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Photo Credit: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Scenes from morning skate: Quinn Hughes set to return, but no Pearson for Canucks’ tilt against Sharks

We’re in the endgame now.

Ten games remain on the Canucks’ schedule, and despite what the math and probabilities might tell them, Vancouver is technically still in the playoff hunt. And tonight they’ll attempt to keep their chances alive when the San Jose Sharks make their first appearance in Vancouver since January 2020.

Can the Canucks build off their two wins in Vegas and Arizona and kickstart their five-game homestand on the right foot? Let’s find out!

Line Rushes

The line rushes are always important, but the biggest news from today’s morning skate? Quinn Hughes is back, baby.

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Hughes missed the last two games due to a non-COVID-related illness, and while his absence didn’t hurt the team’s results, his return to the ice is clearly a welcome one.

But as one Canuck comes back to the ice, one Canuck leaves. Tanner Pearson was not at morning skate today after being injured and leaving during Thursday’s matchup against the Arizona Coyotes. As a result, Bruce Boudreau has elected to move Elias Pettersson to the wing next to J.T. Miller and Conor Garland.

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What Was Said

When asked about Quinn Hughes returning to the lineup tonight, head coach Bruce Boudreau kept it coy, saying that we’ll “find out tonight” whether he’s back to full health.

Boudreau is no stranger to making the playoffs with a team whose backs are against the wall. In 2007-08 Boudreau was behind the bench as the Washington Capitals made the postseason after winning 11 of their last 12 games, and he spoke about bringing that experience to the Canucks locker room.

“That same year, we had to win the last seven, and we won the last seven. So anything is possible,” Boudreau said. “You never give up and you go as hard as you can for as long as you can. And that’s where we’re at.”

“We’re just gonna go and we’ll be a tough out for any team that plays us for the rest of the year.”

Defenceman Kyle Burroughs was asked about returning from injury right in the middle of the playoff push, and he talked about the mental preparation of contributing in such high stakes games like the previous pair of outings.

“I think it’s just the time. I think the time that you miss it’s tough, especially at that length. But for me, my mindset was the same just to get back and try to help contribute with this team,” Burroughs said, after having played over 16 minutes in each of Vancouver’s games against Vegas and Arizona.

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“You can’t really do much about time, it’s hard to hop back in. But I felt pretty good in the first two.”

Game time between the Canucks and Sharks is set for 7:00 pm, with coverage on Sportsnet Pacific and Citytv.