The Vancouver Canucks are finally back in action.
After wrapping up their most recent road trip with a 4-2 loss to Nashville on February 1st, the team is back at Rogers Arena to face off against Clayton Keller and the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
It’s been an interesting start to 2022 for the Canucks, who posted a 5-5-3 record in 13 games played after rattling off seven consecutive wins in the month of December. With the .500 status, the Canucks still find themselves seventh in the Pacific Division and six points back of the Calgary Flames, who currently hold the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The team hit the ice again on Monday morning for their first practice since the All-Star break but, like we’ve seen too many times before, were missing a handful of key players.
The most notable absence was stud blueliner Quinn Hughes, who was placed in COVID-19 protocol.
According to insider Rick Dhaliwal, Hughes joined his brother, Jack, in Las Vegas for the All-Star festivities. As a result, the former Calder Trophy runner-up will be forced to miss at least the next three games.
The team was also without a familiar face in the forward group, as Matthew Highmore also found himself on the protocol list. Highmore has been one of the better players as of late, establishing strong chemistry with Tyler Motte and Juho Lammikko on the third line.
With Highmore on the sidelines, it is expected that Alex Chiasson will fill his role on the wing. Chiasson hasn’t exactly been a regular roster player for the Canucks, going back and forth between Vancouver and Abbotsford throughout the year, but has been decently productive when called up to the big club.
In 37 games played, Chiasson has registered five goals and four assists, with six of those points taking place on the man advantage.
According to Thomas Drance of The Athletic, Chiasson won’t be on the primary unit, but still could get the nod if the team needs a powerplay boost.
The Canucks will also turn to Thatcher Demko between the pipes.
Demko, who was the team’s lone All-Star representative over the weekend, will be searching for his 18th victory of the year. The 26-year-old currently holds a record of 17-15-2, supported by a .917 SV%.
Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST.
What are your thoughts heading into Tuesday’s night contest? Make sure to drop a comment below!