RJ TO THE IR
Forget about two front teeth, all Canucks forward Ryan Johnson wanted for Christmas was a healed foot, which he didn’t get.
Johnson, Vancouver's fourth-line warrior known for putting his body in harm’s way to help the Canucks, was recently placed on injured reserve for a nagging foot injury that didn’t improve over the three-day holiday break.
Two games have passed since Johnson last suited up for Vancouver and he did not accompany the team on its current four-game road trip, which began with a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames on December 27.
Johnson has four assists and is plus-2 in 33 games this season; he missed four games earlier this year with a concussion.
BOLDUC DITCHES ANTLERS
Without an extra forward at their disposal, the Canucks recalled Alex Bolduc from the Manitoba Moose on Monday.
The 24-year-old Montreal product will be thrown into the fire just a day after being summoned as Bolduc will centre Vancouver’s fourth-line with Rick Rypien and Darcy Hordichuk.
Bolduc started the 2009-10 season with the Moose before being recalled by the Canucks on October 17. He dressed for seven games and averaged over 11 minutes of ice time in the first six, but suffered a shoulder injury early in a game against the LA Kings, which kept him out of the line-up for 13 contests.
Upon returning to Manitoba, Bolduc collected three goals and seven assists in 29 games.
Tuesday night’s contest against Phoenix will be Bolduc’s 15th with the Canucks in his career, he has one assist and is minus-1 over that span.
SCHNEIDER HITS THE WIRE
According to TSN, veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider, who was signed by the Canucks as a free agent this past summer, was placed on waivers by the team on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Stanley Cup Champion appeared in 17 games with the Canucks this season collecting two goals and three assists.
If Schneider clears waivers on Wednesday, he can be assigned to the Manitoba Moose.
WORLD JUNIOR UPDATE: RODIN ROLLIN’
One of these things is not like the other.
Most hockey fans looking at the scoring leaders for the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships surely recognize the names of three of the top four players: Gabriel Bourque, Jordan Eberle and Brandon McMillan. Anton Rodin, not so much.
Canucks know all about Rodin, however, and with the Swedish forward, Vancouver’s second pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, only a point behind Bourque and Eberle for the overall scoring lead, the rest of the hockey world will know him soon enough.
Rodin has three goals and three assists in two games as Team Sweden is off to a 2-0 start having outscored its opposition 17-4. The 19-year-old was especially impressive on Sunday in a 7-3 win over Austria as he finished with two goals and an assist.
Swedish teammate Peter Andersson, another Canucks draft pick from 2009, hasn’t found the score sheet in as big a way as Rodin, but he picked up an assist last game. His sound defensive play, paired with the offensive aggression of Rodin, has Sweden looking like a real contender in Group B.
Through two games Sweden is one of four undefeated teams, a list that includes Canada, Russia and the United States.
Jordan Schroeder, Vancouver’s first round pick from 2009 and the third Canuck competing in the World Juniors, has one goal and is a plus-2 with nine shots on goal through two games with the US.
DEMITRA GETS THE CALL
Pavol Demitra has been sidelined the entire 2009-10 season, but that didn’t stop Team Slovakia from naming him to its roster for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Demitra, who captained the Slovaks and the 2006 Olympics, could compete in his third Games this February if his shoulder injury improves in time.
The 34-year-old underwent off season shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and was initially projected to be out from 4-6 weeks. After a setback in his range of motion, Demitra took new approaches to speed up the recovery process, such as aqua therapy in November before heading to Slovakia to seek out a specialist.
The outlook for Demitra returning to the Canucks appeared bleak just a short while ago, but he practiced with the team for the first time before the holiday break, a great sign that he’s on the road to recovery.
Joining Demitra on Team Slovakia’s roster are Zdeno Chara, Lubomir Visnovsky, Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa and Zigmund Palffy, the former LA Kings forward who last played in the NHL as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005-06.
GAME DAY NOTES
After kicking off the road trip with a convincing 5-1 win in Calgary on Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks (23-16-0) look to extend their win streak to a season-high four games when they visit the Jobing.com Arena for the first time this season to face the surprising Phoenix Coyotes (24-13-3).
Tonight's game faces off at 6:00pm PT and can be seen on Canucks TV Pay-Per-View. For information on how to order, visit canucks.com/canuckstv. Listen live on the TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at team1040.ca.