RAYCROFT TO START
Canucks backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft will get the start tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks after sitting out the last two games. It will be his last start of the regular season.
Raycroft (9-4-1) has proven to be the best backup goaltender for Roberto Luongo since he [Luongo] joined in 2006-2007. In the 20 games that Raycroft has played this year, he has 9 wins, the most of any backup for Luongo, the lowest GAA (2.31), and the highest save percentage (.914%).
"I think I've gotten better and I work hard day-to-day," said Raycroft. "I think I've been pretty consistent with that all year."
BAUMGARTNER EXPECTED TO DRESS AGAINST SHARKS
Defenceman Nolan Baumgartner will likely play defence tomorrow against the Sharks after being a healthy scratch for the last 16 games.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to get back in there," said Baumgartner. "I think it's been over a month now, and 16 games straight that I've missed. I've been working hard with Glenn and Roger on the ice and off the ice, trying to stay sharp. Hopefully I get in tomorrow and just try to do my best."
Baumgartner was seen skating with both Shane O'Brien and Andrew Alberts at today's practice but the defensive pairings will be decided tomorrow.
Christian Ehrhoff is still day-to-day with his tweaked knee. He did not practice today but will skate on his own tomorrow in hopes of returning to the ice on Saturday when the Canucks play the Calgary Flames.
"It's gotten a lot better and like I said before there was nothing major showing up on the MRI so that's a good sign," said Ehrhoff. "Hopefully I'll be back skating tomorrow and Friday."
O'Brien went through a bit of a scare at the end of practice after Mikael Samuelsson's slapshot during a powerplay drill hit O'Brien's ankle causing his foot to go numb. He was helped off the ice before taking a rest to see the extent of the hit.
After practice, O'Brien said he was feeling better and should be ready to play tomorrow.
"I moved it around a little bit and it started to feel better and better," said O'Brien. "Bernie just told me to take my stuff off and put some ice on it. It's feeling better, and it's a long way away from the heart so I should be all right."
PETTINGER JOINS TEAM
Recently recalled forward Matt Pettinger joined the Canucks for practice this morning. He will be travelling with the team to San Jose, and will likely dress for Thursday night's game against the Sharks.
"Obviously Johnny's [Ryan Johnson] out for awhile so they brought me in for a penalty killing role, and maybe play a little centre," said Pettinger. "I've done it before at this level so I just want to contribute and help the team advance."
With Johnson out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot, Pettinger will be around for the first round of the post-season, something he is very excited about.
"It's really exciting," said Pettinger. "I'm from Victoria and I've seen the Canucks' playoff runs before and hopefully being apart of it is going to be really exciting."
Pettinger will likely centre the fourth line with forwards Jannik Hansen and Steve Bernier, who he was skating with at today's practice. He will be used on the penalty kill having had more experience there than most of the Canucks.
"By losing Ryan we lost a penalty killer there," said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. "We need somebody else and the players we have right now, no one has Matt's experience as far as killing penalties."
Samuelsson was moved to the second line with Ryan Kesler and Pavol Demtira nearing the end of Tuesday's game against the Colorado Avalanche. He was skating on the second line again the morning, and Michael Grabner was seen on the third line with Mason Raymond and Kyle Wellwood. Darcy Hordichuk, Rick Rypien, and Tanner Glass were skating on a line together, likely the healthy scratches for tomorrow's match.