Ballard Broken Foot
The Canucks injury woes continue as Alain Vigneault announced Keith Ballard will be out with a "very, very, very minor fracture to his foot," and is now day-to-day.
Vigneault downplayed the injury saying "if this was playoff hockey, he'd probably be able to suck it up and play, but considering it's quite painful right now we are going to give him some time. Ballard had drawn strong reviews from his head coach after skating as a forward the last three games.
Steve Pinizzotto will dress tonight in Ballard's place now that the 28 year-old has fully recovered from the illness that kept him off the team's last road trip. He skated on a line with Andrew Ebbett and Chris Higgins during the team's morning skate.
After a two game stint apart, Alex Burrows looks to have moved back to the first line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
Henrik Sedin, who has just a single point in his last four games, says having different line-mates can be a good change, but it will be nice having his familiar winger back.
"It's good sometimes to play with different guys to get your energy back and your excitement back, but it should be fun."
While the Canucks have not been scoring a the rapid rate they've become accustomed to over the last few years, Henrik says his group isn't concerned.
"We've got a good thing going, we are playing the right way. We would like to score a few more goals but we can't sacrifice our defence to do that."
Focusing on a the defensive half of the game will be essential given the rash of injuries the club is facing. "With the lineup the way it is right now we can't afford to run and gun," said Jannik Hansen who's line with Mason Raymond and Jordan Schroeder reamins intact.
"Just the fact that we have played together for so long. Mason and I came up together from Manitoba and we've played here for four or five years now," said Hansen who has noticed a positive change in his rookie centre.
"Confidence is the biggest thing," Hansen said. "For a player like him making plays and doing the little nifty things, you need to be able to take those chances to succeed."
First place flip-flop
The Canucks can move back into first place in the Northwest division with a win tonight as they jump back and forth with the streaking Minnesota Wild, winners of seven in a row.
Facing a Colorado team which hasn't managed to beat the Canucks in regulation for 19 straight games, the Canucks know it's important to not take the Avalanche lightly.
"We can't get into their type of game where we are going back and forth, trading chances with them," said Hansen, who is third on the Canucks with 19 points.