Canucks and Beyond

Canucks End Mid-Season Vacation

01/08/2008 at 7:03am EST

The Canucks end a 4 night vacation to return to action Tuesday, healthy, practiced and ready to stomp the Islanders…

Or not. After all, this is the Canucks we’re talking about:

The Vancouver Canucks’ blue-line corps, already reeling from the indefinite absence of Mattias Ohlund (concussion) and Kevin Bieksa (lacerated calf), has another potential problem on its hands.

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Outstanding rookie Alex Edler left the ice late in Monday’s practice with back spasms. He was immediately dispatched to the chiropractor to determine the severity of the ailment. Edler leads the Canucks in plus-minus with a lofty plus-17.

The photo is from the Canucks Superskills competition last weekend. He looks awkward, doesn’t he? (I’m convinced this is the exact moment he injured himself.) And for what? Hell, the Canucks probably shouldn’t even be allowed to practice at this point. They’re all so prone to injury, it’s a wonder they’re not all stored in padded cells each night, let out only in time to lace up their skates at puck drop.

But it’s all a minor blip at the midseason mark, apparently. Scott McKenzie at the Bleacher Report argues this Canucks team is a “contender”:

I’m going to throw this out there. There have been three Canuck teams that have been legitimate cup contenders, and this is one of them.

Now at the half-way point of the season, this newly-clothed team is drawing honourable comparisons to the ‘94 team who came within a goal post of winning the holy grail.

Ummm. Well, McKenzie’s an optimist, but I suppose that’s actually sort of refreshing. (Vancouver fans may be cocky and annoying on occasion, but we’re certainly not optimists). And besides, it’s not like injuries have been the death knell of the team so far. Damage to top players has been a consistent reality from the start of the season.

So maybe this really is the year the Canucks win that elusive shiny Stanley Cup?

After all, they’ve already got this thing…

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...and clearly, after a giant, freakish clown dressed in Team Sweden’s future 3rd jersey gives you a block of wood with a giant shoe attached to it, there really is nowhere else to go but up.

P.S. The Canucks/Islanders game will be liveblogged tonight by myself, probably joined by a couple other rabid hockey bloggers. Feel free to join in, poke fun, contribute wisdom. Or just belch. Whatever.

Update 9:35am PT: As expected, Canucks call-up Nathan McIver to help out.

*photos from Canucks.com, taken during the Superskills competition last Saturday

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