The Canucks are in big trouble.
Losers of four in a row, San Jose is in town on Friday night.
The Sharks always seem to have Vancouver’s number, beating the Canucks 5-0 in their only meeting this season, on November 11. The Canucks lost all five meetings against San Jose last year, being outscored 17-5 in the process.
As if that matchup wasn’t already bad enough, the Canucks got some more bad injury news on Friday, as they learned that defenceman Chris Tanev will be out for 2-3 weeks with a groin strain. Vancouver’s best defenceman appeared to get hurt during the third period of Wednesday’s game against Nashville.
First clip – play where Tanev was likely injured
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) December 14, 2017
As good as Tanev has been for the Canucks, he’s quickly becoming Sami Salo-ish with regards to injuries (minus the snake bite). This is already his second injury of this season.
Since becoming a full-time NHL player in 2013, Tanev has missed significant time due to injury every year.
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) December 14, 2017
Tanev is also Salo-ish with regards to his importance to the team. He’s their most dependable blueliner, finding a way to excel while matching up against the other team’s top lines on a consistent basis.
The Canucks have struggled since Bo Horvat, who’s out 4-6 weeks, sustained a knee injury. They’re 0-4 without their No. 1 centre, having been outscored 20-4 in those four games.
The Horvat injury is compounded by the fact that the team is also without Sven Baertschi (4-6 weeks), Brandon Sutter (still 7-10 days away), Erik Gudbranson (close to returning), and Derek Dorsett (career-ending injury).
Travis Green has juggled his lineup in advance of the game against San Jose.
Line rushes for #Canucks in morning skate:
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) December 15, 2017
Expect Gudbranson (still injured), Michael Chaput, and Utica call up Ashton Sautner to be scratched based on practice.
This is a pivotal game for the Canucks, who need to stop this streak to avoid falling dangerously far back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They’ve slipped to third-last in the conference, now five points back of eighth place.