By Elizabeth Moffat, Canucks.com
Manny Malhotra took a sick day according to coach Alain Vigneault, who excused him from practice this morning.
Alex Bolduc and Guillaume Debiens were both there, however.
Guillaume Debiens stayed off the ice. He is still recovering from a broken hand he suffered as a result of a fight with Cody Mcleod of the Colorado Avalanche. Debiens continued his off-ice conditioning, running the steps of Rogers Arena.
Alex Bolduc continued to participate with the team at practice and will travel with the team to Calgary to get in some extra practice time.
Kevin Bieksa re-joined the team after missing Saturday’s practice as well as Friday’s game due to the flu.
Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider got a pass on the conditioning skate to work on lateral moves in net with Roland Melanson.
Kevin Bieksa revealed after practice today that it wasn’t the flu that kept him out of Friday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
“I don’t have the flu, I have pneumonia,” said Bieksa, who has lost eight pounds from his 198 pound frame since being ill. “I had the flu in Montreal. I feel with the flu, it’s hard, but you can play through.”
Pneumonia tends to hit the lungs much harder than the average flu.
Bieksa went on to reveal that despite only missing Friday’s game, he has been fighting illness since early November. The Montreal game he referenced was back on November 9th.
“I felt better today than I thought I would,” he said after participating in most of today’s practice. “The energy level didn’t feel half bad, so I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
“I plan on practicing tomorrow and I plan on playing in Calgary. I’m in the home stretch.”
Bieksa scored his first goal of the season (1-3-4) against Colorado on November 24th.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TANNER
Tanner Glass celebrates his 27th birthday today. The left winger shifted around the line up against the Sharks, finishing the game on the third line. He assisted on Mikael Samuelsson’s goal 4:24 into the second period, less than two minutes after Raffi Torres scored what would turn out to be the game winner.
Glass currently has six points (2-4-6) 22 games into the season, already half of what he accomplished last season (4-7-11).
"For the most part, Vancouver fans have been very nice and always very polite," he says. "It's kind of nice,” he told Jim Jamieson of the Province. “It's not like I'm Hank or Danny or Louie, getting mobbed out there, but it's always good for the ego when someone says, 'Great game,' or they want to shake your hand or get a quick picture."
In this second season with the Canucks, Glass is on pace for a career season. Team mate Roberto Luongo can see the difference in his play.
"I noticed two or three weeks ago in practice he was picking corners and making plays around the net that you don't expect a guy maybe like him to make," Luongo told Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun. "It's nice to see and now he's chipping in offensively during the game. He's a hard worker and it's paying off."
MOOSE CLOSE TO HOME
The Manitoba Moose played a pair of road games over the weekend, but the sold out crowd in Abbotsford on Saturday night made them feel right at home. Over 7000 hockey fans showed up to watch the Manitoba Moose take on the Calgary Fames affiliate, Abbotsford Heat. The average Heat game draws a little over 2500.
Despite a team effort of 41 shots, the 26 saves by Eddie Lack and the game tying goal by Kevin Connauton, the Moose lost 2-1 in a shoot out Friday.
On Saturday night, the team revved it up for the visiting Canuck management and coaches, winning 3-1 with goals from Kevin Clark, Bill Sweatt and Cody Hodgson. Eddie Lack made 29 saves in the win.
“It was good for us, management and coaches, to get a chance to see where our kids are,” said Coach V. “Cody [Hodgson], [Chris] Tanev, Connauton, Lack, [Aaron] Volpatti. There’s a lot of upside there, and we need to be patient and let the players evolve, but we can see improvements since training camp.”
“I saw a lot of players that, with the right work ethic and the right attitude, the right commitment have a chance to play in the NHL.”