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Vigneault careful to praise Kevin Bieksa

May 11, 2010, 1:42 PM EDT

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Kevin Bieksa played his best game of the playoffs on Sunday night in
Chicago, an overall inspiring effort that his team will need more of as
the series heads back to Vancouver tonight. While Sami Salo hasn’t
exactly been ruled out for tonight’s game, you have to think he’s likely
out as he tries to recover from a direct shot to his tender area.

While
Alain Vigneault was quick to share his unabashed opinion early in the
series, he’s turned to a more tight-lipped approach as the team
approaches Game 6 tonight.

When asked about Bieksa’s big game, he
was quick to move on.

“He played under control, played real hard, gave us a good game,”
Vigneault said.

“Under control” is the key word here, especially for a player like
Bieksa who has succombed to his emotions one too many times during his
stint with the Canucks. He’s been labeled as inconsistent and a bit
hotheaded at times, but if Salo is indeed going to miss time the Canucks
will need more of the Bieksa they witnessed in Game 5.

You have to think that Vigneault is wanting to keep Bieksa hungry,
not ready to prop him up with too much praise just yet. If he continues
to play like he did on Sunday, there’s no doubt that Vigneault will be
more willing to sing the praises of who he hopes to be his best
defenseman.

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