By Elizabeth Moffat, Canucks.com
Christian Ehrhoff practiced with the team today for the first time since taking a puck to the head during Saturday’s game.
“I felt good today,” said the 26 year-old. “After a week of not skating it felt good to be back on the ice.”
Despite previous fears that he had a concussion that has been ruled out and he expects to play in tomorrow's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“My symptoms have all slowed down,” he said. “Initially we were treating concussion-like symptoms, after a couple of days those symptoms were gone, but I had trouble with my vertigo, but I got that treated and the last couple of days I’ve been symptom free.”
Head coach Alain Vigneault will wait for game time before making a final decision and if and where Ehrhoff will play. He has recorded 14 points (4-10-14) in 26 games this season.
VOLPATTI ARRIVES IN VANCOUVER
The Canucks newest call up 25 year-old Aaron Volpatti planned to return home to British Columbia this week, but when the team called him up yesterday he made the trip sooner than he expected.
The Revelstoke born BC boy was planning to take advantage of a week off from the Manitoba Moose and head home for Christmas Sunday after tonight’s game against the Houston Aeros.
Instead he hopped on a plane three days early and found himself skating with the Canucks this morning.
“I got the call yesterday,” said Volpatti. “I was obviously pretty ecstatic, so it’s good to be here.”
The 6’0” left winger is expected to play in his first NHL game tomorrow on the fourth line with Tanner Glass and Alex Bolduc.
“ I can bring some energy, be defensively dependable, try to keep in simple, get pucks in deep, create some havoc for the other team.”
In 34 AHL games, Volpattti has one goal and seven assists.
“The first few weeks were a little inconsistent,” Volpatti said on the start to his AHL season. “But other than that I’ve been pretty good in our zone, playing psychical. I’d like to get a few more chances offensively.”
EARLY GAME FOR TORONTO
The Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Vancouver Canucks in Rogers Arena tomorrow at 4:00pm.
The three hour advance on game time does not seem to bother the players however.
“It’s three hours once a year, so I think we’ll be fine,” said team captain Henrik Sedin.
“It’ll throw a little bit of a wrench into it,” said Manny Malhotra. “But I think once the guys get their gear on they’ll get into a game day rhythm.”
In fact, some players seem to embrace the change in game time.
“I’m really starting to enjoy early games,” said Roberto Luongo. “We’ve had a few this year, and I’ve felt good and energized every one of them.”
With or without an early start the last time the Leafs managed a win over Vancouver was November 24, 2003, a full 2577 days.
In 2003, Markus Naslund was coming off a career season, Brent Sopel was the Canucks sixth top scorer, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was only just beginning his first term as the Governator.
The Leafs are currently last in their division, but they have won two of their last three games, but as always Roberto Luongo cautions against approaching the game lightly.
“We don’t want to force things too much,” he said. “We know we have a good offensive team and can score some goals, but sometimes if you try to force things to might open up things on the back end.”
Although Vancouver won their last game against Toronto 5-3 they had to battle back from a 2-0 deficit half way through the first period.
Even with a 4:00pm start, Saturday’s game should be exciting, as always and sure to rile up fans on both coasts.
“It’s a Canadian match up, so you get really up for these games,” said Henrik. “It’s a team we like to play for sure.”
The Game also marks Fan Appreciation Night in Rogers Arena with plenty of giveaways including the annual “Jerseys Off Our Backs” night where lucky fans will win a game worn jersey straight off the back of their Canucks at the end of the game.
Catch all the action Saturday at 4:00 PST on CBC.