serious, but it something that needs time.”
This was the first we’ve heard from Zack Kassian in some time and the news was both positive and negative.
Kassian said he’s not worried about his playing future, that his injury simply needs time to heal and twice trying to get back in the line-up actually aggravated things.
Still, for a player to still be in as much discomfort as Kassian is nearly six weeks after suffering the injury isn’t great.
There were some definite positives for Kassian this season, but with how it ended, he’s left with a sour taste in his mouth.
“Every wants to play, especially in the playoffs. It’s a tough time to watch and was very frustrating, but at the same time injuries are part of the game. At the end of the day, there’s no surgery required and I’ll be ready to go next year.
Kassian was never shut down for the season and said he came to the rink every day rehabbing to be available had the Canucks made Round 2.
Now that the pressure to return is off Kassian’s shoulders, he’s looking to the positives.
“As an athlete going into the summer, you have to take the positives and my goal is to come back strong after a hard summer of working out.
“It was a frustrating year for sure, but it happens and obviously the team still had a lot of success, which is good to see.”INJURY UPDATES
Minor bumps and bruises and general soreness aside, only three Canucks are suffering injuries heading into the summer.
Kassian, as you just read, is suffering from an ailing back injury that he believe he suffered trying to fight Dion Phaneuf on March 14th. He’s expected to make a full recovery; slow and steady is his timeline.
Brad Richardson will be having surgery within the next week to repair fracture and ligament damage to his ankle.
“We did everything we could to try to diagnose it, but it was a really weird injury,” said Richardson, who expects to make a quick recovery from surgery after a frustrating season.
“Trying to turn and trying to pivot were the two major issues, pushing off wasn’t fun to do either. It got to the point where I could play, but I wasn’t happy with how it worked out, obviously. It was pretty frustrating missing that much time this year.”
Jannik Hansen was also playing injured, although he called his groin injury “minor.”WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
For a few Canucks, there is no downtime between the NHL playoffs and their next challenge.
Nick Bonino and Dan Hamhuis were added to rosters of their respected countries for the upcoming 2-15 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship, which plays out May 1-17 in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic.
Bonino will represent Team USA for the first time, while Hamhuis played for Team Canada on three occasions, making this his fourth.
Both Daniel and Henrik Sedin declined to play for Team Sweden, Luca Sbisa, Radim Vrbata, Yannick Weber and Jannik Hansen declined their countries as well.
Alex Edler was asked to play for Team Sweden and he hasn’t made a decision either way yet.
Ronalds Kenins did not speak Monday, but it’s believed he was asked to play for Team Latvia.QUOTE OF THE DAY
Henrik Sedin, asked for his thoughts on his upcoming 1,000-point milestone (which he’ll reach with 85 more points), was interrupted before be could respond.
“I’ll beat him to it,” smiled Daniel Sedin, who sits 34 points back of Henrik at 881.