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Well, that didn’t last long.
It was a good news, bad news kind of day for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
It didn’t come without a cost though.
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Missing from the lineup were Tyler Toffoli and Adam Gaudette, who both played in the series opener. Following the game, Canucks head coach Travis Green confirmed that both players were “unfit to play,” which is the confusing statement the NHL and NHLPA have decided on to explain all absences due to injury or illness to protect players’ medical privacy.
Toffoli was in a walking boot, according to a report from TSN 1040’s Matt Sekeres.
He’s in a walking boot, with a foot injury.
He’ll undergo further evaluation tomorrow, not sure if that’s to test something for G3, or medical follow-up on a longer timeline.
— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) August 5, 2020
Vancouver lost two more forwards during the game, Micheal Ferland and Antoine Roussel.
Roussel was left bloodied after a Jake Virtanen shot deflected towards his head.
Oh no. Antoine Roussel is down after taking a puck up high. He goes to the dressing room. pic.twitter.com/qzXLoBXyln
— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) August 5, 2020
Ferland played four shifts in the first period and wasn’t seen from after that. The rugged Canucks winger has had trouble staying healthy all season with recurring concussion-related issues.
We likely won’t know the severity of any of these injuries until game time tomorrow, as NHL practices are closed to the media during the pandemic. The Canucks are taking it one step further, by removing player numbers from practice jerseys and only posting vague photos and videos from practice.
So all we’re left to do is speculate.
Canucks Twitter account deleted this picture of who was on the ice today. Green probably chased them out of the building when he saw the tweet. pic.twitter.com/QkQ0RTKBDr
— Taj (@taj1944) August 4, 2020
Gaudette was seen in a photo posted to Twitter by the Canucks from yesterday’s practice, before it was quickly deleted. Does that mean he’s healthy and the team is going with the convenient “unfit to play,” excuse or is he banged up?
Is Ferland’s injury concussion related or does he have another injury? Will he or Roussel join his teammates on the ice for practice today?
It’s all top secret, even more than the usual vague “upper body” and “lower body” injury explanations teams usually give at playoff time.
If all four players in question are missing in action for Game 3, the Canucks will choose from two of three remaining forwards on their postseason roster to fill in: Zack MacEwen, Tyler Graovac, and Justin Bailey.
If Gaudette was indeed able to practice on Tuesday, bet on him suiting up on Thursday, along with MacEwen. Depending on Green’s level of trust in Gaudette’s defensive game, he could play on the wing with Brandon Sutter remaining at centre.
The next two games are coming quick, with Game 3 scheduled for Thursday at 11:30 am PT, and Game 4 set for Friday (game time still yet to be determined).