A lot has changed since we last saw the Vancouver Canucks play on Saturday.
And on Tuesday, the Canucks loaned Sam Gagner back to the Toronto Marlies.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 4, 2018
Having lost 11 of their last 12 games, I guess it was time to change the mix.
Gagner suited up for 15 games with the Leafs’ AHL team before being called up when the injury bug hit the Canucks last month. With many Canucks players now returning to health — Jay Beagle is set to return to the lineup for the first time since October 13 — the team had a numbers problem once again.
In seven games with the Canucks, Gagner played reasonably well, scoring a goal and picking up two assists. Travis Green played him a lot too, as Gagner averaged 18:08 per game, which included time on the team’s first unit power play. The 29-year-old had five shots on goal in over 19 minutes of ice time during Vancouver’s last game, so the timing of the decision is puzzling.
In another unorthodox move, the Canucks are scratching Nikolay Goldobin, who is currently third on the team in scoring with 16 points (4-12-16) in 29 games.
Here is #Canucks Head Coach Travis Green's full answer when I asked him to go into more detail about the reasons Nikolay Goldobin isn't playing tonight, heard exclusively on @Sportsnet650 pic.twitter.com/1R2GMtoKCW
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) December 4, 2018
It remains to be seen who will do the scoring tonight when the Canucks welcome the Minnesota Wild to Rogers Arena.