Vancouver will welcome back two familiar faces on Sunday.
D-man Luca Sbisa, who’s been out since Dec. 3 with a hand injury, draws into the lineup when the Canucks take on the Islanders in a matinee at Barclays, the club announced. Winger Jannik Hansen, who’s been playing on the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, will play for the first time since Jan. 6.
Sbisa has been out for 19 straight games. He, along with Dan Hamhuis (facial injury) have been shelved for well over a month, meaning the Canucks have put together a patchwork defense that, on Friday in Carolina, was comprised of Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Matt Bartkowski, Taylor Fedun, Alex Biega and Ben Hutton.
When healthy, Sbisa was a regular fixture in Vancouver’s top six, though his penchant for erratic play and questionable decision making made him a whipping boy for fans and media alike. He had four points in 18 games this season, but was one of the club’s most physical players (31 hits).
As for Hansen, his presence will be big. His 12 goals and 22 points through the first 41 games of the season made him one of the club’s most productive scorers. He’s on pace to challenge his career-high of 39 points, set during the ’11-12 campaign.