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This could get ugly

3:20 PM ET Update - Pettinger flying south means good news for one person: Jason Krog. The Krogster - the man who helped make mother Russia weep this summer - will join Wellwood as the two small call-up heroes will do (or, rather, should do) their best to make sure they don't have to buy the plane ticket back to Manitob anytime soon.

Although your guess is as good as anyones as to what the hell the fouth line looks like now.


1:00 PM ET Update - As suggested earlier, Pettinger didn't make it through the waivers, getting scooped up by Tampa of all teams (who lost Koci to the Blues and now have placed Jason Ward on waivers). Wellwood, clearly, we can't give away.

But that ends a short chapter in the Pettinger/Vancouver book. Oh, Matt Cooke where art thou? Right, on a better team out east. Damn it all.


Following another lackluster loss on Sunday to Quenneville's birds, it was learned Demitra, Rypien and Hordichuk all had injuries (well Rypien had an infection, call that what you will). And, oh ya, Salo is down for the count too. Again! But it says something about the state of Vancouverian affairs when injuries to the bottom six create a cause of great concern.

As the post says, this is going to get ugly before it gets any better. That ugly can be defined as reaching down to Manitoba to yank our Wellwood and Pettinger for help (assuming, that is, that no one scoops them up first). This for a team who's staunch defense and world-class netminder are having their own set of issues and, hey, have you seen those special teams stats?

On the plus side, Vancouver only has two games this week (not four) and both the opponents (the Blue Jackets and Oilers) are not, to be fair, Detroit or Buffalo. More time to heal will be on their side as will a more forgiving travel schedule. The Jackets are having their own problems but, as with most teams, they'll be bringing in more skill up front that the depleted defense will have to work again.

Let's call a spade a spade here: Kesler and Burrows have more points combined then Daniel Sedin, Steve Bernier and Mason Raymond. If that trend is going to continue, then we regrettably have to ask "Can the first line start producing to take pressure off the checking line?" Now, most likely it won't but the fact remains that the first line needs to get going.

And, for Sean's 'love of all things portly' sake, if Wellwood has a prayer of remaining relevant to the organization now he's time. If he can jump start the second line (if that is where he ends up) he'll give Vigneault the flexibility of moving Demitra and Bernier around the top six as a result.

So is it always darkest before it goes completely black? We'll see tonight. Get it done.