Insurance questions expedited his return to the states, where he’s now staying in shape with the likes of Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Joni Piktanen and Jamie McBain.
Jokinen described the challenges that come with waiting out the lockout.
“The hardest part for now is practicing and working out and no one knows the date when we will be able to play again,” Jokinen said.
“For now, it takes a lot of motivation from within. Obviously we have a lot of guys here skating and pushing each other. That helps.”
Jokinen played for Karpat, his hometown team. He told Alexander that he might return there – or somewhere else in Europe – a bit before or after Christmas if the lockout drags on even further.
In the mean time, he’ll have memories of playing back home.
“When I left there seven years ago I wasn’t sure if that was the last time I would have a chance to play there,” Jokinen said. “So obviously I tried to enjoy every minute, every moment. They have great fans there, and the fans there were excited to see me and other NHL players in that league.”
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day