Speculation can be a dangerous game because you open yourself up to looking like an idiot if what you speculate is way off base from the actual truth. However sometimes there are so few answers that all you can do is speculate and since I’m not afraid of looking like an idiot (again) here is my take on what is going on with Daniel Sedin.
This is what I know.
On March 21st Daniel Sedin suffered a concussion at the hands, excuse me, elbow of Duncan Keith. Daniel missed the final nine games of the regular season and there were few updates on his condition the past couple of weeks.
On Monday, Sedin took part in a full practice with the Canucks. It was his first time skating with teammates since the concussion and he wore a regular jersey with a regular helmet and didn’t miss any first-line rushes or power-play reps. After the practice Daniel was not made available to the media but Henrik said his brother was 100 per cent and head coach Alain Vigneault admitted that Daniel had skated on his own but would not specify how many times.
On Tuesday, Daniel was nowhere to be seen when the full group took the ice but he did go out with the Black Aces after the regulars were done. Following practice Vigneault said the team was just following protocol and Daniel did not suffer a setback. While Henrik joked that his 100 per cent comment from the day before was just a “language barrier”.
So what the heck is going on?
This is what I think.
Daniel did skate on his own Sunday and felt quite good. Good enough to say he could participate in a full practice Monday. After Monday’s skate, Daniel didn’t feel quite as good and met the medical staff instead of the media. The Province’s Tony Gallagher is reporting Daniel visited the medical room right after Monday’s skate. Keep in mind the Canucks policy (and the NHL’s I believe) as far as making players available to the media is that if a guy skates or practices with the team, then media can request to talk to him. So the fact that Daniel wasn’t available after practice goes against how the Canucks usually operate.
I’m willing to bet that Daniel felt much better this morning than he did after Monday’s practice and was given the okay to go out with the Black Aces and nothing more. To me the idea that the Canucks are trying to shield Daniel from the media is hokey. This is a guy who can deal with the media as well as anyone in the league. You can’t cross him up with a question and he doesn’t hide – ever. I very much doubt that Alain Vigneault would forego proper preparation to try to “get one over” on the media. If Daniel were okay to take line rushes with Henrik and Alex Burrows, he would have. Don’t even try to tell me it’s a smoke screen on the Kings. Darryl Sutter and company are preparing as if Daniel is playing game one and if he doesn’t the game plan doesn’t change, it just gets a little easier to execute.
The fact Daniel skated again today is a good sign and if he wakes up tomorrow feeling great, then he may take the morning skate. However, if he feels really good after the morning skate, then there is a decision to make. But to me his status for game one is doubtful and questionable at best.
Make no mistake; Daniel Sedin desperately wants to play. He’s a competitor and doesn’t want to let his teammates down. You just have to hope that competitive nature doesn’t make him try to make others believe everything is A-ok if he’s not feeling 100 per cent.