Programming note: Sharks-Canucks Game 2 coverage begins tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California
VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks opted not to take a morning skate on Friday at Rogers Arena, as they try to even up their first round series with the Sharks later tonight.
The players that were made available to the media recognize the importance of not having to go back to San Jose down two games to none.
“Being down 2-0 is never easy, especially against this team which is really good at home, too,” Daniel Sedin said. “It’s going to be a big game tonight, and we’re looking forward to a better result.”
[RELATED: Sharks-Canucks Game 2 at a glance]
The Canucks are trying to avoid losing in the first round for the second consecutive season. As the top-seeded team in the Western Conference in 2012, they lost to Los Angeles in five games.
Did they learn anything in that series they can apply to this one?
“Yeah, don’t lose three in a row, that’s a tough way to start a series,” Kevin Bieksa said. “Losing two in a row on home ice, you put yourself in a big hole.”
He continued: “There’s a high level of importance right now for tonight. You don’t want to go down two-nothing, all the momentum going to them back to their home ice. All of a sudden you win the second game, it’s funny the way momentum swings in the playoffs – all of a sudden we’ve got a little momentum to go play them on their home soil. There’s going to be a lot of emphasis on tonight.”
* * *
Bieksa, by the way, said he had no recollection of his stick to the groin of the Sharks’ Marty Havlat midway through the first period. Havlat left the game and did not return, and his status for Game 2 is in doubt.
If you missed replay, you can see it here courtesy of ProHockeyTalk.com.
* * *
If the Canucks are going to break through offensively, one or both of the Sedin twins will likely have to be involved.
In Game 1, the Daniel-Henrik-Alex Burrows line combined for just four shots on goal, three from Daniel.
Head coach Alain Vigneault said: “I think that whether it be Hank or Danny, or any of our other guys that have been able to get on the scoresheet on a regular basis throughout the years, they know the situation. They’re aware of their responsibilities. Right now they’re doing everything that they can as far as getting themselves ready, watching video on San Jose on different things that they can exploit, but they’ve got to trust their instincts.”
The Canucks’ defense can do a better job in helping to create offense, too, indicated Vigneault.
“If you look over the years, our defense has been one that has supported the attack and jumped up in the attack,” he said. “We need to be better at that, just like we need to be better at getting shots through from the point. If we do that, I think that offense that we expect from those guys should come a little bit better.”
* * *
Cory Schneider returned to the ice on Friday morning, skating with the Canucks’ scratches. He’s still day-to-day, according to Vigneault, with an undisclosed injury. He won’t back up Roberto Luongo, so it will be rookie Joe Cannata dressing for Vancouver.