“Please let us know if you know anyone that can play center”, signed Vancouver Canucks

The last man standing is.. Ryan Kesler?

As of January 22nd, 2014, the Vancouver Canucks sit at 10th in the league when it comes to most man games lost due to injury on the year, which shouldn’t come as a surprise (if anything, that seems a bit low, but I guess there’s some bias at play here). They were without the two Alexs (Burrows, Edler) for an extended period of time, and are now dealing with some serious trouble icing 4 NHL-caliber centers with Henrik Sedin and Mike Santorelli both out (with the latter expected to be a long-term, serious injury).

It’s not *all* bad, though, as there’s some good news on the injury front coming out of Wednesday afternoon’s practice. Two players that have been out for a while now are expected to be back shortly, and one seems to have avoided anything serious following a scare during last night’s victory in Edmonton

Read on past the jump for the details, but while you’re doing that, make sure you keep your phone near you. If you’ve got any sort of experience playing hockey – and NHL 14 most definitely counts in this case – you may just get the call from the Canucks!

We received something of a scare this afternoon when Elliott Pap tweeted out the following:

Oh boy. For those scoring at home, that would leave the Canucks with Kesler-Dalpe-Schroeder-Lain down the middle heading into Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators. Get ready for some hard hitting analysis: that wouldn’t be great.

Despite the fact that the Preds haven’t been great this year, and have a medley of issues of their own, you’re asking for trouble when you start asking guys to do stuff that’s pretty clearly above their capabilities as hockey players. Especially when it comes from the center ice position, which is far less forgiving than say, on the wing.

But it appears that this was more of a maintenance day, than anything else: 

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I’d say that Richardson and the Canucks are both lucky that he won’t miss any time after the vicious lumberjack chop Jordan Eberle gave him last night. It was, dare I say, criminal:

GIF via Schneider’s Teeth

As for Schroeder, it makes plenty of sense that they’d give him a couple of AHL games to get his legs under him before throwing him into the fire. After all, he has only really played in 3+ competitive games dating back to April 1st (with the 3 separate injuries sprinkled in there). Even when he gets back I’ll need to see him, you know, stay on the ice for a couple of games before getting my hopes up that he can give the Canucks anything of use. For his sake, I hope he can, seeing as he’s an RFA this summer. 

We don’t unfortunately know much more about Stanton’s availability for the time being, but he has skated with the team for a couple of days now and should be getting closer to a return. While Yannick Weber has filled in admirably, including having himself a whale of a game on Saturday night v. Calgary when Bieksa and Garrison were booted out, I’m sure that the team will welcome Stanton back with open arms. So will Kevin Bieksa, who’s recent outbursts – 47 penalty minutes in his past 5 games, including 3 fights – are probably more of a cry for help than anything else now that I think about it.

This’ll catch up to the Canucks eventually, especially since they can’t play the Edmonton Oilers all the time. Here’s hoping Henrik Sedin is able to return by the 29th (though now that his ironman streak is over with, I suspect they’ll be more likely to give him an adequate period of time to heal up and rest).

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  • Brent

    I know it was a long ways ago but I still hope Canuck MGMT regrets not signing Lapierre.

    Henrik, Kesler, Santorelli, Schroeder, Richardson, and Lapierre would have been some serious talent down the middle.

  • Chungus

    That Eberle slash was a disturbing play by a disturbing player.

    Someone ask Ryan Rishaug to find out if he texted an apology to Richardson.

    I’m soooo outraged!

    Is that how it goes in Edmonton?

  • Chungus

    You guys are missing the point with Eberle. That’s not a “chop” or a “slash”. That’s a “stick swing”, and if he hurt Richardson, then he *intended* to hurt Richardson. And therefore Eberle should be criminally charged. At least, that’s what I read was the outcome of the McSorley-Brashear verdict… 😉

      • Peachy

        Yeah, for all his pomposity and arrogance, I give him that, he is a really focused and shrewd guy, and (sometimes) it’s worth filtering out his bluster. I actually found the post on Kassian to be interesting, but to my lay eyes, it didn’t really prove the legal system would be an answer.

  • Peachy

    . If you look back at the concerns of the off season the top of the list was center, but more importantly the health of Kessler and the goal situation. Well Kess has been fine and Luo and lack have played well. The fans expectations have been tough on this team. We are used to high scoring up and down games in a push over division. Torts has tried to rework this team on the fly and the Nucks may have turned a corner. They are becoming tough to play against and if they can get healthy, the PP may just be back to snuff by the playoffs. The Olympics should help the Twins and Kess get some offensive confidence back as well as give the injured guys some extra time to heal or practice. While I don’t like SO wins vs Cal or 1 goal nail biters vs Edm…. 3rd and 4th liners are scoring and the D and Goal are solid. That’s a recipe for success in the playoffs. The Nucks are a work in progress and I believe that watching Torts stand up for the players shows them that he isn’t just blowing smoke about shot blocking and sacrifice. Something tells me that will go along way. These guys wouldn’t sell out for AV that’s for sure.

  • Peachy

    This would seem to be a good time to give a chance to one of the young players we have heard so much about for the last few years.

    Either that or acquire Pahlsson, Roy, Lapierre or Malhotra…

    • Peachy

      Which young players? You mean the prospects that take time to develop? Those ones? Guess what, Idiot00, they’re developing. Some of them may never develop. Happens with every NHL team.

      I also this would be a good time to acquire a brain for you, NoMind00. It’ll make a world of difference.

    • Peachy

      I told you in the summer to pace yourself or you’d be burned out by mid season. Here we are, and here are your posts digging deep and getting lamer by the day. I couldn’t even fake a chuckle on this one. If this is what’s left, why bother?

      • Peachy

        I think you could’ve made that comment to Not-a-Man00 after his second post. SheMale00 really struggles at the best of times and none of his posts can be seen as contributions. Ah well…SpecialNeeds00 is our furry little mascot. Always fun having him around!

  • Peachy

    So, lots of injuries. Are they that critical? I’m not so sure. We have enough players that can come in and play defensive hockey and fit into the system. Do we have a lot of snipers and game breakers? Well…no. I think Henrik is a catalyst for team O as is Kes but neither are critical (this year). We struggle along and win these tight games and play team D. That’s the number 1 priority. They also pressure and create chances that don’t often get buried. I think we can easily replace most of the forwards without a significant drop (other than Kes and Henrik). I do think there’d be a drop if we lost a few of the others but nothing huge.

    The Canucks are becoming a more of a grinding team than a skill team. These are not your 2011 Canucks nor will they be anytime soon. Many of the faces are the same, just a bit older.

    • Peachy

      They’re pretty critical if you don’t have depth to replace them and it reverberates throughout the lines. Overplaying the top players doesn’t help. The loss of Stanton and Santorelli, for example, are in and of themselves not necessarily horrible but to lose Stanton at the same time as Edler hurts a lot, as does Santorelli when Henrik’s out. Lack of depth isn’t helping things.

      That said, for all the focus on an inability to score, outside of the aberration of the ANA game, we’ve managed to keep the other teams from scoring a lot too. Combination of goaltending, excellent PK and generally solid team D.

      • Peachy

        I agree on some points. Stanton and Edler out is not great but I do think the team was OK without them. The replacements were not bad.

        Henrik will be tough to replace but he wasn’t lighting the league on fire lately. Santorelli has disappeared lately. We don’t really have a replacement for Henrik (even with his struggles lately) but we have some that could slide in for Santo.

        • Peachy

          Well here’s hoping that a rejuvenated Henrik and Santorelli, after a little break, will bring back some offense. At the very least the last game against EDM (since the Calgary game was basically a farce from start to finish) was reasonably solid and with a bit more puck luck it wouldn’t have been anywhere that close. I have no idea what Nashville plays like anymore so interesting to see what this game will look like.