Canucks not resting on laurels

Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin (top), Daniel Sedin (22) and Sami Salo (6) celebrate teammate Ryan...

Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin (top), Daniel Sedin (22) and Sami Salo (6) celebrate teammate Ryan Kesler's (left) goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period Thursday in Vancouver. The Canucks won 3-1, clinching the Presidents Trophy in the process. (BEN NELMS/Reuters)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:11 PM ET

VANCOUVER — The President’s Trophy banner is normally used to wipe away tears after an early playoff exit.

Only seven times in 24 years has the team that finished first overall gone on to win it all.

So you’ll have to forgive the Vancouver Canucks if they keep the celebrating to a minimum after clinching first overall.

“There were some high fives, but five minutes after the game guys were back in the gym working out, same as usual,” said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. “At the end of the season you can look back at this and we’ll be pretty happy with what we accomplished, and the organization will be pretty happy with it. But if we go out there and we don’t play well in the playoffs, if something happens in the first round, this season would be considered a major disappointment.”

They’ve absolutely dominated the regular season, leading the league in every category that matters. Offence, defence, special teams and goaltending. The Sedins could finish 1-2 in the scoring race.

Armed with all that, and the President’s Trophy banner on order, somebody was asking players if this is the best Canucks team ever.

Nope, that would be the team that went to Game 7 of the Cup final.

These guys haven’t won a single post-season game yet.

“It’s going to be what we do in the playoffs,” said Bieksa. “A lot of teams have had great regular seasons, San Jose’s done it a number of years. Detroit’s done it and not done well in the playoffs. We’re yet to be judged. Playoffs are what we’re getting ready for.”

They don’t want to dismiss what they accomplished, winning the President’s Trophy is no small thing, but keeping it in perspective seems to be the dressing room mantra.

“It was one of our goals to have a great regular season,” said Christian Ehrhoff. “But what matters most to us is coming up in a couple of weeks.”

“It was a good accomplishment, a mini goal on the way to the bigger goal,” agreed Ryan Kesler. “I’m proud of the guys in this room and what we accomplished but at the same time we have bigger fish to fry.”

All the regular season proves is that they’ve got the team to win it all. Whether they do or not ...

“It means we have a great team,” Henrik Sedin said of the numbers. “It doesn’t mean we are going to win it all, but it means we have a great shot at it.”

Seven in twenty-four, according to history.

“I think I heard through the grapevine that the percentage of teams that won the President’s Trophy and went on to win the Stanley Cup is about 30%,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “I don’t mind those odds. It’s a tough trophy to win.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/tychkowski


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