Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

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Canucks' celebration muted

Categories: Nashville Predators, Second Round, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks celebrate their 2-1 win in Game 6 against the Nashville Predators, on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. (Mike Strasinger/Associated Press)
There was way more merriment in the stands at the Bridgestone Arena than in the Vancouver Canucks dressing room following the series finale. Yet, it was the hometown Nashville Predators whose season just ended.

The game had finished and the series was over, but most of the 17,113 loud and proud fans stayed to send a message of appreciation to their players. "Go Predators go, go Predators go," they chanted over and over and over again as captain Shea Weber led his teammates to the middle of the ice to salute the fans by raising their sticks in unison.
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Canucks' Higgins OK for Game 6

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Chris Higgins, left, hurt a foot blocking a shot in Game 5. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Second-line forward Chris Higgins gave his teammates a scare when he left the Vancouver Canucks' morning skate early.

But afterwards Higgins and Canucks coach Alain Vigneault revealed that the player was fine and will play in Game 6 on Monday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET). Read more »

Vigneault defends the Sedins

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Daniel Sedin (22) and his brother Henrik (not pictured) were a combined minus-7 during Vancouver’s Game 5 loss to the Nashville Predators Saturday night. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Alain Vigneault came to the defence of Henrik and Daniel Sedin on Sunday. Read more »

Predators' Ward stepping up

Categories: Nashville Predators, Second Round, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Joel Ward (29) celebrates with Shea Weber (6) of the Nashville Predators after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in Game 5 on Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)


Down, but not out. That could be the Predators mantra this season. Here's a team that lost Matthew Lombardi, their top centre, to a concussion early in the second game of the season. In the playoffs, they lost veteran Steve Sullivan with a lower-body injury in Game 3 and forward Jerred Smithson joined him on the sidelines with an upper-body injury two nights later.

But they push on. Somebody steps up. Somebody, like the unheralded 30-year-old Joel Ward. His inspiring, feel-good story has been told many times. But it is a tale worth repeating after his special Saturday night against the Canucks, a two-goal, one-assist performance in the Predators 4-3 victory to force a sixth game.
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Canucks applying lessons learned

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, left, sprawls across the ice to stop Vancouver's Daniel Sedin during the second overtime period of Game 2. (Darryl Dick/Canadian Press)

The Vancouver Canucks claim they have learned a hard lesson from their mini two-game slump in the first round and that has them zeroed in on finishing off the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

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With his six-point outburst, Ryan Kesler, left, almost has doubled his production from his previous 13 Stanley Cup playoff games prior to this post-season. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
The Vancouver Canucks have tried to portray themselves as disinterested in what has transpired in the three other semifinal series. Read more »

Canucks' Vigneault fires back

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was still annoyed with all the embellishment talk his team has received in the last two days. (Nam Y. Hug/Associated Press)

Maybe after he watched his players put forth their best effort in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, the normally composed Alain Vigneault was a little too fired up after his team's important victory on Thursday.

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Canucks' Salo may play in Game 4

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Sami Salo has yet to appear in the Vancouver-Nashville series. (Genevieve Ross/Associated Press)
Injured Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo is a possibility for Game 4 against the Nashville Predators on Thursday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Salo is still officially listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury (believed to be a leg ailment), but he has skated hard the past few days and left the morning skate before fellow blue-liners Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts. Read more »

Predators mull fill-in for Sullivan

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Colin Wilson played all 82 regular season games for Nashville, but hasn't cracked the lineup in the playoffs. (Bill Boyce/Associated Press)

If Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis can complain about the officiating in the Stanley Cup playoffs than Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz felt completely comfortable discussing a couple of questionable calls from Game 3.

 

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Canucks' Bieksa having a blast

Categories: Nashville Predators, Second Round, VAN vs. NSH


Kevin Bieksa seems to be having a blast in this playoff run.

And why not? The Vancouver Canucks soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, who has a finance degree from Bowling Green University, is about to cash in. He's been the Canucks best defender on the ice and there with the best quips in the dressing room afterwards.
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