If the Vancouver Canucks are going down, they’re going down at full strength.
That was the message from Los Angeles today as forward Daniel Sedin — out since Mar. 21 with a concussion — announced he’d be returning to the lineup for Wednesday’s decisive Game 4 against Los Angeles.
Question: Right at this point are you expecting to play today?
Sedin: Yeah. Absolutely.
Given Vancouver trails the best-of-seven series 3-0, there are concerns Sedin’s rushing back into action for a series that’s already lost (of the 168 NHL teams that have lost the first three games of a playoff series, 165 have gone on to lose.) But even in the face of such adversity, the Canucks are displaying a remarkable amount of faith in themselves.
Following Sunday’s 1-0 loss that pushed Vancouver to the brink of elimination, team captain Henrik Sedin was unusually confident about his club’s prospects.
“We worked their D,” he said of the Kings blueline. “They are starting to get tired. We are really working them hard in their end. It’s going to turn around.”
There’s also Daniel’s impending return and the eerie similarities it has to last year, when Chicago inserted Dave Bolland into the lineup after going down 0-3 to the Canucks. Bolland had been sidelined with a concussion for over a month prior to rejoining the ‘Hawks but was huge in his comeback game, scoring 1G-3A-4PTS in the first of Chicago’s three consecutive victories.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.