Courtesy of Daniel Fung
THE PROVINCE REPORTS
Down 3-1 in the series, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest the Canucks have the Ducks right where they want them, but there's a sense of familiarity with the Canucks current predicament and the one they have been facing all season, writes Ed Willes. All season long, the Canucks got respect from nobody. They weren't supposed to make the playoffs; then they weren't supposed to beat Dallas. And now, faced with the same situation against the Ducks, the Canucks know they have to shut out the critics and just focus on playing a hard game.
Glass is half full
"We have no choice," said team captain Markus Naslund. "We know the season will be over if we feel bad for ourselves. We worked hard (Tuesday night), but we had that 2-0 lead and we could have put them away if we played up-beat hockey. I don't think we did."
Even with a superb Game 5 effort, it won't be easy facing a Ducks team that is experienced enough to know to move in for the kill.
"We're not looking ahead," said current Duck and former Canuck Brad May. "We know what can happen. I remember when I was in Vancouver, we had [the Minnesota Wild] down 3-1 (in the '03 playoffs) and we started looking ahead. We got nipped on the ass."
Louie asks team to lay it all on the line
Roberto Luongo is asking his team to lie down. No, he's not asking his team to throw in the towel...not at all. Never. He's asking his team to lie down in the shooting lanes and prevent the Ducks from getting their shots through from the point, reports Ben Kuzma.
"They were just getting the shots from the point," Luongo said following Tuesday night's painful loss at GM Place. "[Chris] Pronger's getting shots through and they have guys out front as usual. When you're trying to preserve a lead you need guys to block shots, go down and sacrifice the body sometimes so they don't get those shots and rebound opportunities. For us to have a chance to win, everyone has to be on their game, starting from me on up."
Sedins under fire from Coach V
Their respective breakout regular seasons is old news. After both setting career high numbers in the regular season, the twins have been largely ineffective in the playoffs, particularly in round 2 when Daniel has just two points in four games and Henrik is pointless. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who split up the twins for a few shifts in Game 4, wasn't holding anything back knowing the success of his team depended a great deal on the Twins and knowing they can, and must, be better.
"Right now in the playoffs, except for maybe Game 1 and Game 7 of the Dallas series, they haven't been as good as all year long," said Vigneault. "They seem to be skating in quicksand on different nights. I know they want to do well and want to be the go-to guys, but right now their game is not as good as during the season."
Teammate Brendan Morrison believes the Sedins will come through when needed most and had some helpful advice on the eve of Game 5.
"You just have to keep pushing," he said. "Don't doubt yourself. Just do the things you do and it will turn around. Those guys are tremendous hockey players. You just try and buy time for them to work through it. I think you'll see a really good performance from those guys [in Game 5]."
THE SUN REPORTS
Canucks confident they can still win series
Looking like the curtain could fall on the Canucks season in Game 5, the Canucks let it be known it isn't over until the fat lady sings. And with their season sitting on the brink, they have put Game 4's disappointment behind them and are completely focused on Game 5, writes Iain MacIntyre.
"We'll be right where we need to be mentally," Canuck Trevor Linden vowed. "It's pretty easy to focus, because there isn't a Game 6 if you don't do the job."
Even with the odds stacked heavily against the Canucks to come back in this series, particularly with against a stronger, faster, healthier, better rested and experienced, not to mention confident Anaheim team after sweeping the two games in Vancouver, the Canucks still aren't quite ready to roll over and play dead.
"Honestly, I don't doubt that we can win this series if we go out and play the way we're capable," veteran Brendan Morrison said. "If we don't play our best, though, then we won't win."
Bieksa good to go
After making a surprise return in Game 4, Kevin Bieksa proclaimed himself good to go for Game 5, reports Elliott Pap. Bieksa played 20:49 in Game 4, finishing a plus-one with two shots and one hit.
"So far so good," Bieksa said Wednesday at Vancouver airport before the Canucks flew down to Anaheim. "There is no reason why I won't play the next game. I imagine I'm good again."
Controversy is "totally ridiculous"
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault is focused 100% Vancouver's Game 5 showdown Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks, but he made a quick comment on Wednesday against the current controversy surrounding Team Canada's Shane Doan. Vigneault, who is French-Canadian, feels the allegations against Doan being made by a number of politicians is "totally ridiculous," reports Brad Ziemer, the CanWest News Service and the Canadian Press.
"In the heat of the battle things get said sometimes a lot worse than being called a French frog or whatever," Vigneault said Wednesday. "If our politicians, French or English, if that's the only thing right now they have to worry about...there's a lot more important things going on in society than that. It is utterly, utterly stupid, not to say embarrassing."
THE LA TIMES REPORTS
Selanne skips practice
Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle opted to give veteran Teemu Selanne the day off on Wednesday, although the Ducks forward is expected to go tonight in Game 5, reports Lonnie White.
"It would be a vast understatement to say that Selanne was a little beat-up after the Ducks' 3-2 overtime victory in Game 4 on Tuesday," writes White. "Selanne's entire face is swollen and bruised from the various collisions he's had throughout the first two rounds, a total of nine games. His right eye is filled with blood, his cheek is held together with stitches and a huge welt protrudes from his chin, giving his head a lumpy look."
Carlyle believes the shots taken at Selanne by the Canucks are unintentional and that his veteran winger would be unaffected despite being slightly banged up.
"Those are the type of things hockey players are known for," Carlyle said of Selanne, who sent Game 4 into overtime with a timely third-period goal. "They are not going to let those types of incidents affect their performance. He's a perfect example of that.
"I don't think any [of the hits] have been intentional. Just the wrong place at the wrong time. But I think that his modeling career will be put on hold for a while."