The Vancouver Canucks’ MVP, Elias Pettersson missed Thursday night’s game with a lower-body injury. A quick recovery is crucial for the team’s playoff hopes.
The Vancouver Canucks are far from the same team when Elias Pettersson is scratched from the lineup. It quickly became quite obvious after a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild left the Pacific Division-leaders down and out. Without their point leader anchoring the top line, Vancouver was simply unable to match the Central Division’s worst team. With Pettersson helpless and watching from the stands, what does that say about the organizational depth in Vancouver?
It’s no secret that the Swedish talent is a massive piece to Vancouver’s overall success, and it’s vital for the Canucks’ playoff chances that Pettersson makes a quick and speedy recovery. But Vancouver’s “improved” depth was put to the test and the results weren’t impressive at all. Now it’s just one game, but if Thursday night’s loss to the Wild was any implication, then the Canucks might be in a world of trouble without their NHL All-Star. But for how long?
Pettersson was likely injured when he was the recipient of a very late hit against Boston Bruins defenceman, Matt Grzelcyk. It was reported that the 21-year-old centerman formed a lower-body bruise, which is likely what is keeping Pettersson in the press box rather than on the ice. If this holds true as the reason he missed game action, then it hopefully shouldn’t be too long until he’s back 100 percent.
Fingers crossed that’s all it is. Pettersson practiced and took part in the pre-game warm-up, looked a bit uncomfortable and ultimately decided he wasn’t fit to play. The Pacific Division is tight right now and the Canucks have a handful of hungry teams nipping at their heels. Pettersson’s team-leading 55 points are already heavily missed and Vancouver’s recent struggles could use a lifting message in the form of a goal or two by the stick of none other than, “Dekey Petey” himself.
The Canucks need to bump the slump and stay perched on top of the Pacific Divison. It’ll be quite the test for the Canucks if Pettersson misses any more games, but something Vancouver needs to fight through to become a stronger team. Regardless, whenever Pettersson is ready to return, he will only make the Canucks that much better. He will make the Canucks a playoff team.