CANUCKS GET BACK TO WORK
The Canucks return to ice and resume business as usual after the Olympic break from games and practice. Well - almost business as usual.
Noticeably, six of their teammates are missing with other engagements - the Olympic Winter Games.
As the team gets back to work at 8 Rinks, they do welcome back a familiar face in Kevin Bieksa, as he skates for the first time since injuring his ankle late December.
Bieksa has missed 20 games with the injury and has 16 points (1-15-16) in 40 games before being sidelined. He is fourth in scoring amongst Canucks defencemen and fourth in ice time, averaging 21:48.
No reports yet on Willie Mitchell’s status, who was still not skating prior to the Games despite optimistic reports saying otherwise. He was supposed to make at least part of the Canucks eight-game trip before the break but progress impeded him from doing so.
Mitchell’s been out since January 16, missing 12 games so far. His four goals in 48 games so far this season is a career best and he has eight assists to add to that total for 12 points on the year.
Whether they’ll both make the second half of the Canucks historic road trip is undecided.
Of the 30 teams in the NHL, three teams have more players at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games than the Canucks. Anaheim, Detroit, and San Jose have eight players representing their countries at the Games, while Vancouver has seven.
Six players remain in the tournament as Christian Ehrhoff, representing Team Germany is the only Canuck to be eliminated so far. All six players are in action today, while Ehrhoff gets right back to work with the Canucks.
Ryan Kesler sees action first with the top team in the tournament, USA against Switzerland.
Roberto Luongo will try to backstop Team Canada to a victory over Alex Ovechkin and Russia in a game that was slated to be the gold medal game but came days too early. Game time is 4:30pm PST.
Team Finland and Sami Salo will take to the ice at UBC - the only game of the day not at Canada Hockey Place - against Czech Republic at 7pm PST.
Tonight’s last game of the night comes at 9pm PST when Daniel and Henrik Sedin faceoff against Canuck teammate, Pavol Demitra for Sweden and Slovakia, respectively.
Derek Jory continues to bring you the in depth Canuck coverage of the Olympics as the games play out tonight and until Sunday. Click here for full coverage