Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Canucks Prep For Wings In Motown

After a quick morning flight from Columbus to Detroit, it was a fully attended Canucks practice today at Joe Louis Arena.

Curtis Sanford returned to the ice after suffering a back injury against the Blue Jackets on Monday. He says he feels a lot better and is ready to play. Coach Alain Vigneault says he'll check with Sanford in the morning to see how he's feeling before he makes a decision on whether Sanford or Cory Schneider will start against the Red Wings.

Darcy Hordichuk skated today after injuring his foot in Calgary last Saturday. He says it's still tender but it is getting better every day and he hopes to return before the week is out.

Here's how the players skated in 5-on-5 drills during practice:

D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Demitra
Pyatt - Wellwood - Bernier
Burrows - Kesler - Hansen
Raymond - Jaffray - Brown

Mitchell - Bieksa
Ohlund - Salo
Edler - O Brien
Nycholat - Davison

The team practiced with two different power play units today, after the club scored both goals on the man advantage in their 3-2 loss to the Jackets on Monday.

PP #1
D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Wellwood
Bieksa - Edler

PP #2
Raymond - Demitra - Bernier
Ohlund - Salo

The Canucks are riding their second three-game losing streak of the season. Special teams will certainly be a major focus going into Thursday's game against the Red Wings. Detroit leads the NHL's Central Division with a 16-4-4 record. They also sport the top power play percentage in the entire league, having gone 31-for-100 to this point in the season.

Vancouver has a 2-1-0 record against the Wings this season, with both victories coming in overtime, which included their first meeting of the season. Back on October 16, Alex Burrows netted the winner 27 seconds into the extra period to lift the Canucks to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

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