Putting It Together

Thursday, 03.05.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Vancouver Canucks
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Putting It Together

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The Canucks recalled speedy forward Brandon Reid of the Manitoba Moose Wednesday afternoon.

Reid's played in four playoff games with the Moose so far, registering two assists. He has one assist in nine playoff games with the Canucks in 2002-2003, including two game sevens, so he's no stranger to the NHL post-season.

Although not the highest point-getter on the Moose, Reid's speed is the key to his call-up Wednesday.

"We felt last game, as the game went on, our speed dropped off and it's something you definitely need against this team so within the players we had available in our organization, he was the quickest so we called him up," said Alain Vigneault. "He can give us a little bit of speed on the fourth line."

"[Vigneault] said just do what you've got to do' and I know what I have to do," said Reid. "I've been here a couple times and I've got to bring energy and I've got to use my speed and hopefully fit in a couple points, if I can."

This is the second call for Reid, who received positive comments from Vigneault during his first stint with the Canucks in February.

Reid impressed everyone skating on a line with Markus Naslund and Jan Bulis. He appeared in five games in the regular season including a 3-2 win over the Ducks February 20th.

With Reid in the lineup, Nathan Smith will likely sit.

Kevin Bieksa returned to Tuesday night with a loud welcome from the home crowd, who clearly missed the defenceman.

The Canucks re-assigned Alex Edler back to the Manitoba Moose Wednesday afternoon.


BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

Yes, it's true. This is a must-win if they want to see round three but tonight is game five.

"We have to win tonight, so we're not looking at the big picture," said Vigneault. "We're looking at one game, one performance and that's what we need to do."

But many critics and fans-alike enjoy harping on a events of the past. The comparisons aren't fair considering how different the teams are and the fact that few had imagined the Canucks going this far at all.

The Canucks aren't going to let history or anyone else get in the way tonight.

"We could easily be up 3-1 but we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves and quit," said Brendan Morrison. "People have come to expect a blue-collar effort and that's what we're going to give them."

This Canucks team isn't about to repeat history, in fact, they've been making history - all season long.

"I've been through it a few times in my career, being up 3-1 and being down 3-1, so it's old clichés, you take it one day at a time, you do what you can but I think we're ready for the challenge," said Bryan Smolinski. "I like the odds against you all the time, that's kind of the way this team's been all year - ever since I've come to it - so what's one more hurdle? You step on this hurdle, then we go back to our place."

So, really, there's no sense in looking back because that's all done now but the Canucks aren't looking ahead either.

"So we're not looking any more than five minutes after the game or in the first period, just play the moment, enjoy it and just have fun with it, really," says Smolinski.

With the exception of game one, all of the games in the series have been one-goal games - something the Canucks are familiar and comfortable with.

Their post-season record is 4-3 in one goal games, while in the regular season 48 games were decided by one goal, where they posted the second best record in the league (30-11-7).

Expect another close one between the teams and hopefully the Canucks can play to a home crowd Sunday night.

"You have to look at the big picture," said captain Markus Naslund. "The first game was a poor performance from our side but, after that, I think it's been really even. We're not getting outplayed. We've just been making a few mistakes that are costing us."

"Hopefully if we keep working hard and doing those little things that help make a difference it will pay off."

The Canucks have been in this situation six times in franchise history. They have back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series three times (1992, 1994, 2003) and forced a game seven four times.

FROM THE ROAD