Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford is over his bout with Covid, 12 days after receiving a positive test, and fully back at it trying to help the Canucks win this season and beyond. He’s advising the club on current personnel and strategical decisions and working ahead toward a variety of important off-season tasks.
Rutherford told Vancouver Hockey Now (VHN) Friday he feels very good after going through some ups and downs with flu-like symptoms and a bit of lethargy along the way.
“They played the game the right way and they played a solid 200-foot game,” Rutherford said, referring to the Canucks effort over the back-to-back nights. “You give yourself a chance playing that way and you also build a foundation for the future. The key is buying into that structure.”
With 70 points, the Canucks sit four points out of a playoff position, a Western Conference wild card spot occupied by the Dallas Stars, Vancouver’s opponent on Saturday. Dallas has three games in-hand on Vancouver, making a win Saturday imperative. It’s essentially a regular season playoff game.
“It’s the biggest game of the year for our team,” Rutherford said, while also pointing out that no game is a ‘must-win’ until a team is actually facing mathematical elimination.
The Vancouver Canucks will again face the Stars on April 18th at Rogers Arena for the teams’ final match-up of the season.
Vancouver also still has to hop over the Vegas Golden Knights (73 points) in the standings, a team they play three times in a ten-day period beginning April 3rd. Two of those games are at home. The Canucks presently have a game in-hand on Vegas.