VANCOUVER - It could be a sober second thought of not wanting to rush a star player back too soon.
Or, it could be gamesmanship on the eve of the playoffs.
But coach Alain Vigneault insisted the reason left winger Daniel Sedin didn't practice Tuesday with the Vancouver Canucks -- after partaking fully the day before -- was not because of a setback in his recovery from the concussion which has sidelined him since March 21.
"We are just following the protocol," Vigneault said after his team went through the paces at Rogers Arena in anticipation of Wednesday's series opener against the Los Angeles Kings. "I am not going to get into the exact protocol. (Monday) was a day where we had five lines on the ice and nine defencemen and some 20-odd players. It was a day with a lot of people on the ice, he could get a practice in with his teammates.
"It's a unique injury and he will continue the protocol and when he's ready to play he will address you. Until that time, he won't talk to you."
Sedin, who was injured when Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith elbowed him in the face, skated Tuesday after the main practice with a handful of others not pegged to face the Kings in the opener.
Sedin, the 2011 Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL's leading scorer, didn't speak to the media.
His brother, Henrik, said Monday that Daniel was 100% healthy but was tight-lipped Tuesday.
"I got no comments today," the Canucks captain said. "That's where we are, he's not in the game group. We all saw him (Monday) on the ice and I think you saw the same thing, he looked OK.
"As a teammate, we want him to be good before he plays, but it's a tough spot for me because I'm his brother. I'm not going to say anything more."
Perhaps Daniel Sedin, the club's leading goal scorer this season, won't lace up for the series opener, but he wouldn't have been allowed on the ice if he had taken a step back in his recovery.
Said Vigneault, whose team won eight of the nine regular-season games without Sedin: "We're in playoffs. When he's healthy he's going to play."
So, if not Wednesday, likely soon.
"You never know with concussions, though," goalie Roberto Luongo said. It's a day-by-day thing. I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but we're just worried about (Wednesday) night.
"We're getting ready as if he's not playing. We have a lot of depth. It's unfortunate, we'd love him in the lineup, but we have to move on."
Based on practice, the plan would be to have new father Mason Raymond skate on a line with Henrik Sedin and Alexandre Burrows.
"I don't know what the official lineup will be, I have spent time playing with Hank, and it's definitely great to play with one of the best players, and if it's with him, great, and if it's with another line, so be it," Raymond said. "The most important thing is you want Dan to be healthy and back in the lineup."
Added Henrik Sedin: "I played with Mason a few weeks ago. He's a great fit. Me, him and Burrows played together for a couple of games. It always works out good with him. It's not going to be a problem."
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