Vancouver, BC, Canada (4E Sports) – The Vancouver Canucks begin a five-game road trip against the Winnipeg Jets Friday without several key players, including defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Christopher Tanev.
The Canucks have lost two games in a row and are trying to fend off four teams, including the Jets, chasing them for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“Right now, we’re facing what every team goes through at some point in the year,” said right wing Alexandre Burrows, who has not scored a goal in 23 games this season.
“Right now, we’re in it. But we’re sticking together. We’re 20 guys who are going to push together to get out of it, and we’re confident that we’re going to get it done,” he added.
Bieksa will not see action in the team’s five-game road trip to rest his sore foot while Tanev will be out until at least the end of February with a broken thumb.
The Canucks will play the rest of the season without forward Mike Santorelli, who is expected to fully recover in five to six months time after undergoing shoulder surgery.
“After consultation with our team physicians, we determined that Mike would require a procedure on his shoulder,” Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said. “The surgery was successful and we expect a full recovery.”
Interim coach Mike Sullivan also gave no indication injured captain Henrik Sedin is close to returning from a rib injury, although his status is day-to-day, as it has been for nearly two weeks.
To beef up their blue line, the Canucks recalled defenseman Frank Corrado from the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets on Thursday. Corrado, a 20-year-old rookie, logged six NHL games earlier in the season.
After Winnipeg, the Canucks travel to Detroit to play the Red Wings Monday. They play the Boston Bruins the next night, before finishing with games in Montreal and Toronto.