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Wake With Elias- March 24, 2021: Injury Toll Continues To Mount

I suppose that’s one way to rebuild your lineup...

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Somewhere out there in Canucks Nation, one of you apparently muttered the words “Well, it could be worse...”

Thanks a lot, asshole!

First, that’s a statement that simply begs for things to get worse. It also suggests you have no real idea about the history of this cursed organization. Let’s take a look at the tally, shall we?

The Canucks, a team that has some rather well-known depth issues down the middle, now have (unless something changes in the next 12 hours) all 4 of their starting centers on the injury list or LTIR. This is in addition to new acquisition Travis Boyd (who is listed on the COVID-19 Protocol list) as well as Tanner Pearson, Justin Bailey and Michael Ferland. It’s a situation made even worse by the Canucks not having access to their farm team in Utica (who are going through their own injury/COVID issues right now). It’s about as close to a worst-case scenario as you can get.

It also gives Jim Benning a get your ass out of getting fired card, in all likelihood. To be fair, it really seems like nothing this man does with the day by day operations of this club will run him afoul with the ownership. And they’ll still probably clean out the coaching staff at the end of the season, and I have genuine fears about them bringing in someone worse than Willie if that does happen.

Tonight, severely depleted line-up wise and coming off another embarrassing loss, the team with the most GP in the NHL head into a 6 day break. Great for healing the injured, but bad in that some of those games in hand will get used up. But not all of them, as the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens contest scheduled for tonight is postponed because of COVID concerns following players from the Habs being placed in protocol. Trying to catch the Canadiens for 4th place is getting harder and harder for the Canucks.

They can’t even move up in the standings with a win tonight, and a loss paired with a Calgary win over Ottawa will see them drop to 6th in the North Division. With the Leafs, Sens, Jets and Flames all playing over this 6 day break (and even the Oilers getting in a game that’s not postponed like all the ones against Montreal), the Canucks are going to pretty much be eliminated when they resume play on the 31st against the Flames.

LAST NIGHT IN THE NHL

NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 3

Two third period goals weren’t enough for the Flyers as the Devils held on for a 4-3 win in Philly last night. Joel Farabee scored his 14th of the season for the Flyers in the loss.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 3 FLORIDA PANTHERS 2

Kevin Lankinen notched his 11th win of the season as the Hawks took down the Panthers in a big win for Chicago who are hoping to lock down that final playoff spot in the Central Division.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 2 DETROIT RED WINGS 0

Juuse Saros had the clean sheet for the Preds, and Mikael Granlund’s 1st period PPG held up as the winner as the Preds shutout the Red Wings in Nashville last night.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 2 DALLAS STARS 1

Yanni Gourde’s 12th of the season was the winner as Dallas continues to struggle. The win gives the Lightning a 5 point lead over Carolina in the Central Division standings. Steven Stamkos scored his 16th of the year in the win.

ARIZONA COYOTES 5 COLORADO AVALANCHE 4 (SO)

The Coyotes are just 4 back of a playoff spot in the West Division after a big win over the Avs last night at home. Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Phil Kessel all hit double digits in goals for the season in this one, and Mikko Rantanen notched his 19th of the year in a losing cause.