Chris Tanev could return for Canucks as soon as Friday

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The Vancouver Canucks are probably aching for good news at this point, especially after that 8-6 meltdown against the Carolina Hurricanes. If that good news isn’t already here, it seems to be on its way.

Defenseman Chris Tanev could be back in the Canucks’ lineup as soon as Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to the team.

Tanev isn’t a big name along the same lines as the Sedin twins, but¬†Jonathan Willis argued that he’s the Canucks most important player in this Sportsnet piece.

Whether he’s the top guy or one of the top guys, there’s no denying that he’s up there and that he’s been missed. Tanev hasn’t played since Nov. 2.

While many people – reasonably – believe that the Canucks are probably better off going into full-fledged tank mode, this is actually a pretty good opportunity for them to save face. Take a look at their upcoming schedule:

Friday: vs. Lightning
Sunday: vs. Blue Jackets
Dec. 20 and 22: vs. Jets
Dec. 23: at Flames
Dec. 28: vs. Kings
Dec. 30: vs. Ducks
Dec. 31: at Oilers
Jan. 2: vs. Avalanche
Jan. 4: vs. Coyotes
Jan. 6: vs. Flames

Now, it’s foolish to suggest that the Canucks will go on a tear. On paper, just about all of those teams are better than Vancouver.

Still, that IS four home games in a row and just two away contests during a 11-game span. Tanev could help them save face (but maybe hurt their lottery odds) during a run like this.

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