Alex Burrows' return from shoulder surgery up in the air

alexburrows1.jpgThe breakout season Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks had in 2009-2010 was a revelation for the team. Success in the NHL sometimes comes at a price and for Burrows that price was having to undergo shoulder surgery back in June. The prognosis for his return to the Canucks lineup, however, means he might not hit the ice for the Canucks until December as Brad Ziemer from PuckWorld discusses.

Burrows had surgery to repair a torn labrum back in early June. The Canucks aren’t saying when Burrows will be ready to play, but this type of injury generally requires anywhere from four to six months of recovery time.

“At this point he’s working through his therapy program, he’s progressing and he’ll be evaluated again closer to the start of training camp,” assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Thursday.

The Canucks are not making Burrows available for media interviews. But it  seems unlikely that Burrows, who led the Canucks with 35 goals last season, will be ready for the regular-season opener on Oct. 9. And if he’s not, that leaves a big hole among Vancouver’s top six forwards.

Not just a big hole, a gaping hole that affects the Canucks in all facets of the game. From even strength play to the power play to shorthanded, Burrows is a huge performer for them and a guy they now count upon highly. Filling from within could be tricky and while Mikael Samuelsson would figure to move up to the first line with the Sedin brothers, who slides up from there could prove to be interesting.

Ziemer mentions that Sergei Shirokov or Jeff Tambellini could fit in that slot but this could be a situation where the rumor about Tomas Fleischmann possibly being dealt for Kevin Bieksa comes into play. Fleischmann would plug in nicely on a line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond and provided a more balanced offensive attack for the Canucks. While Fleischmann won’t do all the things Burrows can do, he’d at least help stem the loss of offense from the lineup.

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    Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


    Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

    With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

    It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

    Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

    The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

    Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

    They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

    This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

    With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

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    You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

    With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

    Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

    Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

    In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

    Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

    Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

    Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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    So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

    The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

    No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

    He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

    Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

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    There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

    Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

    ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

    So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

    Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

    (But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)