The cavalry, in the person of injured star Daniel Sedin, may be about to arrive.
According to the Vancouver Canucks’ official Twitter feed, Sedin is en route to Los Angeles and will join the team for a full practice Tuesday, in the hopes that he’ll be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s fourth game of the Western Conference quarter-final.
The Kings lead the series 3-0 and a primary reason is Vancouver’s inability to score – and to score on the power play. Sedin is their perennial goal-scoring leader and has 28 power-play goals to his credit over the past two seasons.
Coach Alain Vigneault said he couldn’t say for sure yet whether Sedin would be able to return to the lineup.
“That won’t be my decision, that’s a medical decision,” said Vigneault. “He’s been skating now for quite a few days. They feel he’s progressed real well and he’s cleared to practice with the team. Exactly what that means, we’ll have a better indication in the next couple of days.”
Asked what Sedin’s return might mean to a Canucks team whose season is teetering on the brink, Vigneault replied: “Well, he’s our top scorer. Is that a good answer?
“Obviously, right now, because Danny’s not there, we’ve got quite a few guys playing out of roles or out of their best possible position to help out this team. That’s nothing new. You go through that throughout the regular season, but obviously right now, with the level of competition we’re up against, and the situation we’re faced with, to have him back in our lineup would be a big boost. But we don’t know, so we’ll see how everything goes in the next little while here.”
The Canucks took a maintenance day Monday at their beachfront hotel, with only a handful of players meeting the press in the early afternoon.
One of them was Sedin’s fellow Swede, Samuel Pahlsson, who thought Daniel’s return could provide a boost, but shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a saviour either.
“Like you said, he’s our leading scorer and we want him out there, but we should be able to score some goals without him too,” said Pahlsson.
Thus far in the series, Vancouver has managed only four goals in three games.