The Canucks are going to get a lot healthier on Saturday night vs the Leafs. Kevin Bieksa (out since January 21 with a broken hand), Brad Richardson (out since January 17 with an ankle injury), Yannick Weber (upper-body injury on March 10) and Chris Higgins (lower-body injury sustained on March 7) are all expected to play against the Leafs. I remember a time when we would lament the loss of Bieksa, but he has struggled this season. The Canucks were 5-5 in the 10 games up to the injury. They were 5-5 in the 10 games after his injury. But I thought defencemen like Adam Clendening, Frankie Corrado, Ryan Stanton and Alex Biega filled in well, even though there have been struggles team-wide with consistency. Those guys are so good, that many find Bieksa to be expendable now.
The Hamhuis/Sbisa combo seems to be a bad idea. Maybe Willie Desjardins will re-unite the Ham-Juice combo.
I don't care what the haters say about Brad Richardson, but I think his return is more important than any of the aforementioned players. We need that checking/penalty killing center back. Does this mean Linden Vey is going to be scratched? Hmmm.
Chris Higgins actually scored a goal in his last game before the injury hit against Arizona. That was his first goal in 16 games. But I think he was having too many dinners with Henrik Sedin, because he had 8 assists in those games and some of those passes were beauties.
SAY IT AIN'T SO, DRAGON-SLAYER
The Province is also reporting that Alex Burrows is questionable for the Leafs game. He missed practice on Friday. I read elsewhere that it was a maintenance day, so who knows.
The Canucks sent Jacob Markstrom back down to Utica to get some games in and recalled Joacim Eriksson to back up Eddie Lack. Markstrom only lasted 7:45 on this call-up. He stopped 1 shot but let in 3 against the Sharks on March 3. Tough start. He needs to play games, just not for the Canucks, yet. WD is gonna ride Lack because it's a playoff picture race to the very end. It's getting more and more freaky, actually:
Eriksson has played 34 games for the Comets this season. He sports a 17-10-5 record with a 2.61 goals against average and .907 save percentage.