NO TIMELINE FOR LUONGO’S RETURN
Netminder Roberto Luongo, who revealed yesterday he was suffering from a hairline fracture of a rib on his left side, will stay behind in Vancouver as the team heads on the road for their two game California road trip.
"I'm definitely not playing the next two and we'll go from there,” said Luongo. “Right now, it's pretty tough to do almost anything and I can't move right now for the next couple of days."
Luongo sustained a similar injury in 2007 and returned a week later. With no definite timeline, Luongo will stay off his skates until his pain subsides.
“I dealt with this a couple of years ago,” explained Luongo. “It’s almost the same injury and I know more or less what the timeline is and how you feel on a day-to-day basis. It's not about sucking it up and playing. Once you're able to move around pain-free, that's when you start skating again.
RAYCROFT GETS THE START
With Luongo out backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft, 29, will get his first start tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
"Starting is a lot easier," said Raycroft. "When you go in halfway through games, you have the bag skate in the morning and then you're tired from that and you're sitting on the bench. Your legs are rocks for three hours until you go in."
Despite missing their captain, the Canucks are confident in Raycroft’s capabilities.
“Razor’s been looking good in practice,” said Kevin Bieksa. “I’m sure he’ll do a good job.”
“[Raycrofts’s] an excellent goalie,” said Willie Mitchell. “Obviously, its tough to replace Lou, there’s not doubt, but we’ll work [on the small things] in front of Razor.”
At 6’0” and 173lbs., the Belleville Ontario native has appeared in two games with the Canucks playing a total of 53 minutes recording a .941 save percentage and 1.13 goals-against average.
CANUCKS AND KINGS
Tonight the Canucks head to Staples Center to face off against the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks are coming off a 5-4 loss Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings dropping their record to 6-6-0. The Kings, who are tied for 3rd in the league, are fresh off a 2-1 road loss against the San Jose Sharks bumping their record to 8-4-1.
Last season, the Canucks edged out the Kings going 3-1-0 during their series match up.Expected line up:
Burrows - Henrik - Bernier
Raymond - Kesler - Grabner
Samuelsson - Bolduc - Shirokov
Hordichuk/Rome - Rypien -Glass
Mitchell - Salo
Bieksa - M. Schneider
Ehrhoff - Edler
Alain Vigneault is expected to juggle his lines as Sami Salo
and Rick Rypien are slated to suit up. Shane O'brien is expected to be a healthy scratch.
Puck drops at 7:30 PST.