Vancouver potentially suffered a big blow on defense Wednesday as News 1130 reported Chris Tanev would be sidelined with a fractured thumb. If the injury report is accurate, Tanev’s not expected to return until after the Olympic break.
Canucks interim head coach Mike Sullivan wouldn’t confirm the report, only saying Tanev was day-to-day with an upper body injury, and wouldn’t play tonight against Chicago.
Tanev, 24, has appeared in all 54 games for the Canucks this year, scoring five goals and 14 points while averaging nearly 21 minutes per night. He likely suffered the injury during Monday night’s 4-2 loss to Edmonton, a game in which he played 21:34 while leading all Canucks skaters with six blocked shots.
Blocked shots have been Tanev’s forte this season — he has 112, 12th most in the NHL — and his absence will hurt a Canucks team that’s struggled recently, allowing 10 goals over its last three games.
Vancouver has six games remaining until the Olympic break — home versus Chicago tonight, then a five-game road swing through Winnipeg, Detroit, Boston, Montreal and Toronto. Tanev will miss all six, then be reevaluated for a potential return when games start back on Wednesday, Feb. 26 (the Canucks host St. Louis that night.)