VANCOUVER -- Alain Vigneault said somebody had his best pre-game skate of the season.
“It took me over 100 games, but this was my best one,” the Vancouver Canucks coach smirked hours before Game 7 o f the Stanley Cup Final. “I skated really smooth and had a good shot on net. I was really pleased with my morning skate. I wasn’t talking about the players.”
The Canucks appeared to be a settled bunch or at least they played the role in the locker room Wednesday morning. Outside of Rogers Arena, hundreds of fans were looking to stake their claim to a spot to watch festivities on a video board.
“It’s your job to stay calm,” said Canucks winger Jeff Tambellini, who will step in for an injured Mason Raymond tonight. “If let yourself get fired up today, it’s not a good thing. I’m going go about my afternoon and keep it as light as possible.”
Raymond was injured in the opening seconds in Game 6 and remained in Boston as of Wednesday morning. He was diagnosed with a vertebral compression fracture, an injury that will likely keep Raymond out of three to four months. Vigneault said he could return to Vancouver as soon as Wednesday.
Raymond hadn’t scored a point in the Finals before his injury, although he was a cog much of the season on the second line. This will be Tambellini’s sixth game of the playoffs and fourth of this series.
“We have a lot of confidence in him,” Canucks forward Alex Burrows said. “He’s been working hard in practice and in the games. When he’s not in the lineup, he’s still positive. He’s a great teammate.”
Vigneault didn’t give an indication where he might slot Tambellini.
-- A.J. Perez