Canucks’ Hamhuis expects to return near the all star break

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis expects to return from his lower body injury around the NHL all star break.

Speaking to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy Thursday night, Hamhuis, who has missed 16 games, said there’s no set date, that he is re-evaluated each day, but that “somewhere near that all star break” is where he’s targeting for a return.

The NHL all star break is Jan. 22-26.

The 31-year-old suffered the injury during the first period of the Canucks’ 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks when his right skate appeared to catch a rut in the ice in the Ducks zone.

For those who haven’t seen the play, here it is:

In 20 games this season Hamhuis has six assists and a minus-5 rating while averaging 20:36 in time on ice.

Kassian: ‘The coach doesn’t see me fitting in right now’

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Zack Kassian will be a healthy scratch tonight when the Vancouver Canucks play host to the L.A. Kings.

Kassian has not played since Nov. 25, in part, due to a finger injury.

According to coach Willie Desjardins, with the Canucks collecting points in four straight, including an impressive 3-1 win in San Jose, it’s tough to make a lineup change.

“(He) has done everything we’ve asked (and) worked really hard,” said Desjardins per The Vancouver Province. “It’s just hard some times. You’ve got tough line-up decisions. When you have guys that are playing well, some times you want to stay with it.”

Kassian has two goals and five points in 17 games this season to go along with a minus-5 rating.

“It’s definitely frustrating. I’ve prepared myself the way I have to to play, but the team is playing well right now,” Kassian said. “The finger is 100%. It’s been 100% for a little while now.

“The coach doesn’t see me fitting in right now. That’s the coach’s decision. It’s definitely frustrating. I want to play. But there’s nothing you can do about it. You can sit here and whine all day. It’s not going to help. When I get my chance, I’m not going to come back out, I can tell you that.”

Kassian has missed 18 games due to multiple injuries this season.

The 23-year-old netted a career-high 14 goals and 29 points in 73 games last season.

Canucks’ Hansen fined $5K for Wingels headshot (Video)

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Vancouver forward Jannik Hansen has been fined $5,000 for a hit to the head of San Jose’ Tommy Wingels on Tuesday night, the NHL announced today.

Here’s the incident in question, which occurred early in the second period and netted Hansen a two-minute illegal check to the head minor:

Wingels looked to be shaken up on the play and left momentarily before returning to the contest, finishing with 14:50 TOI.

Hansen has been suspended for a hit to the head once before, receiving one game following a shot to Chicago’s Marian Hossa in February of 2013.

 

Sharks’ Todd McLellan: ‘We want everything on sale’

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The San Jose Sharks had been red-hot on home ice. And then the Vancouver Canucks came to town and abruptly put a stop to that Tuesday.

That left Sharks’ head coach Todd McLellan to come up with some interesting answers following a 3-1 loss to the visiting Canucks. The result ended San Jose’s home winning streak at eight games. The Canucks also jump back into second in the Pacific Division, with a one-point lead on the L.A. Kings, and two-point lead on San Jose and the Calgary Flames.

“For me, there’s a price that our team has to pay to win. … We want everything on sale, is basically a good way of putting it,” said McLellan, as per Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.

“The dogfight tonight— I didn’t think our dog was a pit bull, by any means,” the coach added.

The Sharks also had the benefit of two penalty shots, but only Joe Thornton was successful on his attempt, scoring stick side on Ryan Miller, who was otherwise solid, making 31 saves.

For the Canucks, Jannik Hansen was the catalyst. However, he could be hearing from the National Hockey League after he was assessed a minor penalty for a hit to the head of Tommy Wingels in the second period.

Seconds after getting out of the box, Hansen scored with a wicked wrist shot on the breakaway, giving Vancouver a two-goal lead. That’s goal No. 9 on the season for Hansen.

“I thought that was Hansen’s best game this year. He was involved and scored a big goal for us,” said Vancouver’s coach Willie Desjardins, as per the club’s Twitter account.

Video: Canucks’ Hansen called for hit to head on Sharks’ Wingels

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Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen was called for an illegal check to the head of San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels in the second period.

The incident occurred as Wingels went to make a pass in the Vancouver zone. Hansen approached from his left side and delivered a passing blow to the head of Wingels, who briefly left the game. According to Ben Kuzma of The Province, Wingels did eventually return later in the period. Hansen was given only a minor penalty on the play. He scored on a breakaway just seconds after getting out of the box, giving Vancouver a 2-0 lead at the time.

In February of 2013, Hansen was suspended one game for a hit to the head of Marian Hossa.