No news = good news?
By Derek Jory
We weren’t calling it a comeback, then Manny Malhotra was cleared to play, then he didn’t practice and Friday he was back on the ice and has again been cleared to resume playing.
A lot of uncertainly remains about whether or not the Canucks forward will be able to play for Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final, but Malhotra practiced Friday with the Canucks at UBC, which is a good sign.
Still, it remains a guessing game as to when he will suit up. Game 2 perhaps?
“I wish I could put it into a percentage for you, but it’s going to be day-to-day,” said Malhotra, adding that he’ll take the morning skate Saturday and make a decision at that point.
Malhotra was held out of practice earlier this week because he “didn’t feel it proper to go on the ice,” yet as of today he has again been cleared for contact.
Sitting alongside Ryan Kesler at the podium at UBC during media availability, Malhotra said what he could without having many answers. He wants to play as badly as you want to see him play, but he doesn’t want to become a distraction.
“I don’t want this to be a sideshow. We always talk about in our dressing room about how the whole is much bigger than the individual, so again, we have a very strong focus in the room, it’s where it needs to be and I don’t want anything to side track that.”
An update on Malhotra’s status for Game 2 will be available Saturday morning. Follow @VanCanucks on Twitter for up to the second breaking news.
Still no update on the status of Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis, who suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 1.
Hamhis left the game early in the second period after delivering a wicked hip-check to Boston’s Milan Lucic and since that blow, Hamhuis has yet to take to the ice.
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault refused to divulge anything post-practice and he said not to read anything into the defensive pairings that had Andrew Alberts with Christian Ehrhoff.
If called upon, Alberts, a former Bruin, is ready to go.
“I haven’t been told for sure,” said Alberts, asked if he’s playing Game 2. “I had a good practice with [Ehrhoff] today and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
“It’s been since Game 3 of the Nashville series, so I’d hopefully get out there, get a bump in early, make a couple of quick plays to get in the game as soon as possible and just make simple plays.”
Alberts was drafted 179th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by Boston; he played 186 games, including two playoff contests, for the Bruins between 2005 and 2007.
“I’ve still got some buddies over there so it would be fun playing against them, but it’s a different makeup over there from when I was there, so it’s a little bit attitude and identity.”