Vancouver Sedinery > Boston scenery
By Derek Jory
The Canucks took part in an early afternoon practice at the TD Garden Sunday with one noticeable absence: Ryan Kesler.
Sure Kesler is in a Duck Sauce song, but he wasn’t on the ice. Should you be worried? Give your head a shake if you answered yes, there is not a scenario the wildest imagination could congere up that would keep Kesler away from the biggest game of his life.
Dragon attack on the way to the rink? Get real, Kesler carries a sword.
Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed that Kesler is fine, it was simply a day off. That’s it. Not day-to-day.
“I usually keep it at day-to-day,” laughed Vigneault. “Don’t want to spoil you guys too much.”
In all seriousness, or as much as I can muster, Kesler will be ready to go Monday night.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but he was ripped from the Stanley Cup Final in one.
"I couldn't put it into words for you," Aaron Rome told the Associated Press on his feelings about watching the biggest games of his life pass him by.
"You work hard all season and all playoffs, and for myself being in and out of the lineup, getting a chance to play every day, working your (tail) off to be out there at this time of the season. It's disappointing.
"For me, you've just got to try to look at the bright side and just kind of let it make you stronger."
Rome was suspended four games for a hit on Boston’s Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the Final. Although practicing with the Canucks, Rome is unable to return for the remainder of the series having served just two of four games, with two remaining.
Horton suffered a concussion on the play and he’ll also be out for the rest of the series. No update has been provided as to Horton’s condition.
"It's an emotional time," said Rome. "He's not going to be able to play in the series too. Obviously I understand being on that side of hits where you're pissed off about it. He wants to be out there just like anybody else."
Having replayed the hit in his mind more than anyone over the past six days, Rome has clearly thought of different ways the play could have unfolded. At the end of it all, he’d still make the hit.
"If I could go back, I'd wish he didn't get hurt but I don't think it would change my decision on the play. I've got to step up and be physical, that's part of my game. It's just unfortunate."
Unfortunate for Rome and unfortunate for Horton, who are both liable for what occured, according to the Canucks defenceman.
"There has to be some accountability on the part of the player skating with the puck up the middle of the ice -- maybe with his head down not looking. If it's half a second earlier, a quarter of a second earlier, I'm not in this situation.
"But the game happens fast and, for me, I've got to play on the edge and I guess that time it went a little bit over the edge."
Two for the twins
Daniel Sedin has a goal and an assist in the Stanley Cup Final, Henrik Sedin has been blanked.
The Sedins, who combined for 198 points in the regular season, an average of 2.4 a game, essentially a point each, have just two in the their last five games and with the Stanley Cup a win away, Daniel and Henrik obviously want to contribute more in Game 6.
Do they review film? Get coached on what to do? Consult linemate Alex Burrows for tips? Or maybe it’s a Sedin thing and it stays between the twins.
“We work it out with Alex and whoever is on the point,” said Henrik, adding the Sedins aren't short on confidence. "You lose confidence when you're cheating or doing things wrong, but this is a tough team. They don't give up a whole lot of chances. If you're going to start cheating to get points, it's going to hurt us more.
“We're battling hard. They are a good team. We know we aren't going to get the chances maybe we get usually. That's the way it is. We have to bear down and get chances and find a way to beat Tim Thomas.”
Coach Alain Vigneault was asked about how he plans on dealing with the recent Sedin power outage and he said that the brothers are demanding enough on themselves that over coaching them would be counter productive.
“That being said, I do think that they're playing much better than their point total indicates,” said Vigneault. “I think they're moving the puck well. They're doing a lot of the right things, and a lot of the things that should enable them to get on the score sheet.
“You've got to give credit where credit is due. Their goaltender has made some great saves on them. And their defensemen have done a great job, they have been shutdown now for a few games, but I'm confident the tide should turn here soon.”
The scenery in Boston is great; some Sedinery would be even better.
Dare to dream
Injured Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis stepped onto the ice at TD Garden in street clothes post-practice. He closed his eyes, took a deep breathe and just enjoyed the moment.
He was “visualizing success,” but not personal success as he remains day-to-day with injury. Hamhuis was imagining Canucks success, as all the players are, it’s just that no one is discussing the bigger picture.
There is a lot of work to be done and a slip in mindset from one could cause a domino affect in others.
The Canucks remain focused beyond belief on what they’ve been dreaming of ever since they first laced up skates.
“We used to play road hockey a lot in the winter and build up the snow banks on the side and hit each other into it and pretend we were playing in the Stanley Cup Final,” smiled Kevin Bieksa.
“I think most kids were like that and this is definitely a dream to play in the Final, but at the same time we’re focused, we’ve got one game left and we can do whatever after.
"You’re thinking about playing for it,” admitted Chris Higgins, “but it can’t come into your thoughts, there’s too much work and there are too many details in your game to allow yourself to think that far ahead.”