Injuries continue to bug Canucks
Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin was injured Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres. (REUTERS)
The injury parade continues for the Vancouver Canucks in the form of captain Henrik Sedin.
And while the severity of the centre's leg injury — which he suffered late in the second period Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres — is unknown for now, the team at least gets an extra day to rest with Monday off before playing a road game Wednesday.
There's also more optimism and enthusiasm — a couple of rare traits for this club over the last couple months.
Their 4-2 victory over the Sabres, thanks to a four-assist showing by forward Zack Kassian, gives them two straight wins. And, while a nearly impossible path still lies ahead of them, they aren't completely out of the playoff hunt.
Prior to both the Phoenix Coyotes and the Dallas Stars taking to the ice on Monday, Vancouver sat three points out, but have played two games more.
The good news stops there.
The last time the Canucks have beaten a team in the playoffs was Feb. 26 against the St. Louis Blues. Since then they have five victories — against Calgary, Winnipeg, Florida, Nashville and Buffalo. As of Monday, all of them are lower than the Canucks in the standings.
Vancouver's next seven games are against teams currently in a post-season position.
They start with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, a team sitting in seventh in the West. Then there's the fifth-ranked Colorado Avalanche and the third-seeded Anaheim Ducks, both of whom they'll face twice more.
The L.A. Kings and New York Rangers are also on the list, and as of Monday, were sixth in their respective conferences.
But if somehow the Canucks are still in contention come their final two games, at least there's Calgary and Edmonton to close out the regular season.
That's still about three weeks away though, because for now, the focus is on building on the momentum of their first consecutive victories since January.
"It's better that we keep this streak going and make a run for it here," Kassian said. "We don't have time to look back on games here … as a team we're still happy we're still in the hunt."