The caveat for the Canucks season was always going to be health. If they could maintain a relatively healthy roster to the finish, they could compete for a playoff spot. An injury to one of their core players would spell doom, though.
Seven games into the season, the Canucks and their mostly healthy roster have built a 4-2-1 lead. Of course, they were 4-0-0 at one point. Then Alexandre Burrows and Derek Dorsett were taken from the Canucks lineup with, you guessed it, injuries. Chris Tanev’s since joined them in the infirmary, suffering an injury of his own in Sunday night’s contest.
Well, it didn’t take long to get to this point. That’s three new Canucks suffering some sort of ailment. I’ll update you as best I can, on the other side of the jump.
The Canucks lost Dorsett to a second period collision with Los Angeles Kings defenceman Brayden McNabb. Dorsett was tracking a loose puck on the forecheck and upon engaging McNabb fell awkwardly into the half-wall. At first glance, it appeared as though Dorsett injured his shoulder.
Derek Dorsett left in the 2nd period and is not with the team to start the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/XjTMO3YqgB
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 23, 2016
The Canucks confirmed those suspicions, confirming in their post-game presser from Saturday’s contest that Dorsett was dealing with a shoulder injury. Vancouver was forced to replace Dorsett in Sunday’s game with defenceman Alex Biega, and have since called up Jayson Megna from the Utica Comets.
Dorsett is now on IR and expected to miss, at least, 7-10 days.
Dorsett wasn’t the only Canuck to fall on Saturday. Joining him was his linemate, Alexandre Burrows. Unlike Dorsett, Burrows finished Saturday’s game. In fact, Canucks Head Coach Willie Desjardins called on Burrows in the shootout with all the chips on the table.
Burrows hit hard into the boards: pic.twitter.com/R7w34U3g5w
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) October 23, 2016
The Canucks placed Burrows on IR, and he’s expected to miss 7-10 days. Burrows is apparently suffering a neck injury.
With Burrows (neck), Dorsett (shoulder) hurt Saturday and Tanev (questionable) banged up Sunday, expect two recalls today. #Canucks
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) October 24, 2016
Desjardins says Burrows & Dorsett are 7-10 days away from playing. Each will miss at least 7 days on IR. Tanev is day-to-day. #CanucksOn1040
— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) October 25, 2016
This is the one that really stings. Chris Tanev was retrieving a puck in the defensive zone on Sunday when Nick Ritchie caught him with hard hit after the puck left the zone. Tanev was caught limping to the bench afterwards, though returned to the game. There’s been some speculation Ritchie’s hit just aggravated an ankle injury Tanev suffered in Saturday night’s game against the Kings.
Hearing ankle problem for Chris Tanev suffered in L.A Saturday. #Canucks
— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) October 25, 2016
In response to the injury, the Canucks recalled Troy Stecher, who played in Tanev’s stead on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators. According to our own Jeff Paterson, Tanev was seen in a walking boot around the Canucks’ facilities as recently as this morning. The Canucks are saying it’s just a precautionary measure, but I’d bet the over on games for Stecher at this point.
#Canucks Tanev in walking boot in the hall at Rogers Arena
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 26, 2016
The Canucks haven’t placed Tanev on IR and are towing the day-to-day line to this day.
Tanev got tangled up with Kopitar on Saturday and took a heavy spill into end boards in ANA Sunday. #canucks
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) October 24, 2016
This one is purely speculation. Speculation rooted in Jake Virtanen’s inability to build on his strong finish to last season. He’s not throwing hits. Not with anywhere near the effect of last season. And he’s been noticeably slower in transition. He just doesn’t look anything like the player we parted ways with last April.
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) October 16, 2016
Then again, Virtanen takes a hard, late hit from the Calgary Flames Lance Bouma in the Canucks opener. Concussion spotters were quick to spot the wobbly Canuck and had him removed to undergo concussion protocol. He cleared and played regular shifts later in that game.
#Canucks Virtanen says concussion spotters asked him to get checked out after Bouma hit
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 16, 2016
Canucks nation has collectively used the process of elimination and come to the conclusion that Virtanen’s shoulder is hurt. If he can’t hit and he passed concussion protocol, what else could it be? The Canucks and Virtanen alike are disputing that notion wholeheartedly. It’s fair to wonder though if something’s up.
“I’m good to go. People think my shoulder is an issue, but I actually was slashed last night and had some pain there.” – @Jake_Virtanen
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 26, 2016
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 26, 2016
The Canucks have been taking a tonne of flack for how they’ve handled the Anton Rodin situation, and deservedly so. Rodin, you’ll remember, suffered a laceration above his knee. That same injury cut his 2015-16 season short and required surgery to rehabilitate.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) January 20, 2016
Now, Rodin had made clear through the media that he wasn’t 100%. That was before the pre-season. When the games didn’t matter. At all. For whatever reason, the Canucks played Rodin in the pre-season regardless and played him a lot. However could they have seen a setback like this coming?
Desjardins said Tanev (ankle) is day-to-day, but Rodin (knee) still isn’t skating and is on 4-6 week strength program. #Canucks
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) October 26, 2016
Rodin is still on IR and expected to return by the end of November. Hopefully they let him get to 100% this time around.