Last look before long trip

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Take a nice, long look at the Canucks tonight when they host the St. Louis Blues, because fans won't see them at GM Place until Mar. 13.

Both injured defencemen Willie Mitchell (concussion) and Sami Salo (groin) did not practice with the team on Tuesday and won't play on Wednesday. Coach Alain Vigneault said Mitchell is still not symptom-free while Salo, who skated yesterday, could return this weekend.

Prior to Monday's games, four Canucks were in the top five NHL plus-minus leaders. Alex Burrows ranked second with +27, followed by Christian Ehrhoff at +26, Henrik Sedin +25, and Daniel Sedin +23.

With eight goals and 12 points since his Olympic snub, Mikael Samuelsson is a good replacement choice for Team Sweden if one of their original selections, such as the injured Peter Forsberg, can't play by the Feb. 15 final roster deadline. But Samuelsson said he already made vacation plans with his family during the Olympics.

"Right now I'm not thinking about that. I'm not in the team," he said. "If the question comes, I'll have a good think about it."

The Blues have solid representation on Team USA at the Olympics, with David Backes and Erik Johnson both named to the team, while defenceman Roman Polak will suit up for Czech Republic.

St. Louis has taken two of the three matchups this season but the Canucks won their last meeting 4-3 in overtime to close out 2009.


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