The team practiced Monday following a team-day off Sunday. Big news of the day is the return of both Shawn Matthias and Brad Richardson, who both skated with the team.
Other than Zack Kassian, who skated on his own last Friday, the Canucks are a healthy group heading into Game 1 Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena.
Health aside, coach Willie Desjardins doesn’t think either team has the advantage heading into Game 1. Playoff experience means very little, as do earlier match-ups from this season; it’s all about right here, right now, according to Desjardins.RICHARDSON READY?
It’s been a frustrating few weeks for Brad Richardson.
The Canucks forward, who hasn’t played since March 17th and because of injury has only appeared in 45 games this season, was thought to be back on track to make a return three weeks ago. Then again two weeks ago. Then possibly last week.
Is it now or never?
Richardson said he’s aiming to suit up in Game 1, but wants to see how he feels Tuesday before making a final decision. He said Monday’s practice was both a test and preparation.
“You’ve got to see where it’s at and how it’s going to hold up and how you feel,” said Richardson, the only member of the Canucks roster to have won the Stanley Cup.
“I was trying to get back as soon as I could, but it just wasn’t happening. I’m hoping all is well tomorrow.”MATTHIAS READY!
Shawn Matthias confirmed he’s ready to go for Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final and he’s as excited as anyone for puck drop.
“An all-Canadian match-up is a dream,” he said. “Both barns are going to be rocking to say the least.”
Between 2005 and 2014, there was only one all-Canadian series (Ottawa beat Montreal in 2013), so Matthias hit the nail on the head, both barns will be rocking.
“It’s just fun to be a part of. This is my first playoffs with the Canucks and I just want it to start already.”HIGGY BABY
How did Chris Higgins spend his day-off Sunday? He and fiancée Chantal brought their baby daughter Bowen home from the hospital following her birth late Saturday night.
“Hopefully she’ll bring us some luck in the playoffs,” boasted the proud new dad, who didn’t know the sex of his baby until it was born.
“It’s an exciting time, it’s hectic in playoffs, but Chantal is a trooper, so everything will be great.”