After losing nine of their past 15 games the Vancouver Canucks head into Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. It has been a costly slump that has seen them go from the top of the Pacific Division to the playoff bubble.
They are getting some good news on Tuesday.
Winger Brock Boeser will be back in the lineup for their game against the Islanders after missing the past month with an upper-body injury.
Boeser’s return is significant because he is not only one of the Canucks’ best players, but it is also far faster than initially expected. When Boeser was sidelined in early February, general manager Jim Benning said it could potentially be an eight-week injury, which would have taken him out of the lineup for at least the remainder of the regular season.
As it turns out, Boeser missed a little more than four weeks.
The Canucks went 5-6-1 in the 12 games he missed.
Injuries have been a struggle for Boeser early in his career having now missed at least 10 games in each of his first three seasons. When he has been on the ice, however, he has become a key part of the Canucks’ rapidly improving young core and scored at a 30-goal pace per 82 games.
The Canucks enter the day in ninth place in the Western Conference, one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second Wild Card spot. They are two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the top Wild Card spot and three points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division. They have games in hand (two on Calgary and Winnipeg; one on Minnesota) on all three teams.