It’s easy – almost natural – for people to be negative about the Canucks, especially if those people are located in Vancouver. When you look at the situation out West, it’s not crazy to call them elite, although having a healthy Daniel Sedin is a big part of that puzzle. “Healthy” might be a relative term, yet Canucks GM Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Sun that the star winger is making progress toward a return by the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s risky to make projections with these things because one day the player just may not feel right, but he’s going in the right direction,” Gillis said. “He’s feeling a little better each day. We’re hopeful if things keep going the way they are that he’ll be available [for the first round].”
Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy provides more specific details about his recovery process.
As for Daniel Sedin, he was spotted at the rink on Wednesday. I’m told Daniel is feeling better than he did the days right after Duncan Keith’s elbow knocked him out of the line-up with a concussion. Daniel is still suffering from headaches, however, and cannot exercise at all until he is symptom free.
Canucks fans and the team should be heartened to hear that Daniel Sedin is making progress, although to steal a phrase from Gillis, it’s probably risky to assume that he’s a lock to be in the lineup once the first round begins.
Things are getting better for the Detroit Red Wings, and quickly at that.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press reports that a trio of defensemen are getting healthy and two of them could suit up for tonight’s game against Carolina. Jakub Kindl will definitely be back in tonight’s lineup while captain Nicklas Lidstrom will be a game-time decision. Jonathan Ericsson is looking like he’ll be back for Detroit on Monday night.
If Lidstrom can’t go tonight, rookie Brendan Smith will get the start instead. Kindl’s return made it possible for Detroit to send Doug Janik back to the AHL. Detroit has been without Lidstrom and Ericsson since February 25 while Kindl has been gone since March 4.
Ty Conklin will get the start in tonight’s game. He’s coming off a stellar, but losing, effort against the Rangers on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Kings are red-hot right now, enjoying a run that earned them a slim Pacific Division lead. The addition of former Philadelphia Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards has played a role in that, but one cannot help but wonder if another former high-scoring Philly forward would really put them over the top.
Unfortunately for the Kings, GM Dean Lombardi doesn’t believe that Simon Gagne will be back for them this season, according to a report by Rich Hammond.
Lombardi said that he “doubts” that the dangerous winger could return from concussion issues that have sidelined him since Dec. 26. That’s the sad story of Gagne’s career, really, injuries – particularly concussions – have short-circuited what would otherwise be a borderline All-Star producer’s effectiveness.
It’s not exactly as if the Kings could plead ignorance about his injury history, as that’s the neon-light-obvious reason why an otherwise potent player attracted little interest on the free agent market.
If Kings fans want a glimmer of hope, Hammond points out that Gagne is being evaluated on “a weekly basis,” so perhaps he could bounce back if the Kings manage to stick around in the playoffs for a while. Both of those matters seem like big “ifs,” but Gagne being healthy might actually be less likely.