If not for this pesky lockout, last night at Rogers Arena would’ve been one of the most anticipated nights of the NHL’s regular season.
That’s because it was supposed to be the first meeting between the Canucks and Blackhawks since March 21 when Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith caught Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin with a flying elbow.
For a play the NHL deemed “dangerous” and “reckless,” Keith was suspended five games.
Unfortunately for the Canucks, Sedin didn’t get off so easy. The 2011 Art Ross Trophy winner missed the rest of the regular season (nine games) and three playoff games with a concussion.
Without Sedin, Vancouver lost the first three games of its opening-round series against the Kings, got eliminated in five, then had to watch Los Angeles roll to its first Stanley Cup win in franchise history.
So yeah, you can see why last night could’ve been interesting.
Alas, we’ll have to wait a little longer to witness the latest chapter in the Canucks-‘Hawks rivalry.
In the meantime, Sedin is skating with a handful of teammates in Vancouver and trying to put the concussion concerns behind him.
“You notice at times, in the first few practices, that you’re kind of hesitant in the corners because you don’t want to be blind-sided and not be ready for it,” he told The Province on Thursday. “You see the tiniest hit and it cost a guy a full year and you see a big hit and a guy is back in a week. It’s a tricky injury and that’s why it’s so scary.
“I’ve had nothing, no symptoms. I took a few weeks off after the season and started training again. You worry about the first few workouts, but everything has been fine. I’m doing the same things that I did before [the concussion] and that was the bottom line.”