Game day for the Vancouver Canucks in Winnipeg, the first time the BC Boys have taken on the Jets under their interim head coach Dave Lowry. Paul Maurice stepped down from his position as bench boss exactly one week after the Canucks beat the Jets 4-3 in a shoot-out at Rogers Arena on December 10th and just before the NHL went into a series of Covid postponements.
While the fellas go for their morning twirl in Manitoba, let’s go for one of our own …
Let’s Skate !! …
Spencer Martin, fresh off his mostly tantalizing 47-save performance against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday is one goalie who’s available for Vancouver. Jaroslav Halak, typically the Canucks back-up but out of the line-up since midway through the five-game eastern US road trip with a positive Covid test, is apparently available in Winnipeg but without any recent time on ice, he’ll likely dress as the back-up anyway.
We know back-up, back-up, back-up Michael DiPietro is on the trip at least on the taxi squad, and Canucks number-one Thatcher Demko is apparently joining the team as well, we just haven’t verified when. I’m sure he, the team, and Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau hope it’s by Saturday night’s game in Calgary.
Forwards Bo Horvat and Conor Garland are expected to re-appear from protocol during this trip as well, while Tanner Pearson will miss out, having just entered Covid protocol on Tuesday. He already missed the Oilers game. It looks like Garland will be playing against the Jets.
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kyle Burroughs is out a week or so with a lower body injury.
Oh No Nathan
Speaking of injuries, it definitely wasn’t lower body, it was upper body, in fact it was his head. Superstar forward Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche was hurt early in the first period of his team’s comeback win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. The team ended up winning its 17th consecutive home game in overtime 4-3, long after MacKinnon left with a bleeding face.
It’s turns out the hit by Boston’s Taylor Hall wasn’t that flagrant – he originally received a five-minute penalty that was reduced to two – it turns out MacKinnon’s own stick caused the damage. Colorado Hockey Now tells us the star left at the 2:22 mark of the first period and didn’t return, and his prognosis at the moment is unknown. MacKinnon is the captain of the Central Division team in the NHL All-Star Game on February 5th.
A Tkachuk After All
And speaking of All-Stars, Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators has been added to the Atlantic Division line-up replacing injured teammate Drake Batherson. So the team’s second-leading scorer replaces the leading scorer after Batherson was injured Tuesday night by Buffalo Sabres goalie Aaron Dell, who dropped a shoulder into the passing forward as he pursued a Sabres player behind Dell’s net. Batherson fell awkwardly into the boards and cranked his ankle.
Dell did not receive a penalty on the play but has subsequently been suspended three games for interference by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Here’s the video describing the perp’ and his offense.
See ya later. Injury/Covid updates as they happen on twitter @simmerpuck
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!