NHL

Canucks unhappy with Eager's hit on Daniel Sedin

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TSN.ca Staff
5/20/2011 12:43:27 AM
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Late in the second period of Wednesday's Game 2 matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, Ben Eager of the Sharks hit Canucks forward Daniel Sedin into the boards from behind.

Eager was assessed a minor charging penalty on the play but according to Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault, his intentions were much more sinister.

"In our mind he went out and tried to hurt our player, the potential MVP," said Vigneault. "That's how their coach wants him to play. He ran our goalie and I guess that's how they want him to play. We just have to hope that people do the right things."

There was some thought after the game that although Eager was not given a major penalty or a misconduct on the play, the league would review the hit and deliver supplemental punishment. Ultimately, the league chose not to assess anything further to Eager on Thursday.

Daniel Sedin knows those types of decisions are out of both his and the Canucks' hands.

"I can't worry about that, it's up to the league it doesn't matter what I say or what I think," he said. "They made their decision, so (let's) move on and have a good game (Friday).

Canucks forward Alex Burrows understands Eager's role on the Sharks and just wants his team to continue to capitalize on his mistakes.

"He's a physical guy and he brings a lot of energy for their hockey team and that's fine with us," said Burrows. "We have to keep making them pay when we go on the power play."

For his part, Eager understands that his hit on Sedin deserved to be penalized, but knows he has to keep his head if he's going to help and not hurt his team.

"The hit on Sedin was a penalty but in the playoffs good teams kill those penalties and the guys did a good job killing that off," said Eager. "Putting the team shorthanded again with the tripping penalty is something I can't do and if I could take that back, I would."

The tripping penalty was a third period infraction that gave the Canucks a power play that they converted into a goal. 

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan believes that Eager can still play a key role for his team going forward.

"I thought Ben Eager was one of our better players as far as forecheck, creating scoring opportunities, shots on goal and he played with an energy and passion that was required of him," said McLellan. "He also took penalties that we cannot take. Is he an asset or a liability? (Wednesday) night he was both and if we can limit the liability part, then we have one heck of a player."



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