In the playoffs the injury list is slightly more protected than the membership list of a Liberal nomination meeting. The slightest hint of a detail, sending the entire team on a hunt for the traitor intent on sabotaging the teams run for the Cup.
CSIS should have this much success in keeping state secrets, Dan Cloutier returned to Vancouver for observation without his Vancouver team mates in tow. The fate of Vancouver’s starting goaltender in the hands of doctors apparently sworn to secrecy.
Cloutier left game three late in the first period, when he twisted his right knee or leg in a very awkward position, struggling to leave the ice, ending up on crutches by the end of the night. Vancouver listing his injury status as a lower body injury, despite the television replays clearly showing his knee over and over again. Loose lips sink ships and all that.
For the Canucks the puck gets tossed to Johan Hedberg, who has been hot and cold this year with the team. His relief appearance for Cloutier seemed to spur the Canucks on to victory on Saturday night. And to a man they have stated that they have full faith in Hedberg to carry them the distance.
With Cloutier’s status uncertain Alex Auld has been given the back up duties moving from the skybox to the end of the Canuck bench. Depending on how long Cloutier is away we may have seen the last of him in the playoffs. Should he only be out of the line up for a short period of time it would be a hard decision to take a successful Hedberg out of the line up. A hot goaltender is the one intangible that opposition teams have the most trouble with. If he keeps winning, the Canuck playoff run will most likely be continued with Hedberg between the pipes.
Saturday was his first appearance in the playoffs since he played for Pittsburgh three years ago, a season where he went on an amazing run with the Pens, before losing out to New Jersey in the Eastern final. The Canucks hope he can recapture that magic and extend things by just one more series.