Canucks forward Elias Pettersson says his wrist was still taped early in the season
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
“I feel like that’s gonna cause a lot of headlines,” Elias Pettersson said somewhat sheepishly after sharing with media post game Monday night that his wrist was taped up to start the season.
Evidently, he was certainly not wrong.
Last season, Pettersson appeared in just 26 games with the Canucks, after suffering a freak wrist injury on a fairly innocent-looking play against the Winnipeg Jets on March 1st.
“It happened on my second shift against Winnipeg on March 1st,” Pettersson revealed at his end-of-season media availability last season. “I have the puck on the blue line, mishandle it, I’m going to reach the puck and then my stick hit Nate Thompson’s shin pad. That made my wrist kind of like whip off of his shin pad which kind of like hyperextended my wrist, but it’s getting better, almost at 100%.”
Pettersson’s struggles to begin the current campaign have been well documented, with expectations — and therefore scrutiny as well — elevated after signing a new lucrative contract last offseason. That, along with giving the now somewhat infamous quote of “I just want to play where there’s a chance of winning,” before signing his new deal, caused expectations to be at the highest point of Pettersson’s career.
Looking like a shell of his former self, he struggled early on.
Through his first 37 games of the season, Pettersson tallied 17 points. Over the last 15 games, however, he has matched that number, with seven points in his last three games.
It’s becoming increasingly safer to say that Pettersson is in fact “back”.
“Coming into the season it was a little weird. I still had my wrist taped… I feel like that’s gonna cause headlines,” said Pettersson after a long pause. “I played 26 games last year, didn’t play a game for another eight months or something, so it definitely was a slow start for me. It took me way longer than I wanted it to this season but I feel now in the last couple of weeks I’ve played like myself again.”
Pettersson has certainly played like his old self again, displaying the kind of confidence with and without the puck that fans are used to seeing from him.
The question now will become if he can keep it up, finish this season strong, and leave the wrist injury woes and his doubters firmly in the rearview mirror.
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