Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau was optimistic that captain Bo Horvat would be OK and ready to play on Monday against the Dallas Stars. Horvat left the 7-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes early in the 2nd period after taking a slap shot from Arizona defenceman Anton Stralman off the inside of his right ankle.
The Coyotes won a face-off to the right point and Stralman let the shot go immediately. Horvat was still in the face-off circle and turned slightly when the puck hit him at the 1:15 mark. The slo-motion replay on Sportsnet shows the puck hitting just about where his foot meets his ankle.
Horvat hobbled to the bench and straight down the runway to the dressing room and did not return.
A Rogers Arena employee told Vancouver Hockey Now that they had seen Horvat leaving the building wearing a walking boot but walking somewhat normally.
A walking boot is never a good sign, while “walking somewhat normally” is.
“I think he’s going to be OK,” Boudreau told the media postgame. “I just didn’t want at the end to bring him back, we had a comfortable lead, so there was no sense in doing anything. But we’re really hoping that he’s gonna be ready for Monday.”
“Hoping.” Rather than speculate, we’ll await verification one way or the other from the Vancouver Canucks doctors and the results of tests and x-rays.
Needless to say, losing Horvat to something like a cracked ankle for what would likely be the remainder of the season would be devastating. He leads the club in goals with 31 and lately has been on a tear. Aside from the 27-year-old lefty being dominate in the face-off circle, he’s potted nine goals and three assists in his last eleven games, not including the 8:16 he played Thursday night.
Coaches tend to downplay injuries on game nights. The club will hope Boudreau’s optimism is warranted. With an injury of an acute nature, word should be pretty cut and dry one way or the other. The team has an optional practice scheduled for Friday morning.