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Canucks Wrap – NHL Playoff Picture, Injuries, a Homecoming

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Vancouver Canucks, Elias Pettersson
The Vancouver Canucks celebrate a goal on January 16th in Washington DC. The Canucks host the Capitals on Friday night.

The Vancouver Canucks watched the NHL scoreboard on Thursday night and they witnessed a mixed bag. In a Western Conference head-to-head between two teams in the playoff mix, the Nashville Predators took care of the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 down in Tennessee. The Predators reside in the 1st wild card spot in the west, now six points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks, 70 points to 64.

The consolation prize is that the Ducks stay a point behind the Canucks while Vancouver holds two games in hand.

There was an earlier Thursday score Canucks fans will relish; the Buffalo Sabres beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo. The Golden Knights sit in 3rd place in the Pacific Division, also known as a playoff spot, just four points ahead of Vancouver with the Canucks holding a game-in-hand.

The Los Angeles Kings held a 3-2 lead on the San Jose Sharks in the second period of a game in LA as this is written. The Kings are in 2nd place in the Pacific with 71 points while the Sharks are nine points behind Vancouver.

Jackie Boy

The pride of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts and the former captain of the Sabres returned to Buffalo to take on his former team for the first time with the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel requested a trade and was granted one just after having neck surgery in November.

The Golden Knights are 4-6-and-1 since Eichel recovered from surgery and joined the team.

Imagine the money on the board for this one. I’m thinking the coach, the GM, and Sabres owner Terry Pegula all could have been pinning cash to the board for the game-winning-goal in this match, urging revenge against the former 2015 2nd-overall NHL draft pick who left town.

The crowd’s response to Eichel was anything but friendly.

The ‘Kissing Disease’

Not sure that’s how he caught it, but the Dallas Stars leading minute muncher, defenceman Miro Heiskanen, is out indefinitely with mononucleosis. He was placed on injured reserve Thursday retroactive to March 2nd and has already missed three games because of the illness.

Heiskanen has tallied 29 points, 25 of them assists in 52 games for Dallas, one of the teams the Canucks are battling for a Western Conference playoff spot.

Loafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost again at home Thursday night, this time in overtime 5-4 to the Arizona Coyotes. It’s Toronto’s third loss in their last four games at Scotiabank Arena, the one victory being a come-backer against the Seattle Kraken 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Among the Leafs rash of losses; Saturday night’s to the visiting Vancouver Canucks 6-4.

Toronto also found out that goaltender Jack Campbell will miss at least two weeks with injured ribs. He looked shaky against the Canucks in taking that loss. He then played Tuesday against the Kraken.

Enjoy the Hockey Action!!

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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