With games against motivated clubs from Anaheim, Edmonton and Calgary on the horizon, there will be plenty of talk about what Vancouver can hope to gain from these contests.
Some will speak of momentum, others will point to the “playoff-like intensity,” and most will reference a Northwest Division title and the home ice that accompanies it.
While there is validity to each of these, the most important thing to Vancouver’s playoff chances is getting through the remaining schedule without suffering any injuries.
The Canucks have been ridiculously healthy through this fantastic two-month run, and have proven they can compete with any opponent when firing on all cylinders. But one needs only look back to January to see the affect that injuries can have.
It’s no coincidence that the bulk of Vancouver’s struggles occurred with Roberto Luongo and Sami Salo on the shelf, while Mats Sundin went through a mid-season training camp.
Though six wins over the final six games would be ideal, the Canucks would trade half of those victories for a clean bill of health heading into the post-season.
• Barron Miles is back with the Lions. The perennial all-star safety has signed a two-year extension to remain in B.C., and is said to be in better shape than ever.
That comes as no surprise as Miles did not play up to his lofty standards last season, despite leading the CFL in interceptions. His statistics overshadowed a number of uncharacteristic mistakes, but he sounds like a man on a mission to regain his form this season.
– Scott Rintoul can be heard Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org.