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Canucks vs Stars, Wednesday at 7:00PM - Tickets available

Talk of the Town

Tuesday, 17.04.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Vancouver Canucks
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Talk of the Town


BACK IN?

After missing 21 games with a knee injury, Josh Green was listed as day-to-day Monday.

After skating this morning, he will likely make his return to the lineup Tuesday night for game four. He will be a game-time decision.

Green skated with the team for the first time Sunday since being injured March 1 in a collision against Phoenix.

"I've had a couple of really good skates here, probably have to do a couple more to see where we're at and see how the knee responds to those."

Green's no stranger to injuries having sat out an entire season in 2000-2001 with a shoulder injury.

He had no previous knee injuries and originally anticipated being back for the last game of the regular season or first game of the playoffs but recovery on the knee was slower than expected.

"You don't want to rush back anytime you have a major injury like this so you want to make sure it's ready and try to get back the conditioning and get back my skating legs," he said after taking the ice on Monday. "I'd say we're probably day-to-day now but I'll have to see how it responds the next day."

A key player on the Canucks penalty kill, averaging 2:32 while shorthanded in the regular season. Green finished the season with seven points (2-5-7) in 57 games.


GETTING PHYSICAL

Since arriving in Vancouver, Roberto Luongo has been the talk of the town and with good reason.

First, it was the anticipation of seeing "Luongo" on the back of the Orca jersey but as the season progressed, there was talk of overworking the All-Star goalie and of course, the fact that he helped the Canucks to a division title.

Luongo finished the season with career bests, 47 wins and 2.29 GAA.

Now three games into his first ever visit to the post-season, there's no surprise that all the talk is, once again, surrounding the Canucks goaltender.

While games one and two between Vancouver and Dallas were relatively mild physically, game three proved to be a much more heated battle between the two teams.

Jeff Cowan leads both teams with 11 hits, just ahead of Philippe Boucher, who has 10 hits.

While Vancouver has out-hit the Stars 101-82 in the series but what's most concerning is the physical play endured by Luongo.

"I think like I mentioned, prior to [Sunday], there were a couple of incidents for the referees to see Louie getting bumped there," said Alain Vigneault Monday after practice. "Obviously all teams tell their players to go hard to the net, put traffic in front of the goaltender, and to drive hard but Louie got hit twice there and once almost got hurt."

"I thought [Sunday] night especially was a bit of a cheap shot," said Luongo. "I don't know if the league saw that or not but definitely something to look at."

While the Stars may be trying any way to get Luongo off his game or off his skates, he's boasting an impressive 1.60 GAA, .947 save percentage, having faced the most shots of any goalie.

Not bad for a first time playoff appearance.

To put the cherry on top, his team is up 2-1 in the series and will no doubt, play another tough game against a Stars team unwilling to give up two at home.


MORE POWER

The Canuck power-play through 82 games of the regular season had a tendency to go through fazes and if you remember, it didn't start off great.

The playoffs seem to be kicking off on the same trend but that's nothing to worry about.

While the Canucks are 15th (out of 16 teams) with the man advantage, the 16th ranked team right now are the Sharks, who finished second on the power-play in the regular season.

The Canucks are 1-for-17 in the series while the Stars are 2-for-19.

Dallas is second in penalty killing and 11th on the power-play this post-season.

But there have only been three games, which is saying... well, very little. The Canucks climbed as high as 11th overall on the power-play in the regular season so it's just a matter of getting it going again.

Dallas got power-play goals in games one and three -lost both, while Vancouver had their lone power-play goal in the marathon game one, which they won.

So far, they it seems maybe getting a power-play goal may not be so great for Dallas but could go either way for the Canucks.

Power-plays haven't been a huge factor so far but in close games like the ones between the Canucks and the Stars, one goal is all that's needed.