Courtesy of Daniel Fung
THE SUN REPORTSAfter returning to game action after missing 34 games due to hip surgery, Ryan Kesler will once again be on the sidelines for an extended period of time after breaking a finger in his left hand reports Brad Ziemer. Kesler is scheduled to undergo surgery. The Canucks also lost the services of Matt Cooke (groin strain) and Alex Burrows in Game 1 although on the bright side for the Canucks, Burrows appears to be ready to go.
Canucks Lose Kesler
"Right now I feel really good," he said. "Some people when they get concussions, they have headaches and stuff like that. I didn't get any of those symptoms. It was just a weird hit, I recovered from the hit and now I'm good to go."
The Canucks have recalled Jannik Hansen and Nathan Smith from the lineup. They also have a healthy Tommi Santala, who was a surprise scratch due to the return of Kesler on Wednesday, ready to go. Coach Vigneault expects his newcomers to be able to pick up the slack should the regulars be unable to go.
"[I]f we have three new players in the lineup, for me it should be like [Jeff] Cowan," said Vigneault. "He started with Burrows and Kesler and when Matt went out I put Cowan with Brendan [Morrison] and Markus [Naslund] and he did extremely well. He got a bigger share of ice time and took the challenge head on. That's what I expect the other guys to do. I don't expect anything less."
Sudden death is fine
Shootouts and 4-on-4's may be fine for the regular season but when it comes to playoff hockey, despite the marathon overtime on Wednesday night, most players seem to stick by the sentiment that 5-on-5 is the only way to go in overtime reports Elliot Pap.
"You'd hate to end the games on shootouts," Stars centre Mike Modano said Thursday. "Going four and five periods deep, that's a long time, but I still think they should leave it the way it is. It's what makes playoff hockey so exciting and enjoyable."
Vancouver Sun readers seem to agree, with 87.28% polled voting no against changing playoff overtime format.
Brad Zeimer reports that the Canucks have officially confirmed the end of Rick Rypien's season. Rypien is slated to undergo surgery to repair a groin injury.
Back at work...and on time
The Canucks had an extremely optional skate on Thurday...but it's doubtful many of their fans who stuck it out for the entire game had that same option the next morning. A random poll suggested however that Canuck fans were none the worse for wear the following day.
"Hockey fans may have stayed up well past midnight to catch the game on TV - and even longer if they were at the stadium - but a random survey suggests that most still managed to get to work or school on time Thursday," writes Michael Kane. "The only difference was that the game was the dominant topic of conversation around office water coolers."
Off the Air
Hardcore fans might have stuck it out the whole night watching the quadruple overtime affair, but apparently some Versus affiliates just couldn't take it anymore. Versus, the U.S. cable network which carries the majority of NHL games in the U.S., lost the game in several markets following the third overtime, according to a Canadian Press report. The game switch into an informercial during the fourth overtime.
THE PROVINCE REPORTS
Them's Fighting Words, Marty
Unfazed by a marathon overtime loss on Wednesday, Marty Turco appeared confident and relaxed the day suggesting the Stars still have the upper hand in the series, reports Jason Botchford.
"We know we can beat these guys here or [in Dallas]," Turco said. "Or anywhere. The game [Wednesday] reaffirmed it."
Playoff overtime doomed?
Canuck fans may have been glued to their TV sets for all seven periods of Wednesday night's game, but if TV networks have their way - particular in the United States - then it may not be long before the 4-on-4's and the shootouts creep their way into the playoffs, says Tony Gallagher.
"Canadians tend to be traditionalists when it comes to this game and I'm no exception," writes Gallagher. "But if this league is ever to be taken seriously in the U.S. with respect to the only medium that seems to matter - television - then there is simply no way this increasingly recurring circus can continue."
Stop Crack-ing Jokes
It may seem funny to most, but Brent Sopel is already getting tired of the same lame cracker jokes, reports Jason Botchford. Sopel, who was looking forward to Game 1 but was forced out of the lineup, was hoping to skate this morning.
"I was hoping to play," Sopel said. "When I bent down to pick [the cracker] up I couldn't get back up, so it's obviously a sure sign something is not right. My daughter dropped the cracker, and [my family] all saw it. I come in and tell the truth and this is what I get. Next time, I'll make up a better story."
FROM THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Workhorse stars 100% sure they can beat Canucks
While only two Canucks laced it up on Thursday, several Dallas Stars participated in practice on Thursday reports Mike Heika. And while they were disappointed in the outcome in Game 1, many left the game feeling the series was theirs for the taking, particularly the outspoken Niklas Hagman.
"I am 100 percent sure we can beat those guys. That's what I take out of it," Hagman said. "We're in good shape, we're ready for the next game. It's a good chance for us to show that we are a deeper team."
Shoot to win
The Stars took 133 shots - 76 on goal - and yet the Canucks still managed to skate away with the victory. But as Jean-Jacques Taylor believes, all the Stars need to do is get more rubber at Luongo and the Stars will come out victors.
"Do that again and the Stars will win," writes Taylor. "At least they should win, considering Dallas is 28-2 this season when it scores four goals or more. The Canucks are 2-11 on the rare night Luongo gives up four goals."
FROM THE FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
Turco a Star
Contrary to what Canuck fans were chanting in Game 1, Marty Turco was one of the best players on the ice for the Dallas Stars believes Jim Reeves. Good enough that the Stars have a glimmer of hope despite being down 1-0 in the series.
And what of Robert Luongo?
"Based on the fact that a [Vancouver] columnist attempted to make the questionable, if tongue-in-cheek, case Wednesday morning that not only had Jesus Christ not died on the cross some 2,000 years ago, he now plays goalie for the Canucks - it was a tantalizingly outrageous column, the 1-0 lead Vancouver took on a shot from behind the net that ricocheted on Darryl Sydor's skate should have been enough," writes Reeves.