As they head into the first of a Southwest US doubleheader in Vegas and Arizona tonight, to say the Canucks situation is bleak may be understating it. Yesterday, head coach Bruce Boudreau speculated the team won’t have Tucker Poolman and Nils Hoglander for the remainder of the season. They’ll also be without Brock Boeser, who suffered a wrist injury on that Elias Pettersson hit gone wrong in Sunday’s game against the Golden Knights, and Quinn Hughes, who has the same illness that kept Bo Horvat out of the lineup for a brief time.
Fortunately, they’ll be getting Kyle Burroughs back off the IR tonight, and the call-up many Canucks fans have been eagerly anticipating has happened as Jack Rathbone has made his way to Vegas from Abbotsford for this one. The loss of Boeser and Hughes is a massive blow to the Canucks already near-astronomical playoff odds. They currently sit at 1.6%, and here’s an easy way to look at it: They can only lose one game in regulation, or two in OT/SO of their remaining twelve games. That’s it. And even only losing the one game in regulation isn’t an absolute guarantee. They have a 70.3% chance of making it if they go 11-1-0. Keep in mind that’s not factoring in the Nashville and Dallas wins last night.
We’ll have our preview of tonight’s game coming up later today, so make sure to check that out for the latest updates on tonight including any other lineup changes.
In other happenings yesterday, Anaheim Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf announced he will retire at the end of the season. Getzlaf will hang them up after 17 seasons, all with Anaheim and 12 of them as captain. He holds most of the team’s scoring records, and has a Stanley Cup (2007) and two Olympic Gold Medals (2010, 2014), just missing the World Championships Gold to join the Triple Gold Club. I would imagine that he gets into the Hall of Fame, though it should be noted that a lot of the criteria used to justify him making it could (and should) also apply to Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Meanwhile, Marian Hossa will officially retire tomorrow, after signing a one day contract to allow him to retire as a Blackhawk. That’s pretty much all I have to say about it, because honestly I see no benefit in glossing over the disgustingness of that organization, especially during that era.
As we mentioned, both Dallas and Nashville won last night, but the best one last night had to be the Toronto Maple Leafs re-igniting fan anxiety as they head towards the playoffs. Jake Muzzin’s goal at 8:40 of the second period gave them a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead, but they went into the third ahead by just a single goal. Eight minutes into the third, they found themselves trailing 6-5, but were able to get it to OT on a John Tavares goal with just under four minutes remaining. A happy ending didn’t materialize, though, as Jonathan Huberdeau scored his second of the game, part of a five point night in a 7-6 win. Florida pulled off a four goal come from behind win twice in the last three games. We may need to prepare ourselves for another first time Stanley Cup champion, it would seem.
And today is a solemn anniversary in the hockey world, as we mark the fourth anniversary of the tragic bus crash that took the lives of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos, and injured an additional 13. I hope you’ll take a moment today to reflect on this, and the inspiring way the hockey world rallied around a team and a community grieving, enabling them to persevere. The Broncos are currently in the second round of the playoffs, trailing the Flin Flon Bombers 1-0.