Head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed today that forwards Steve Bernier and Ryan Johnson are nursing minor injuries. Bernier left his usual haunting grounds in front of the opponents’ net last night and headed for the Canucks’ dressing room with a sore shoulder. Johnson is seeing a hand specialist today after blocking a shot last week.
“It’s just a bruised shoulder, so we’ll see how [Bernier] is tomorrow and take it a day at a time, it’s day to day right now,” said Vigneault. “Ryan’s going to see a hand specialist, he blocked a shot a couple games ago and he’s feeling a little bit of pain so we should have more news on him tomorrow.”
In light of these injuries the Canucks have recalled Alexandre Bolduc from the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
“[Bolduc is] the one, that if Ryan can’t go, as far as a third or fourth line player in that role, he’s the one down there playing the best right now, so he’s the one that we called up," said Vigneault.
Bolduc, 23, has appeared in 12 games with the Moose this season, posting eight points (2-6-8) and a rating of +8. The 6’3”, 200 lbs. native of Montreal, Quebec was originally drafted by St. Louis Blues in the fourth round, 127th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and signed as a free agent on July 2, 2008.BIEKSA, LUONGO INJURY UPDATESKevin Bieksa
skated by himself yesterday before the team’s pre-game skate for the first time since Nov. 13th. He was on the ice again today for this morning's optional skate and his progress continues to look positive. Bieksa fractured his foot in the Nov. 4th game against Nashville.
“I’ll practice the next couple of days and see how it feels,” said Bieksa. “Today I was just out there with a couple guys, I didn’t really test it too hard, just got out there and make some tight turns, it held up, it felt good.
“I’m looking obviously towards Thursday, but that all depends on how the next few days go for practice. Getting into game type situations and playing the rush, we’ll just see how the pain holds up and if I can manage it.”
Team doctors concluded yesterday that Canucks' star netminder Roberto Luongo
sustained an adductor strain (groin), and he is listed as week to week. Luongo, disappointed that he will be sidelined, is already looking towards rehabbing his injury.
“Right now obviously it’s not something I want to be a part of, but I’ll be working hard with the training staff and the medical guys to try to get back as soon as possible," said Luongo. "I really don’t know how long it’s going to take, because it’s really the first time I’ve had an injury like this.
“It’s not as painful as two days ago, so that’s a good start. Walking is just uncomfortable for me right now, so it’s improving every day, but still got a little ways to go.”
Forward Rick Rypien is still recovering from his sports hernia surgery. OT WIN OVER WINGS
In a thrilling end to a hard-fought battle the Canucks defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champions 3-2 in overtime. Responding to a request from goaltender Curtis Sanford, who turned away 32 shots for the win, Sami Salo
released his famous slap shot and beat Detroit goalie Chris Osgood to seal the win.
Monday night’s re-match marked Salo’s first game back after missing the last two of the road trip with the flu. His veteran defensive play and strong presence on the point contributed greatly to the win.
“From what I’ve seen, we played tight and didn’t give up too many chances," said Bieksa. "The Minnesota game, the Pittsburgh game were probably two of our better games this season for d-zone coverage and limiting scoring chances. And then last night I think we did good job against Detroit as well. They’re playing well right now and things are going to get even tighter here with Louie out for the next little while, but the ship just keeps on going and guys are playing well.”
The team refused to quit after Pavel Datsyuk scored on the power play to put Detroit ahead with 3:35 left in the third. The Sedin-Demitra line, proving to be an offensive threat every time they’re on the ice, set up Daniel’s 10th goal of the season, and 400th career NHL point. Daniel also assisted on Salo’s game winner, boosting his career total to 401.
Taylor Pyatt opened scoring for the Canucks, putting a wrist shot past Osgood to tie the game 1-1 in the second period.
Vigneault will continue to play Sanford, who has been outstanding for the Canucks, rewarding his strong performance. Moose goaltender Cory Schneider
has joined the team in Vancouver to back up Sanford.
“Obviously last night Curtis played well again, so I’m sure they don’t see a reason to take him out just yet,” said Schneider. “I’m just happy to be here to help the team win, because they’re going good, so don’t mess with what’s going well. If they give me a chance that’s great, but if not I’m just going to work hard and do my job.”
Schneider may still get his regular season debut with the Canucks. Vigneault will decide on a game to game basis who will start in net.
“Cory did really well this year in training camp,” said Vigneault. “He went to Manitoba and he’s been the best goaltender in the American League. He’s on, I think, a 10 game winning streak. His stats are the best there, so if we need Cory we’re sure he’s going to be very efficient and depending on how things work out he might get a chance.”