Numbers don’t add up for Canucks’ playoff hopes
New York Rangers defenseman Raphael Diaz (4) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Brad Richardson (15) mid ice during the third period at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 3-1. Apr 1, 2014; Vancouver. (Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
The Vancouver Canucks can read. They understand math. They know what's happening.
When asked whether the team is finding motivation from the fact that there's still a mathematical chance — as minuscule as it is — of making the playoffs, captain Henrik Sedin was coy.
"We're hockey players, we're not stupid," he said.
The math now is 0.01% chance of the Canucks making the post-season. There are five games left in the season, and official elimination looms. But, of course, the players all know that and while they aren't admitting defeat just yet, it's hard not to accept the fact.
"As long as there's a chance we're going to keep playing in here and we'll see where it takes us," Henrik said. "We've all seen the numbers that's been thrown out there, but if it's still there we're going to keep playing hard."
As expected, the talk is that the focus can only be on the next game for now, which goes Saturday at home against the Los Angeles Kings. Pointing fingers can be saved for another day.
"There's plenty of time to talk about all this stuff afterwards," defenceman Kevin Bieksa said. "People are going to speculate, you guys are going to write your stories, everyone is going to try to put the blame on somebody and everyone is going to try to deflect on someone else. That's the way it goes on in this market."
For Henrik, the centre was back practising with the team after missing the last four games with a knee sprain.
"It's been better and better," he said. "We've got a few more games until the next game so we'll see how it goes.
"It's one of those things right away where you feel it's not right and come in the day after and it's not as bad as we thought, but wasn't good enough to play."
The tough part has been sitting and watching games from the sidelines when his team is on the ice losing in must-win games. It's been three straight defeats now for Vancouver, including a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
"It's not fun especially in the tough stretch where we are," Henrik said.