VANCOUVER -- New Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella's reliance on blocking shots generated plenty of discussing around the hockey world. That isn't likely to change now that top-line wing Alexandre Burrows will miss at least two weeks with a lower-body injury.
Burrows was hurt blocking a slap shot while killing off a 5-on-3 during the Canucks' season-opening 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. He finished the game but was spotted limping out of the locker room, and hasn't been back on the ice since. On Saturday, he was spotted wearing a walking boot.
"He's going to be out a couple of weeks, that's where we are going to leave it right now,"Tortorella said, refusing to get any more specific about the injury.
Burrows averaged just under 30 goals over the last four full seasons, and led the team with 13 in the shortened 2012-13 season while playing alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the No.1 line. He joins depth center Jordan Schroeder, who broke his foot blocking a shot in the preseason, on the injured list.
The Canucks, who averaged less than 12 blocks a game last season, blocked 22 shots in the season opener against the Sharks.
"I know you are probably going to ask about 15 questions about shot blocking,"Tortorella said. "Alex Burrows made the right play and if he doesn't make that play, he'd probably never play a 5-on-3 again here, so don't turn it into that. It was the right play. Injuries happen in a lot of different ways, so we'll continue to try to play defense – not just shot block – play defense the way you are supposed to."
Zack Kassian, who started the preseason in Burrows' spot on the top line, is suspended for the first five games of the season. So the Canucks don't have any extra forwards for Saturday night's game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Tortorella said they won't call one up from the American Hockey League, instead dressing one of their two extra defensemen on a fourth line that barely played in the opener. Defenseman Andrew Alberts, who was scratched in the first game, played on the fourth line a couple of times last season.
Tortorella would not reveal who will play with the Sedin twins. Following an optional morning skate, it's a guessing game as to whether David Booth, who finished the San Jose game with the twins, or Jannik Hansen, who played there in the preseason, will get the promotion.
Here are the projected lineups for Saturday:
Ryan Smyth - Taylor Hall – Ales Hemsky
David Perron – Mark Arcobello – Jordan Eberle
Jesse Joensuu – Boyd Gordon – Nail Yakupov
Luke Gazdic – Will Acton – Mike Brown
Andrew Ference – Justin Schultz
Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz – Anton Belov
Scratched: Ryan Hamilton
Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder), Corey Potter (back), Steve MacIntyre (knee), Sam Gagner (jaw), Denis Grebeshkov (groin)
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – David Booth
Chris Higgins – Ryan Kesler – Jannik Hansen
Mike Santorelli – Brad Richardson – Dale Weise
Tom Sestito – Zac Dalpe – Andrew Alberts
Dan Hamhuis – Kevin Bieksa???
Alexander Edler??? – Jason Garrison
Ryan Stanton – Chris Tanev
Scratched; Yannick Weber
Injured: Jordan Schroeder (foot fracture), Alexandre Burrows (lower body)
Suspended: Zack Kassian (4 more games)