Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault deflects blame from the Sedin twins

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While assessing the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators, I must admit that I was a little hard on the Sedin twins. Maybe a little too hard.

Sure, their combined -7 rating from Game 5 looks bad out of context. Yet when you look at the goals scored against them, it was typically a different Vancouver player making the turnover/mistake. Plus/minus can be a misleading stat since it benefits or reprimands an entire set of players when sometimes it’s the error of a single skater (or goalie).

Ultimately, the Sedin twins do need to produce more points, though. Ryan Kesler is carrying this team in this second round series, but if the Canucks hope to beat either the Detroit Red Wings or San Jose Sharks if they get through the Predators, they’ll need more from Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

Head coach Alain Vigneault must be aware of the importance of keeping an even keel. He made the wise choice to deflect blame from them when asked about their plus/minus ratings.

“Those are unfair stats,” Vigneault said of the plus-minus. “They couldn’t do anything about [Alex] Edler putting the puck into our net. They couldn’t do anything on the [Mikael] Samuelsson turnover and they couldn’t do anything on the other two turnovers. Sometimes, that’s an unfair stat.

“They’re working extremely well and hard. They are guys who are supposed to put points up and I’m supporting them 100 per cent. The points are going to come.”

Daniel has nine points (5-4) in a dozen game but is bothered by the plus-minus wart.

“Absolutely,” said the winger. “That’s always been something we’ve been focusing on and yesterday [Saturday] was one of those games and we had one against Chicago, too. They hurt us, but we’ve got to bounce back.”

Fair or not, playoff performances have a huge impact on players’ legacies. If the Sedin twins want to be respected as some of the best players in the NHL, they’ll need to find the net with greater frequency. Getting almost there isn’t quite good enough at this level.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: