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Canucks enjoy 'R & R'

by Dhiren Mahiban /
VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks are used to "R & R" time at this time of the year.

However, this time around, it's not rest and relaxation they're enjoying. The five days off are being used to rest and recuperate between Rounds 2 and 3 of the playoffs.

Vancouver stayed off of the ice on Tuesday after arriving from Nashville just after 2 a.m. local time. The Canucks return to the ice on Thursday in preparation for their first Western Conference Finals in 17 years.

After the Canucks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games in the first round, they had just one day off before beginning their series with the Predators. At the time, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said that was all the rest they needed.

On Tuesday, he had a similar response.

"It's great," he said, laughing. "I think what we're going to do here, for today and tomorrow, we're going stay off the ice and then we're going to get back to practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday to get ready to play Sunday -- whoever we play."

In terms of who could use some rest more than others, Vigneualt wasn't tipping his hand.
"Everybody is 100 percent. Nobody is tired."

It's believed Mikael Samuelsson is suffering from some sort of left leg injury, while captain Henrik Sedin is believed to have a lower-body injury on his right side. Samuelsson has missed two games already in these playoffs.

"I feel fine … if we had to play (Game 7) tomorrow, I'd be fine to play, but I think going forward here (rest) is going to be important," said Ryan Kesler. "These next couple days are going to be important to re-charge the batteries and fuel things back up to full.

"It will be good to get some practice time and really get some down time – rest and recovery. It's going to be key, because it's not going to get any easier going forward. We're going to need everybody healthy and everyone going."

The Canucks were 3-0-1 against the San Jose Sharks and 2-0-2 against the Detroit Red Wings during the regular season.

Samuelsson, Raffi Torres and Maxim Lapierre are the only members of this group who have been this deep in the playoffs, while the Canucks as an organization have only been to the conference twice previously with the last time coming in the spring of 1994.

Vancouver will officially announce recalls from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, on Wednesday. Vigneault said goaltender Eddie Lack would be part of a group that would skate as the team's black aces.
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