When Daniel Sedin took a vicious elbow to the head, several things happened. The obvious one is the Canucks’ leading scorer was escorted to the dressing room. The secondary part, overshadowed by the loss of Daniel, is the team has started playing their best hockey in weeks.
There is no doubt Daniel being gone has re-ignited the Canucks. Duncan Keith’s elbow, much like the bombing of Pearl Harbor, seems to be the key to getting the Canucks (or the Americans in this red, white, and blue metaphor) out of their lawn chairs and into the fight. It is unfortunate it took an injury to get them going, but this is definitely a good thing because the team needs to be fired up for the post season. Whoever they see in the playoffs will not let them off easy, the Western Conference is an absolute dogfight in the bottom 3.
Daniel’s return signifies a mild “Apocalyto” for the Canucks’ regular season aspirations. With him back in the line-up, the Canucks will literally have no reason to try and win games. They have already secured a playoff spot and have seen the damage that can be caused in a high-intensity game such as against Chicago. On the other hand, the Canucks want him back as soon as possible because Daniel can’t just take 3 weeks off and come in cold to the post season. The catch 22 is the Canucks need Daniel skating at 100% for the post-season, but don’t want to coast their way into the playoffs unprepared for the opening round.
There is no easy solution to the problem, but with the Canucks having already clinched their division, the sooner Daniel returns the better. It just means when he does, the Canucks need to find a way to win games and still not take any injuries before things count.