MAKING A RETURN
After 10 games, and a lot of patience, Mathieu Schneider is ready to suit up for the Canucks and make his debut for Vancouver.
"I've had this date circled for a while," said Schneider. "It's always a little nerve wracking going into [the first] game especially 10 games into the season but I'm very excited, ready to get in there for sure and I just look forward to fitting in with the guys."
Schneider's been recovering from shoulder surgery he had over the offseason that's kept him on the shelf through preseason and up until this point in the season.
"I feel at least the last two weeks, I felt really strong on the ice, shooting, getting into contact at practice, and I feel comfortable going into corners and things like that."
Schneider hasn't missed a practice since training camp opened in September an he's continued to put in long sessions both on and off the ice to get himself ready for his return.
The time has allowed his body to properly heal but there are some things that no amount of practice is going to solve.
"It is difficult to simulate a game situation but I feel as ready and as comfortable as I could be. My strength is great, we've certainly taken the time and then some so there's no reason to believe we're going to have any issues with my injury. The only issues would be with my head."
His return means an immediate boost to the Canucks already successful powerplay, which is currently fourth best in the League, converting at 27.7%.
The Canucks are 4-2-0 when they score with the man advantage.
The addition of Schneider to the team this season was a move to help bring more experience to the team and as a powerplay specialist, try to spark the Canucks special teams.
"That's been a big part of my game since I've been in this league and I think the powerplay's been doing well. We've been finding ways to score goals and the forwards have been doing a great job. It's been a hardworking powerplay. As far as my job is concerned, it's to get shots through to the net, create rebounds, create chances that way and that part of my game that's never changed."
Schneider has 99 powerplay goals in his career out of his 221 NHL goals - that's 45%!
ONE OUT, ONE IN
Kyle Wellwood will be out with a broken toe without a definite timeline for his return. He is officially day-to-day.
"It's just a matter of when I can fit it into a skate an put some more pressure on it," he said.
The injury occured after taking a shot off his skate in the third period against the Leafs Saturday night. Wellwood has an assist in the first 10 games this season.
Sergei Shirokov was recalled Sunday morning and is en route to Vancouver. He will slot into tonight's lineup but Bowness didn't say who he will skate with.
Shirokov immediately made an impact upon his return to Manitoba earlier this month and is currently the team's leading scorer with 10 points (4-6-10) in as many games.
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER
The Vancouver Canucks announced today their initiative to promote the National Hockey League’s cancer awareness program. The club will host its Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night on Sunday, October 25, 2009 during their home game versus the Edmonton Oilers.
Cancer patients and their families from BC Children’s Hospital will attend the game as special guests in Lui’s Crease Club charity suite. In addition, members of the Canadian Cancer Society, the BC Cancer Agency and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation will have display tables on the concourse offering fans the opportunity to learn about various cancers and to make donations.
In support of the initiative, Canucks players will be wearing Hockey Fights Cancer decals on the back of their helmets for all games during the month of October.
Additionally, Canucks President & General Manager Mike Gillis, as well as members of the coaching staff and team broadcasters will be wearing lavender Hockey Fights Cancer ties on Sunday night to show support for the initiative. Lavender, which represents awareness for all cancers, is the designated colour for this year’s initiative.
Fans can also help support the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative by purchasing Hockey Fights Cancer hats from the Canucks Team Store. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.
For more information on the League-wide Hockey Fights Cancer program, please go to www.nhl.com.