If the Vancouver Canucks didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.
It now looks like the club will be without forward Brock Boeser for an extended period of time after he went down to a Mark Giordano shot. The team was facing the Calgary Flames on Sunday and it was early in the second period.
So, now what?
The Canucks are already without Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. They’re already without Chris Tanev and Brandon Sutter.
What’s more, Boeser was spotted after the game on crutches with a walking boot.
That’s not good news for a team that was starting to look like things were panning out, like the much-ballyhooed rebuild was bearing fruit.
The 20-year-old from Burnsville has 30 points in 31 games this season, including 17 goals. Horvat and Baertschi were also putting together good years and together the trio formed the top line on the team.
And now? The top line is gone. Merry Christmas, Vancouver.
After Sunday’s disheartening 6-1 loss to the Flames, the Canucks are 15-15-4 and sixth in the Pacific Division. And you hate to say it, but if Boeser is out for any particularly long period of time this season is probably over.
Granted, this season was never really supposed to amount to anything more than a learning experience for the young Canucks. They were supposed to rally behind young talent, transition out some older talent, find a new and smaller role for the Sedin twins, and establish some kind of continuity in goal. That was the goal for 2017-2018.
Then things got real.
Boeser was clicking like a bat out of you know where. Horvat was proving himself as the top draw on the team. Even Baertschi was exceeding expectations, while Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson were staking claims as goaltenders worth noticing. The team wasn’t dead in the water by any means and they were, in fact, doing a fair shake better than the hapless Edmonton Oilers.
But in December of 2017 with a few days to go until the big guy visits, a different and more Vancouver reality is settling in. Injuries are the talk of the town and the Sedins will once again have to pick up the slack. Transitions will wait until injuries can be evaluated and goaltenders will have to be amazing in order to stay in the race.
We won’t know the full extent of the Boeser injury until the swelling goes down, but it doesn’t look good. If wishes come true, it’ll be a quick recovery and turnaround.
But the way things are going in Vancouver this year, I wouldn’t hold my breath.