|THE GLOBE & MAIL
|We’ve gone in the wrong direction
Grant Kerr turns towards Trevor Linden asking him about this October rut and Linden’s experience with the Canucks.
“Trevor Linden figures he's experienced most of the trends, tendencies and possibilities during 19 NHL seasons, mostly with the Vancouver Canucks,” said Kerr. “He can't recall offhand, though, a season when the Canucks lost five of their first six home games, which Vancouver did last month at GM Place.”
"It's a place where you can go in the right direction or the wrong direction, and we've gone in the wrong direction,' Linden said yesterday after a practice in which the Canucks worked on defensive assignments.
"The opponent is really not an issue," Linden said. "Any team that comes in here has good players, is going to be playing hard. It doesn't matter who it is. Our biggest focus right now is our game."
Although the line-ups aren’t officially released, Kerr asked Linden about it anyways.
“It was Linden's turn to be with the twins yesterday, but the veteran cautioned anyone who asked if he would be with the Sedins against the Predators,” said Kerr. “Linden hinted he'd wait for the coach to tell him, considering Linden has already been a healthy scratch five times this season.”
|Practice don’t make perfect
Jim Jamieson said that the Canucks are falling apart as injuries continue to happen in the changing room.
“The NHL club finished practice Wednesday with two more candidates for the medical room, as both defenseman Willie Mitchell and winger Jeff Cowan appeared to suffer injuries that may keep them out of Thursday night's game with the visiting Nashville Predators,” said Jamieson.
“But Mitchell's apparent injury was the most concerning, as he took a Kevin Bieksa slapshot off the left ankle midway through the workout and left the ice in obvious pain.”
"When you get a shot there it usually subsides after a while, but this didn't so I'm a little bit concerned," said Mitchell, who was limping noticeably in the locker-room.
"Kevin took a shot and I don't think he saw me [initially], but I think he eased off on it. It hit me at the top of the [skate] eyelet where there's not much protection."
“At least Cowan, who was slated to return to the lineup after missing seven games with a hip flexor injury, finished the practice,” Jamieson said.
“But the abrasive winger appeared to be in discomfort at the end of the session. He experienced soreness in the area, putting his return in jeopardy.”
"Right now, we don't have that."
|Bieksa Talks Soreness
Jim Jamieson said that Kevin Bieksa admitted yesterday that his abdominal pains never faded since training camp.
“Although he's clearly not comfortable talking about it, Kevin Bieksa offered more details Wednesday about the abdominal "soreness" he's been attempting to play through since training camp,” said Jamieson.
“The defenceman suffered two oblique stomach muscle tears in Game 6 of the conference quarterfinal series against Dallas last spring and felt completely recovered in the summer.”
"I aggravated it shooting, just before training camp," said Bieksa, who's struggled along with the rest of the defence corps this season. "I did about 50 one-timers, just messing around, and the next day I woke up and I could feel it again. The two months prior to that it felt great."
Kerr said, “Bieksa has been advised by the Canucks' medical staff that the injury will get better over time and he can't do more damage by playing.”
"Our doctors have been on top of this since the beginning of training camp," said Vigneault. "They feel, as long as he can handle the pain, he should be able to perform on the ice.”
"Right now, we don't have that."
|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|Vigneault plays treat, not trick, with truth
Iain MacIntyre said that Marc Crawford’s Halloween with this team turns out to be entirely different with Coach Alain Vigneault holding the reins.
“Seven Halloweens ago, former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford emerged for a post-practice press conference wearing a Dr. Evil mask,” said MacIntyre
“Crawford's successor, Alain Vigneault, did not dress up Wednesday for Halloween and, certainly, is no Dr. Evil. It's safe to assume, however, Canucks players find his personality neither as refreshing nor engaging as reporters do.”
“It's not the truth that some Canucks players have a problem with. It's that their coach is willing to share it with -- gasp! -- the media.”
MacIntyre said, “Willie-gate erupted this week because veteran defenceman Willie Mitchell, considered the Canucks' captain-in-waiting, didn't like being singled out by Vigneault for a shoddy play during the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 win here Sunday.”
“Two weeks ago, winger Matt Cooke fairly radiated with ill-feeling about being scratched from the lineup by Vigneault, who stoked the player's anger by actually explaining that Cooke had been lousy,” said MacIntyre.
"When I say a player's got to pick up his game or pick up his level, in my mind, I don't consider that calling him out," Vigneault explained Wednesday. "When I do call out a player, you will know; that's not it.
"You ask questions and I make remarks on different things. Last game, I said certain players have to pick up their level. You could look at the stats and everything I mentioned was just facts. In my mind, that's not calling out or challenging players. I don't use the media for that. I use my office, I use the video, I use other things. Different people interpret it different ways."
"If you ask me: 'Would you rather have things dealt with inside the room?' I would say yes," Ohlund said. "But he's the head coach. That's obviously how he does things, and whether I like it or not doesn't really make a difference."