After skating in the pre-game warm up and practicing yesterday with the team, Manny Malhotra is playing Game 2.
Malhotra has been out of the Canucks lineup since March 16 after taking a puck in his left eye. The injury nearly cost Malhotra the vision in that eye, but after getting two operations done since then, he’s been working hard to get back into playing action. While the Canucks never officially said his season was over after the injury, it was assumed that he’d be done for good given the seriousness of the injury.
You know what they say about assumptions.
For Malhotra, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault says he’ll be used primarily for faceoff wins and defensive zone coverage and he’ll play on the fourth line. He’ll see limited minutes there but his job in winning faceoffs will be huge going up against the likes of David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron. Malhotra will take Alexandre Bolduc’s spot in the lineup. Bolduc played all of 1:39 in Game 1 against Boston. Expect to see Malhotra a little bit more than that in what’s turned out to be a miraculous recovery.
With Malhotra on the ice, expect the Canucks and their fans to be even more fired up and inspired. The Bruins will have a lot of excitement to weather throughout Game 2 but especially early on. One way or another, it will be fascinating to watch how well (or not) Malhotra does in his first game back.