Canucks don't have any official complaints about Columbus reffing
Captain Henrik Sedin says game was fun to play despite several slashes and crunching hits
COLUMBUS, Ohio – When Vancouver Canuck captain Henrik Sedin stuck his stick through the mask of Columbus Blue Jackets’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, which was followed by a Bobrovsky swan dive, there was no call either way.
Funny how the officials missed both infractions. But the game was tied 1-1 at that point in the third period and maybe they were just exercising “game management.” Who knows? Henrik obviously didn’t mind.
“I didn’t mean to do it,” he said following the Canucks’ 2-1 shootout victory. “I didn’t know if I hit him in the throat or the mask. They missed a lot of other calls, too.”
That was confirmed by brother Daniel. The Sedins and linemate Alex Burrows were mugged at times and defenceman Cam Barker nearly had his head removed by a Jared Boll forearm but referees Wes McCauley and Gord Dwyer awarded just two power plays apiece.
“I thought the reffing was fine,” Daniel said. “I think they maybe missed a few slashes but they let us play and it was a fun game for us to be in. I hope it was a fun game to watch.”
Henrik, meanwhile, called the victory a “great step for us.” Vancouver has just 12 wins in 25 games this National Hockey League season, three by shootout and one in overtime.
“Coming in after winning a shootout is a huge difference from coming in after losing one,” said the captain. “You still get a point for losing in a shootout but it feels like a loss.”
Well, it is a loss, but that’s a discussion for another day.
SHOOT TO THRILL: Daniel was happy with the Canucks’ 38 shots on Bobrovsky and the 72 they directed his way, even though 27 were blocked by the Jackets, who are beginning to resemble the New York Rangers West.
“That’s one of their strengths,” explained Daniel. “They give you the shot and then they block it. If we get that many next game, we’ll get more than one goal, I can promise you that.”
Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne may beg to differ. He’s up next for the Canucks, Thursday at Rogers Arena, and will be coming off his fifth shutout of the season.
JOURNEYMAN: Call-up centre Andrew Ebbett said he hasn’t yet read Sean Pronger’s book about the latter’s up-and-down professional career but he might now.
Ebbett experienced one of those journeyman moments two weeks ago when he was called up from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves on Feb. 28 and then returned the next day without playing a game. The Canucks had unexpectedly claimed Tom Sestito on waivers and needed the roster spot.
“I’ve been around for a while and haven’t seen something like that,” shrugged the 30-year-old, who has played for 10 different professional teams (five in the NHL) during his career. “It’s part of the business, I guess. I signed up for that when I signed a two-way deal in the summer. You can get ticked off about it or make the best of it and go back down and play. At the end of the day, I just want to play some hockey.”
Added Ebbett: “I’d like to read Sean Pronger’s book and see the parallels.”
STILL A NO-GO: Despite taking a full practice Monday and skating again Tuesday morning, defenceman Kevin Bieksa was still not ready to go against the Blue Jackets. Bieksa has missed seven games with a lingering groin problem, including the last five in a row.
According to Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault, Bieksa met with athletic trainer Mike Burnstein and team doctor Mike Wilkinson and they made the decision that he wouldn’t play. Bieksa has already had one false start when he played March 2 against the L.A. Kings after sitting out two games. Vigneault insisted that Bieksa wasn’t rushed back.
“They were cautious,” Vigneault said. “They thought it was fine. Right now, this morning, all I know is they said he’s going to need a little more time.”
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Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets prepares to staple Tom Sestito of the Vancouver Canucks to the boards during the first period of Tuesday's National Hockey League game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Photograph by: Jamie Sabau, NHLI via Getty Images