DEMITRA OUT INDEFINITELY
Pavol Demitra, who was initially projected to be out for six weeks after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, is now out indefinitely after a shoulder scope earlier this week revealed complications in his range of motion.
“He was going fine and in the last three weeks he hit a wall and the range of motion wasn’t there," said Alain Vigneault. "He tried different shots and that wasn’t helping him. Finally, the doc’s and [Demitra] decided to go in there and find out what was wrong. ”
Demitra, 34, netted 20 goals and 33 assists (20-33-53) in 69 games with the Canucks last season.
Rick Rypien took to the ice today at practice after tweaking his groin Monday night during his final shifts in Edmonton. Rypien did not play against Chicago instead Darcy Hordichuk suited up.
“It’s just a mild groin pull right now and it might take a couple more days than we originally thought,” said Vigneault.
LEAFS BLOW INTO TOWN
Saturday afternoon the Canucks welcome the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs to GM Place. The Canucks are coming off their first road win over the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Leafs remain winless fresh off a 4-1 loss against the New York Rangers.
The Canucks are looking to get back to .500 as they are 5-4-0 this season. While the Leafs are aiming to snap their losing streak and finally get a win.
“We know the team we’re going to be playing is going to be hungry.” said Ryan Kesler. “They’re going to be wanting that win just as much as us. It’s a chance to get back at .500 and we have to worry about ourselves here.”
“We’re concerned about getting the two points,” added Alex Burrows. “We know they’re a desperate team right now. For us we just want to make sure we get to .500 now. We’ve been waiting for a while after a 0-3 start. Now is the time to go back to .500 and start rolling some wins in.”
Last season, the Canucks swept the series going 2-0-0 against Toronto.
Puck drops at 4 PST.
SAMUELSSON STEPS IT UP
With two top six forwards out, Sweden native Mikael Samuelsson has stepped up offensively filling the gap left by injured fowards Daniel Sedin (foot) and Pavol Demitra (shoulder).
At 6’2” and 218lbs., Samuelsson, 32, leads the club in shots on net with 41 and is second in the league behind Alexander Ovechkin. Samuelsson also leads the team in goals with five and is second in points with 11(5-4-11) in nine games.
"He's an experienced guy who has been through some pressure moments in his career and he's been able to respond," said Alain Vigneault. “He's done real well for us.”
Last season, Samuelsson netted 19 goals and 21 assists (19-21-40) in 81 games with the Detroit Red Wings.
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER
The Canucks will host its Hockey Fights Cancer
Awareness Night on Sunday, October 25, 2009 during their home game versus the Edmonton Oilers.
Cancer patients and their families from BC Children’s Hospital will attend the game as special guests in Lui’s Crease Club charity suite. In addition, members of the Canadian Cancer Society, the BC Cancer Agency and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation will have display tables on the concourse offering fans the opportunity to learn about various cancers and to make donations.
Players will also be sporting Hockey fights cancer decals on the back of their helmets for the whole month of October.
Since 1998 Hockey fights cancer has raised over 10.5 million dollars.