Canucks to do it for Naslund
The Vancouver Canucks are dedicating the rest of the regular season and upcoming playoff drive to fallen leader Markus Naslund.
"We have to make sure we do it for Markus' sake," defenceman Mattias Ohlund told the Vancouver Sun.
"We are all upset by what happened. He is our captain and our leader and we've all learned a lot from him. Unfortunately, injuries like this are part of the game. We all feel bad, especially because Markus was having such a good year."
Naslund broke his right leg in Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and is expected to miss the final three weeks of the regular season and the playoffs.
Heading into Saturday's action, Naslund's 41 goals were tied for third most in the NHL. His 75 points were the eleventh-highest total in the league.
In his first season as Canucks captain, Naslund had never recorded more than 36 goals and 66 assists before helping the Canucks back to respectability this season.
Andrew Cassels said his teammates must refocus and not dwell on Naslund's injury.
"We'll have to come together more as a group," Cassels said. "We have 10 games left to make the playoffs."
The Canucks, who haven't made the postseason since 1996, sit fifth in the Western Conference, eight points ahead of ninth-place Los Angeles with 10 games left.