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Vigneault complains about ref after Sedin injury

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DALLAS -- Move over, Stephane Auger, you've got company in the Vancouver Canucks' refereeing doghouse.

Alain Vigneault met with reporters before Thursday night's game in Dallas to provide an update on injured forward Daniel Sedin. And without actually naming referee Dan O'Halloran, the Canucks coach clearly indicated he wasn't happy with the official's work.

"We got a big two-minute power play off that hit from the same referee -- remember last year when Daniel got punched six times in the face in the Boston series?" Vigneault said. "I seem to remember it was the same guy."

That guy was O'Halloran, who made no call when Boston forward Brad Marchand used Daniel's head as a punching bag in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. On Wednesday night, O'Halloran gave Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith an elbowing minor for his hit to the head on Daniel in the first period of Vancouver's 2-1 overtime loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center.

Auger hasn't been seen often at Vancouver games since Canucks winger Alex Burrows suggested after a January 2010 game the official had threatened to make him pay for an incident in an earlier game.

Vigneault made the comment about O'Halloran while answering a question about why Daniel played one power-play shift after taking the hit by Keith.

"Well, it happened really quickly," Vigneault said of the Keith hit on Daniel. "Anyway, he is sitting on the bench and I called up his name and he got up and went. So probably for that moment he felt he was OK, but then coming off he talked to Bernie (head trainer Mike Burnstein) and didn't feel that he was the same again."

Sedin apparently didn't feel much better after travelling to Dallas following Wednesday night's game. The decision was made Thursday morning to send him back to Vancouver for further evaluation. Sedin was scheduled to be on a flight that was leaving early Thursday night from Dallas to Vancouver.

His absence leaves a rather significant hole in a Vancouver offence that was already struggling. The Canucks managed only one goal in the first two games of their current road trip. Daniel leads the team with 30 goals.

Keith, meanwhile, is expected to have his hearing with the league today. I's a phone hearing, which means he can't receive any more than a five-game suspension.

There has been some speculation that Daniel could receive a one-game suspension for a shoulder hit on Keith in the corner earlier in the first period Wednesday night that caught a piece of the Chicago defenceman's head. There was no penalty called on the play and Henrik suggested after the game that Keith's elbow was premeditated because Keith had made verbal threats to Daniel.

 

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 23, 2012 C3

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