Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis is soft-spoken, thoughtful and — sorry about this, Dan — not very animated in his sessions with the media. So despite much poking and prodding Wednesday, Hamhuis wasn't going to give us much on meeting his old team, the Nashville Predators, in the Stanley Cup playoffs second round that opens Thursday at Rogers Arena (6 p.m., CBC, Team 1040). There were no fire-breathing declarations, nor was any smoke billowing off his forehead. Dan The Quiet Man would not bite. "Sure it's emotional," he said unemotionally. "It's exciting. There are a lot of good friends over there but I'll certainly put that on the back burner and it will be all business. I'm not going to talk to them too much during the series. We'll wait until it's over." Hamhuis played six seasons for the Predators and none resulted in a series victory. Nashville was 0-for-5 when Hamhuis was there. So both are breaking new ground in the second round with one now guaranteed at least a Western Conference final appearance. Hallelujah, right? "It's been a long time for me and a first time for them," nodded the 28-year-old Smithers native. "Obviously we're very excited to be in the second round and I know they are, too. I expect to have a really good series with them. "They play a real tight system, they work hard as a team and they're well coached. They make it real tough for opposition teams to get offence against them and I'm sure they'll stick with that plan. They've created a good culture in Nashville." The Predators' strength lies in their defence, led by goalie Pekka Rinne and elite blueliners Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Hamhuis knows and understands the Nashville core group better than anyone on the Canuck roster, which is why head coach Alain Vigneault had a sit-down with him Wednesday seeking any weaknesses. Hamhuis chuckled when asked if there were holes in Rinne's game (as if he would tell us).
Dan Hamhuis to put friendship on back burner in facing ex-teammates
Vancouver Sun | Apr 28