VANCOUVER – Henrik Sedin says the Vancouver Canucks received a “wake-up call” after suffering two straight losses to the NHL’s worst team.
The Canucks had already locked up the President’s Trophy as the league’s best team before being swept in a home-and-home series by the Edmonton Oilers.
Rather than being worried for his team, Sedin said on a conference call Wednesday he was encouraged by the losses as Vancouver heads into its final two regular-season games.
“Well it hasn’t been good enough. We all know that,” said Sedin. “It’s been a letdown after we claimed the President’s Trophy, for sure. It’s tough games to play but at the same time we know we have to get better here in the last two games.
“At the same time it might be a good thing for us to not be cruising here and winning games. I think this is a wake-up call for us and I think in the long run it’s going to be good for our team.”
Vancouver (52-19-9) was on a five-game win streak before the seemingly harmless series against Edmonton. But instead of taking advantage of a lowly opponent, the Canucks lost 4-1 at home then 2-0 on the road Tuesday.
Still, the Canucks’ captain wasn’t ready to sound the alarm.
“I think playoffs and playing these games are totally different things, that’s for sure,” said Sedin. “I think the urgency, the intensity is going to be there.
“It’s not at 100 per cent right now but we’ve got two games now to fix it.”
Vancouver heads into the playoffs after two years of post-season disappointment. The team was defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks twice in the Western Conference semifinals, and after last season Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said the club was re-evaluated top to bottom to avoid a third upset.
“The experience of losing two years in a row to the same team was one that was very difficult for a lot of people to accept,” said Gillis. “However, we did it with a team that we don’t think is as competitive as the team we have this year.”
Gillis added the team feels more confident having gone through the season with those losses in mind.
“I think our team right now is a very different team in terms of mindset that’s come about through those two losses to Chicago,” he said. “Hopefully we can translate it to success this year.”
NOTES—Gillis said he expects defenceman Alex Edler to return to the team before the regular season ends. Edler was previously expected to miss eight-to-12 weeks after having back surgery in February. Gillis also said defenceman Dan Hamhuis (concussion) may also make a return prior to the playoffs. … The league has not contacted Vancouver about a possible suspension for forward Raffi Torres. Torres earned a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing Oilers forward Jordan Eberle in the head Tuesday.