VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks will be missing two key pieces as they make a push for a playoff spot.
The club announced via 广州蒲友 that defenceman Alexander Edler will miss six weeks and forward Brandon Sutter is out six-to-eight weeks after both players were hurt in Vancouver’s 3-1 win at Colorado on Tuesday.
“The one good thing is we’ve had injuries all year so we’ve had other people develop,” Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said after Friday’s practice. “It’s not like it’s the first time we’ve had injuries and nobody’s had that opportunity. Saying that, those are two guys that we’ll miss.”
Edler left the game after taking a slapshot off his foot, while Sutter had surgery for a fractured jaw after being hit in the face with a puck.
“It’s terrible news with both of them,” said Canucks defenceman Luca Sbisa. “They’re big parts of our team. They’re leaders. They play big minutes, important minutes.”
It’s the second long-term injury of the season for Sutter, who missed 33 games with a sports hernia. He returned to the lineup on Jan. 26 and played four times before suffering his latest setback.
Edler chews up big minutes as part of Vancouver’s No. 1 defence pairing with Christopher Tanev, while Sutter is a key faceoff man and a big part of the penalty kill.
“It’s tough for (Sutter). He just came back from a tough injury,” said Sbisa. “He was playing really well. Seeing him missing time again with something like that, it’s tough.”
The Canucks enter Friday’s games two points behind Nashville for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Vancouver hosts Toronto on Saturday.