Vancouver Canucks Blessed with the Perfect Sequence of Injuries


Do you believe in Hockey Gods? They must have some tough love for the Vancouver Canucks, because the Canucks have had the Perfect Sequence of Injuries.

The Vancouver Canucks have had the perfect sequence of injuries.

When you think of who got injured, when the injuries came, where the youth is, and all the rest — it is as if the Hockey Gods had orchestrated this systematic massacre of the Canucks veterans.

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According to the man-games lost chart here, the Vancouver Canucks are suffering injuries to their core players. Being near the top of the chart, the only playoff contender who can match the Canucks and the quality of injuries the Nucks have had to face are the Detroit Red Wings. This stat took a dive down to yet another level on Wednesday night, after Dan Hamhuis sustained a facial fracture from taking a slap-shot to his face.

But really, it has been a perfect sequence of injuries for Vancouver.

The Right Season and the Right Division

Had the Canucks had these injuries in some other season, in some division other than the Pacific, we would have had to endure one of the most depressing seasons in modern Canucks history.

This is the season where the Kids are here to fill up for the injured veterans. Had it happened with the Kids not ready, Jim Benning would have had to scramble to sign late Free Agents and acquire depth through trades. It happened right when the youth was going to be served. It was the perfect timing.

More canucks: Pacific Division a Blessing for Vancouver

Especially with the fourth line as strong it has been lately and Henrik and Daniel Sedin playing elite-level hockey, the Kids are not as pressured as they could have been with all these injuries.

Also, it was the perfect division. It has been well documented on this site on how poorly the Pacific has done, and how all that struggle is paving a win-win path for the Canucks. Long story short, the injuries let the Kids play and let the Canucks keep one eye on the playoffs and the other one on a high lottery draft pick.

The Right Guys

It feels ridiculous to say that the “right guys” got injured. But it seems that each injured veteran has a Kid Foil to him. Consider the following.

Brandon Sutter – Bo Horvat – Jared McCann
Luca Sbisa – Alex Biega
Brandon Prust – Alexandre Grenier – Jake Virtanen
Dan Hamhuis – Ben Hutton
Chris Higgins – Sven Baertschi

Those five injuries are the five longest ones sustained by Canucks veterans so far. So far, the right veterans seem to have gotten injured to make way for the Kids. Maybe it just speaks to a plethora of Kids the Canucks have this year at almost all facets of the game — the two-way centers, the physical defenseman, the physical winger, the puck-moving defenseman, and a

useless Sven Baertschi for a useless Chris Higgins

versatile LW.

 A Look into the Future

Dan Hamhuis. Brandon Prust. Chris Higgins. All these names are guys who have been mentioned in potential trade rumblings. Hamhuis most likely will not return as a Canuck next year, and who knows when Higgins will get unseated by a young winger. Prust would be a great luxury to have around for the Kids, especially the way he is playing right now. But his contract expires this season.

So what we saw when Prust and Higgins were out, and what we will see with Hamhuis’s injury, is a glimpse of the future of the Vancouver Canucks.

More from The Canuck Way

It is true. What we saw was not so pretty. How much difference is there between being the Edmonton Oilers and being a successful rebuilder? I would suggest that it is not as much a disparity as you think. I would also suggest that the Canucks are on the brink of slipping into a painful rebuild.

What are we going to do about the frustrating misery we saw? Are we going to start worrying and call a tank, or take the much more analytical view of it and convince ourselves that the misery came from the hands of the veterans — a pitiful Yannick Weber, a bad month from Ryan Miller, and a blue line that had a few men down here and there.

Whichever the case may be, the injuries gave us something to think about, and to act on, for the future.

Benefits are already showing in Bo Horvat and Alex Biega. These two are settling into their roles, and will continue to do so with Hamhuis and Sutter out.

Next: Dec. 11th Update: Losing Bodies Quickly, Trades an Option?

Injuries take their toll on the team. But with pain came growth. It was the perfect sequence of injuries. Bless the Hockey Gods for having such a tough love on the Vancouver Canucks.