VANCOUVER - Leave it to Kevin Bieksa to put things into perspective.
In good times and in bad, the veteran defenceman has always been a go-to guy for a thoughtful quote or two.
And with these being particularly bad times for the Vancouver Canucks, Bieksa once again did not disappoint. He is as angry and disappointed as anyone about this train wreck of a season, but Bieksa also reminded everyone that it is, after all, just a game. In the really big picture, it’s not that big a deal. The sky is not falling.
“There are lot of things that place it in perspective,” Bieksa told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “I heard some stories yesterday about a kid at school being abused by his father and he was hiding out at school and the teachers were babysitting him and making sure the parent didn’t come back and kidnap him. There are things around the world that put it into perspective. We’re playing a game and yeáh, we’re disappointed, we’re devastated we didn’t make the playoffs, we put a lot of work in this year, but fell short. But it’s a game, we are going to go out and have fun, entertain the fans and finish off good.”
The way Bieksa sees it, the remaining five games for the Canucks are as much about pride as points.
“We’re playing for pride now,” he said. “We are trying to be professionals here and win some games down the stretch. It sounds better when you miss the playoffs by three points as opposed to eight or nine or 10. We’ll do our best here to put some points together, have some fun and play some good hockey.”
TWITTER STORM: One day after his hit on top Ranger defenceman Ryan McDonagh earned him a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing, Canuck winger Alex Burrows said he had heard nothing regarding a possible suspension from the National Hockey League. But he had heard plenty on Twitter.
“There must have been 500 messages for me from Ranger fans,” Burrows said. “'I'll kill your family, I want you to die.' Bad things. A lot of people were upset with me.”
So why read them?
“I thought it was a little bit entertaining, too,” Burrows said. “It's a way for people to communicate nowadays, but it is scary. I'm a little worried about my kids.”
Canuck goalie Eddie Lack, overhearing the conversation, said: “Twitter sucks, man.”
RETURN VISIT: Nicklas Jensen got a World Hockey Championships appetizer of sorts last year when he played three games for Denmark. Next month, he hopes to go back for the main course.
Providing the Utica Comets don’t sneak into the AHL playoffs, Jensen plans on suiting up for Denmark.
“I went back last year for the last three games and played against Switzerland, Sweden and Belarus,” Jensen said. “I loved it there, it’s always fun and you are always proud to represent your country. It’s something you want to do every time you have a chance to do that.”
Fellow Dane Jannik Hansen is also expected to play at the world championships, which are scheduled for May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus.
Canuck captain Henrik Sedin said he won’t talk about possibly playing in the world championships until the Canucks’ season ends. Henrik and his brother Daniel joined the Swedish team after the Canucks were knocked out of last year’s playoffs and helped lead Sweden to the title before their hometown fans in Stockholm.
Defenceman Dan Hamhuis, who has been a frequent member of Team Canada at the world championships, has said he does not plan on playing this year.
Fellow defenceman Kevin Bieksa could get an invitation from Team Canada, but he said Wednesday it was too early to say whether he’d consider going.
Other Canucks who could receive invitations from their respective countries include Alex Edler (Sweden), Ryan Kesler (United States) and Alex Burrows (Canada).
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