Canucks’ Tanev should return on New Year’s Day

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It looks like defenseman Chris Tanev‘s foot injury won’t keep him out of the lineup for long, which is great for the Vancouver Canucks at a time when they need all the help they can get.

Tanev has missed the Canucks’ last two games, but was able to participate in Thursday’s practice. The hope now is that he’ll be available for Friday’s contest against Anaheim, per the Vancouver Province.

The Canucks will be entering the new year with a 14-15-9 record that would put them significantly behind in the playoff race if not for the fact that they’re in the dreary Pacific Division. As it is that record puts them just outside of the third seed as they’re tied with Arizona in terms of points, but behind in the standings because Vancouver has played in two more contests.

So circumstances have provided the Canucks with a reason to stay hopeful, but it will be tough for them to make the playoffs unless they improve at home, where they’re currently 6-7-3. That’s what makes their current seven-game homestand so critical.

Tanev has been providing the Canucks with 21:33 minutes per game so far this season and losing him for any significant length of time might have been a costly blow to the team. It seems they’ll be able to avoid that one though.