One doctor might have been onto something regarding Brock Boeser.
I don’t want to be overly pessimistic with Brock Boeser but rib cartilage injuries can take months to heal. The team, medical staff and player will have to sit down and figure out what sort of risk/pain Boeser will play through if he is able to come back before he is 100% healed https://t.co/IekL4oNmyq— Dr. Harjas Grewal (@Harjas_Grewal) February 18, 2020
Sure enough, the team came out with some more pessimistic news regarding their star winger.
It’s been a bit of a crazy last 24 hours for the Vancouver Canucks. As mentioned previously, Micheal Ferland is done for the season, and now Boeser is officially out for the remainder of the regular season.
When the Toffoli deal went down on Monday afternoon, it looked like he was being acquired to give the Canucks and extra shot of offence to go all in once the playoffs came around.
After the news broke earlier today, that trade looks like it might have been made just to salvage the playoff push.
Here’s what Benning had to say to the media following the Boeser announcement.
“It looks like it’s gonna be more severe than we originally thought,” the Canucks GM said. “We said there’s gonna be an announcement in three weeks but, you know, it’s an eight week injury. so we wanted to make sure that we had ourselves covered.”
Benning reiterated that the Toffoli trade was just about staying in the race.
“Our players have worked hard this year, our coaches have worked hard. For our fans, we want to stay in the race coming down the stretch, so we figured this is something we could do to help them.”
Benning then had some words of praise for Toffoli, even comparing him to the Burnsville, Minnesota native.
“He does a lot of the same things that Brock did for us,” Benning said. “He’s won Stanley Cups so we just figured he’s a good fit for our group.”
Brock Boeser and the injury bug
Boeser’s impact has undoubtedly been muted over the past few weeks. Perhaps we now know that injuries had something to do with that.
After a two-goal effort against the Buffalo Sabres on January 11th, Boeser has 16 goals and 43 points in 45 games. That left him third on the team in points, just one tally behind J.T. Miller for second on the team.
In the 11 games following, Boeser’s production plummeted. He had just two assists in 11 games while largely playing on the third line.
With this latest injury, the questions about Boeser’s health long-term might come into question. In his three first NHL seasons, he’s yet to play more than 70 games.
Dating back to his time in the NCAA, he’s had wrist surgery, injured his back in that scary collision during his rookie season, was sidelined with groin issues, and now has a rib cartilage fracture.
You can see by the shape of the roster that Benning’s doing everything he can to protect his star players. Most of the players on the team are guys who either have size or grit associated with their game.
That doesn’t mean star players are immune to injuries though, and Boeser’s set back is the perfect example of that.
Tyler Toffoli’s Chance
The latest update from Canucks practice was the Toffoli was going to get his chance on the top line and the first power play unit.
Lines at #Canucks practice:— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) February 18, 2020
That means three of the league’s best possession players get a chance to skate together, Miller, Pettersson and Toffoli. The newly-acquired Toffoli is 10th in the NHL with a 57.4 Corsi-for percentage. Pettersson and Miller rank 60th and 62nd respectively among 500 NHLers to play more than 500 minutes at even-strength.
They could form a dangerous unit together, which is the best news Canucks fans could hope for in light of Boeser’s setback.