A familiar face was back for Canucks practice Friday at GM Place. It was winger Taylor Pyatt, who had been on leave following the tragic loss of his fiancee Carly Bragnalo. It was Pyatt's first time on the ice since early April, though his return into the lineup is just as uncertain as the Canucks second round opponent.
His friends and teammates were more than happy to see him back: "It’s great just having his presence around this morning," forward Ryan Johnson said. "I know it’s great for us as a team to have him around and see his face, and I know for him, too, I’m sure it’s nice to have some of the guys around and some of the guys to talk to."
Friday was also the first time Vancouver hit the ice since completing a four game sweep of the Blues Tuesday in St. Louis. Mats Sundin, who missed games three and four of the opening round with a lower body injury practiced and said he is feeling fine. Sami Salo and Willie Mitchell on the other hand were still sore from the tough first round and did not practice, opting for an extra day of rest.
The Canucks will have a short practice Saturday and should have Sunday off before resuming full intense practices on Monday. By then, the Canucks opponent should be alot clearer. "We’re going to work on our game as far as getting it to where it needs to be for the second series,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Practice really hard Monday and Tuesday, and maybe we’ll know [who we play] by then.”