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Canucks Report: X marks the spot

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
There were big wins.

Chicago. Pittsburgh. Winnipeg. Boston. New York. Los Angeles.

There were tough losses.

Toronto. Los Angeles. New Jersey. Buffalo. Columbus.

And now, thanks to the Edmonton Oilers beating the Kings Tuesday night, there is an X beside Vancouver Canucks in the standings.

X marks the spot for teams that have extended their season to at least Round 1 of the 2015 NHL Playoffs, but don’t you dare throw that confetti.

“There weren't balloons today, no celebration,” said Kevin Bieksa, asked if the team rejoiced as a group this morning before practice. “We're in the playoffs, but that's just one of our goals this season.”

Gaining home ice advantage in the opening round of the post-season is the next goal and the Canucks can take a step towards that Thursday night when they host the Arizona Coyotes.

Vancouver may be headed back to the playoffs, but with two games remaining, their focus is on the fight for position and momentum.

“We want to start at home,” said Henrik Sedin. “It’s a great position we’re in and we’ve got to keep playing well too, going into playoffs you don’t want to have any letdowns in the games before.”

Contrasting this season to last, this year has already been a success as Vancouver missed the playoffs in 2014.

That didn’t sit well with anyone in the off-season and veterans like Henrik and Bieksa came in as hungry as ever this season.

“This is a team that’s used to winning, we’ve won for a long time, we’ve made the playoffs for a long time and been at the top of our division for a long time, so to miss the playoffs last year was tough. It was tough to sit at home and watch the first round on TV; we feel like we’re a good enough team to be back in the playoffs, we’ve made it there, there’s a lot of work left though.”

TALKIN’ ‘BOUT PRACTICE

Shawn Matthias was the only player absent from skate Wednesday and coach Willie Desjardins said it was a maintenance day for the forward.

Take them when you can right now.

Desjardins also discussed his reaction to clinching a playoff spot and the impending goaltending decision he may be making for Round 1 now that Ryan Miller appears to be on pace to make a return soon.

SBI$A

Luca Sbisa said when he joined the Canucks, he could tell the team was down on how last season ended.

This year he was part of helping the team reclaim a ticket to the dance and that’s a position he’ll be in for the next three years after resigning with Vancouver today.

Derek Dorsett also resigned with the Canucks.

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