Canucks fans, your prayers have been answered.
When Brock Boeser blocked a Mark Giordano shot during the second period of Sunday’s game against the Calgary Flames, it didn’t look good. The Canucks’ 20-year-old prized rookie was down, and couldn’t put any weight on his left foot.
Pushing himself with one leg to get to the bench in an effort that will surely have him featured on Coach’s Corner this Saturday, observers feared the worst.
Given he was seen after the game on crutches – not to mention how cruel the hockey gods had been to Vancouver lately – you could only assume he had a broken foot.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) December 18, 2017
But in an unusual twist for the hard-luck Canucks, they got some good news. Check that, they got the best news possible.
Best news possible on Boeser for Canucks. No fracture. Bone bruise.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 18, 2017
Boeser has a bone bruise. Clearly it’s a debilitating bruise, but there’s no fracture in his foot.
It’s a relief to everyone in the organization.
Canucks GM Jim Benning on Brock Boeser’s bone bruise: “It’s a matter of day to day, not week to week.” #relief
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) December 18, 2017
The Calder Trophy candidate could still miss games, but he likely won’t be out for an extended period of time. And for the Canucks, who are hanging on by a thread in the Western Conference playoff race, it provides a glimmer of hope.
Already without Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Brandon Sutter, Chris Tanev, and Erik Gudbranson (not to mention Derek Dorsett), losing their best goal scorer for an extended period of time could have been a deathblow to their season.
With 30 points in 31 games, Boeser has a seven-point lead over the next closest player on the team. He leads the Canucks in goals (17) with seven more than Horvat.
Boeser holds a slim lead in the NHL rookie scoring race, with one more point than Islanders centre Mathew Barzal. He has the rookie lead in goals too, with five more than Arizona’s Clayton Keller.
In less than two weeks, the Canucks have gone from a feel-good story to reminding fans of last year’s tire fire of a season. They’re currently four points back of a playoff spot, but have the second-worst goal differential (-18) in the West. Coinciding with Horvat’s injury, they’ve lost five of their last six games – being outscored 22-6 in the losses.
Next up for the Canucks are the Montreal Canadiens, who they’ll play at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.