By Derek Jory
Mason Raymond will miss Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final with a vertebrae compression fracture.
That prognosis, confirmed by the Canucks Tuesday, is actually good news considering there was initially “some very serious concern” the Canucks forward might not walk again, according to general manager Mike Gillis.
“He did move after he had been on the ice for a period of time,” said Gillis. “He began to move his legs and I know when he got to the hospital they were very concerned.”
Raymond was injured 20 seconds into Game 6 Monday after being hit into the boards by Boston Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk.
Raymond did not return to Vancouver with the Canucks Tuesday and he is expected to be out of the line-up for 4-to-6 months.
“If we get Mason Raymond back by November of next year, we will be very happy,” said Gillis, adding that the team isn’t sure if Raymond will require surgery.
“At this point they're hopeful that it won't require surgery, that it has the opportunity to heal on its own. He's going to face a long, hard recovery. We've been told it's going to be very challenging for him and he's going to be in a difficult position for some time.”
Raymond had eight points (2-6-8) through 24 games during this year's post-season run.
Finding a replacement for Raymond alongside Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler on Vancouver’s second line is a tall task, one made even more difficult with just a day between Games 6 and 7. No word yet on the line-up shuffling.
Despite missing some time in Game 6 in Boston, Alex Edler and Andrew Alberts will both dress in Game 7 Wednesday.
Edler played just under 20 minutes and had six hits Monday night, while Alberts had four hits and three blocked shots in just over 16 minutes of ice time.
Coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t even acknowledge that Edler and Alberts are banged up, all the Canucks are feeling good and ready to roll for Game 7.
“Everybody is fine, I’ve been telling you that since the start of the playoffs,” said Vigneault. “This is the best time of the year. I know we're looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow. It's a great opportunity, it's an honor to be able to play a seventh game in the Stanley Cup Final, and everybody that's available is going to play at 100 per cent.”
What will be the x-factor for Game 7? What will put Vancouver over the top or give Boston an advantage?
Click here to join the discussion at Fort Nucks, the official blog of the Vancouver Canucks.