The job just got tougher.
Already without Bo Horvat, the Vancouver Canucks will be without a second member of their top line for the foreseeable future.
.@SvenBaertschi has a fractured jaw and will miss 4-to-6 weeks. No surgery required, said Coach Green.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 11, 2017
The team confirmed on Monday that Sven Baertschi has a fractured jaw, causing him to miss 4-6 weeks. The 25-year-old winger suffered the injury after taking an errant puck in the face on a clearing attempt by Flames defenceman Mark Giordano on Saturday.
Luckily, the injury to Baertschi won’t require surgery. It comes just two games after Horvat suffered a foot fracture, which could keep him out of the lineup for up to six weeks. In addition to Baertschi and Horvat, the Canucks are still without centre Brandon Sutter (nearing a return), Erik Gudbranson (about a week away), and Derek Dorsett (career-ending injury).
“Feels like yesterday we had Sutter and Dorsett as a shutdown line, and Horvat and Baertschi were a big part of our offence,” said Green after practice on Monday. “But that’s today’s NHL, you’ve got to deal with injuries.
“It’s a challenge, but it’s also opportunity for other guys on our team. I’m excited to see how guys respond.”
Vancouver’s depth will get tested, beginning with a much-improved Winnipeg Jets team on Monday. Down a scoring winger who receives first line minutes and power play time, this could be a huge opportunity for the likes of Jake Virtanen, Nikolay Goldobin, and Alexander Burmistrov.