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Canucks AM – Eichel Skates, Hot Wild, More Covid, Isles Skid

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Vancouver Canucks foe, Jack Eichel
Golden Knights center Jack Eichel skated for the first time since neck surgery and should see the Vancouver Canucks in April.

Friday means practice for the Vancouver Canucks as they prepare for Saturday night’s home tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canucks current two game winning streak, with victories against Montreal and Ottawa, matches their longest of the season. They beat Chicago and Seattle in consecutive games, also on the road, back in October. While we await the preparation for the next game, let’s skate …

Eichel Skates

Recently acquired Vegas Golden Knights centre Jack Eichel skated Thursday for the first time since neck surgery three weeks ago. The former Buffalo Sabres captain was seen going for a spin at a rink in North Carolina. Vegas Hockey Now tells us the details and shares some of the video. Eichel hopes to be playing NHL hockey again by late February.

Seeing Stars

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 at Rogers Arena back on November 7th behind two power play goals from JT Miller and one from Elias Pettersson. Since then, the Stars have gradually found their game, most recently to the tune of a six-game winning streak. The latest, a 3-2 victory Thursday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets with two goals from last year’s Calder Trophy finalist Jason Robertson, who tallied his 6th and 7th goals of the season. The Stars hopped into 3rd place in the Central Division with 26 points, one behind the St. Louis Blues.

Our Favourite Norwegian

Meanwhile, that division’s first place Minnesota Wild are on a five-game winning streak. Norwegian dynamo Mats Zuccarello was there for the start of it, missed two games with an upper-body injury, and returned Thursday night to see the streak continue with a 5-2 win at home over the New Jersey Devils. “Zook” had one assist and was plus-4 in 18:29 of ice time as Minnesota moved to 33 points, six ahead of the Blues.

Covid Won’t Quit

Neither forward Brendan Gallagher nor defenceman Sami Niku played for the Montreal Canadiens in their 4-1 home loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday due to positive Covid-19 tests. Both must quarantine for ten days and will miss four more games. They won’t be eligible to play again until December 14th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Montreal Hockey Now details some of the ugliness as it grows in Hab-land.

No need to remind the Vancouver Canucks.

Ghosts of Nassau?

What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is going on with the Islanders? Is it the spirits of Nassau Coliseum saying “new building?! Screw the new building!!” The Isles have lost nine in a row following Thursday night’s 2-1 OT loss at home to the San Jose Sharks. Erik Karlsson scored 39 seconds into the extra session for the Sharks at the brand-spanking-new UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y. The Islanders are kind of the Vancouver Canucks of the east in terms of their surprisingly slow start. New York Hockey Now looks at the loss.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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