The Vancouver Canucks were already struggling to find supplemental scoring. So the loss of star-crossed No. 2 center Ryan Kesler for up to six weeks with a broken foot will make their lives even more difficult.
Kesler actually suffered the injury during his first game back from shoulder and wrist surgery. He got hurt blocking a shot back on Feb. 15, but played six games with bone fracture.
(Would you ever see a baseball player soldier through such a painful injury? Of course you wouldn’t.)
“It always seems like he’s playing through something,” teammate Chris Higgins told the Vancouver Province. “I feel like he was just starting to feel up to game speed and I’m sure on a personal level it’s pretty devastating because he’s going to have to start again with his conditioning and everything else.
“And for our team, it’s a big impact through our whole lineup because he contributes to every facet of the game. It kind of takes us back to the beginning of the season where we’re going to have to make up for his loss by committee.”
Here is the fallout:
- Alexandre Burrows could move off the top line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin and center the No. 2 line with Higgins and Jannik Hansen.
- Andrew Ebbett is expected to return from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL to fill the roster spot.
- On the power play, Jordan Schroeder and Alexander Edler could man the points on the first unit Wednesday with the Sedins and Burrows up front. Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison would play the points on the second unit with David Booth, Mason Raymond and Zack Kassian up front.
- The Canucks would have to redouble efforts to move either of their goaltenders, Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider, for offensive help.