Carson Soucy nears return to lineup; likely to play on Canucks’ three-game road trip

Photo credit:© Simon Fearn-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
Be sure to check out the latest NHL playoff odds with online sportsbook Betway.
Carson Soucy is close to rejoining the Vancouver Canucks line-up. It’s not likely to happen Sunday in Anaheim, but Tuesday in Los Angeles seems like a distinct possibility. Whenever it happens, Soucy is close and excited about suiting up in Canucks colours for the first time since suffering a fractured knuckle in a January 20th home game against Toronto.
Soucy has been skating on his own for weeks, but on Saturday, the 29-year-old defenceman was a full participant in his first practice with the team since leaving the line-up. He was involved in every drill and participated in penalty kill work against the Canucks top power play unit. Again, he’s close. But there are a few final hurdles to clear before he gets the green light to play.
“I feel really good, but there’s a difference between feeling good and skating by yourself and getting up to practice pace and obviously game pace,” Soucy told the media after Saturday’s skate. “I’m going to use these next couple of days and hopefully be back really soon. This is a business trip and hopefully get in somewhere along the way.”
It’s been a forgettable first season in Vancouver for Soucy who has been limited to just 21 games with three separate injuries. He hurt his knee in the final preseason game and missed the first two games of the season. He suffered a foot injury blocking a shot on November 12th in Montreal and was out of action until the New Year. And then after just eight games back in uniform, he was hurt again. It’s a hazard of the job playing the position he does. 
With Soucy in the line-up, the Canucks are an impressive 16-3-2 on the season. He brings size, puck-moving ability and, in limited minutes, has proven to be a boost to the club’s penalty kill.
Soucy concedes that the third injury was a tough pill to swallow especially since he joined the team for a January 6th game in New Jersey and fit in seamlessly as the Canucks went on a 7-0-1 roll before he was injured again.
“Finding out that this was a cracked knuckle, there were a couple of days where I was pretty miserable,” Soucy said of the realization he’d be on the shelf yet again. “After sulking for a couple of days knowing I have to work just as hard or even harder to come back, I was able to get past it. It was nice to have the guys home and around. That was a big mood booster for me (this past week). Even though I skate before them, you get to chat with them and eat lunch with them. I’d try to stay here as long as I could to get that in. After the first week or so, I moved past it and just put in the work again.”
Head coach Rick Tocchet sounded excited at the prospect of adding Soucy to his defence corps. But as with any player who has missed significant time due to injury, Tocchet says it’s about putting that player in a position to succeed upon his return.
“He’s a veteran guy, so I don’t think he needs a ton of practice time, but you want to put him in a good spot, ” Tocchet said. “So I’m not sure (about a return date), but he’s close.”
If there is a silver lining to Soucy’s injury-laden season, it’s that he doesn’t have the usual wear and tear of playing 60-games to this point like his teammates. He hopes to be able to use that to his advantage and add some energy to the mix when he gets clearance to play.
With Tyler Myers now injured and listed week-to-week, Soucy’s return couldn’t come at a better time. And he knows there’s enough hockey left on the schedule to hone his game so that he’s ready for the best part of the season – the playoffs.
“I’m just hoping to use this stretch – this last month and a half here – to get back in the routine of getting ready for a game, of playing a full 60 minutes and then use these last 20 games to get feeling good for the playoffs,” he said. “Hopefully, I use this to my advantage and I’m fresh. I just want to feel good down the stretch here.”
Soucy played 78 games for the Seattle Kraken last season and 14 more in the playoffs. If he returns Tuesday, the most he could get into this time around would be 40 games – the lowest single-season total of his five year NHL career. 
Of course, health will have a say in that. But if anyone deserves a good break over the remainder of the season, it’s Carson Soucy. And the Canucks can certainly use his stabilizing presence on the blueline the rest of the way.

Check out these posts...