The defenceman left briefly in the third period favouring his left knee after being hit by Rupp behind the Canucks net, but returned to finish the game. Afterwards, head coach Alain Vigneault told the media that he was not concerned about a possibly injury.
Bieksa told Ann Schmaltz of News 1130 he was feeling fine, but Schmaltz cautioned that “tomorrow will be a telling sign” as the knee may swell up between now and tomorrow morning.
The Canucks do not play their next game until Friday against the Dallas Stars, so Bieksa has three days to heal up. If swelling does occur and does not get better by Friday, it would likely mean Andrew Alberts will draw into the lineup for the first time in ten months. Alberts last played on April 3, 2012 against the Anaheim Ducks, which was 315 days ago.
Since Bieksa plays the right side, a defenceman will have to slide over to the right side in the event he is out of the lineup. During Bieksa’s brief absence, Keith Ballard played on the right side in Bieksa’s place on the second pairing with Jason Garrison. Ballard has played the right side in the past, but has shown that he is much a strong performer on the left side in both the offensive and defensive zone. There is also the option of promoting Chris Tanev to the second-pairing and have Alberts play smaller minutes on the third pairing on the right side. In the event Bieksa is injured, it would create quite a hole in the Canucks defence.