Coach Vigneault berates Canucks

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 PM ET

The Canucks may be waiting for the playoffs to start with three meaningless games left, but that doesn't give them reason to coast – and Alain Vigneault reiterated that point Monday.

The Canucks coach halted practice and called the players together for a 30-second tongue-lashing laced with F-bombs.

Bruce Boudreau would have been proud.

"After last game, we need to sharpen up and the start of practice wasn't really good enough," said Daniel Sedin. "We realized that too, and after that it was fine."

The players downplayed the scolding, noting the team knows they need to rebound from their unexpected 4-1 loss to the league-worst Edmonton Oilers Saturday.

"It wasn't a huge message," said Kevin Bieksa. "It was basically, 'What are you guys doing out there? Let's wake up.' It's not the right way to go into the playoffs playing the way we did last game. We got to come tomorrow ready to play."

Added Vigneault: "We had a day off yesterday. I think the guys were a little sluggish at the beginning. I expect us to be a lot better."

Vancouver, who have a nine-game road winning streak on the line, gets a chance to redeem themselves with another meeting against the Oilers Tuesday, this time in Alberta. Roberto Luongo said the team should treat the remaining games this week as exhibitions.

"There's not much to play for but these are important games," the goaltender said. "We need to do what we need to do to get ready for the playoffs. We can't really let our foot off the pedal."

Injury front

Mikael Samuelsson is back after missing six games with a lower body injury. His return meant emergency recall Victor Oreskovich was sent back down to the Manitoba Moose.

Meanwhile, Alex Edler and Andrew Alberts both practised Monday and the former is close to returning, possibly in the Canucks final home game against Minnesota Thursday.


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