When the Canucks come into Hogtown, they’ll be coming without their star player Elias Pettersson who injured his right knee in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens, when their young star, Jesperi Kotkaniemi ran into him by accidents and they both fell awkwardly with legs entwined and Pettersson limped away. So now that he’s out the Canucks will have to complete a six-game road trip (with a winning record) tonight, in a tough house like Toronto’s, who were looking forward to seeing star rookie. There no timetable for his return, after getting an MRI exam on Friday.
“I’m walking fine,” he told the media in Toronto yesterday. “I feel better today than yesterday, so that’s good.” That’s a tough roster loss to swallow since Pettersson has 22 goals and 20 assists in just 38 games. Vancouver coach Travis Green told local media too that after watching the replay of the incident several times he concluded: “Two guys got tangled… I’ve watched it a lot of times. It’s not a dirty play by their player at all. He gets hooked a little bit. Petey actually pushes back on him a bit in a reverse hit. Two young guys fall to the ice. It’s not a penalty.”
Sven Baertschi told the media post-game. “”I thought we did some good things tonight, Carey played an outstanding game. (Boeser) tried everything. Another night, one or two of those shots go in.”
The 2-0 loss in Montreal happened on the same night as the Leafs losing at home against the Minnesota Wild 4-3.
The Maple Leafs are a solid 26-12-2, and will look to recover after losing two in a row. They are also dealing with injuries and have their main goaltender out, in Frederick Andersen and the back up is out too! Garret Sparks got a concussion in practice, so the recently acquired Michael Hutchinson will start in goal in just his second game and is looking forward to playing for his childhood team.
“I thought he gave us a chance, that’s all you can ask of a guy,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said about Hutch. “What was the sequence of events? They called me and told me (Sparks) couldn’t go and so we knew (Hutchinson) was going to play. I asked what his first name was, he told me. I asked him what he liked to be called, he said Hutch. I said, ‘Have fun.'”
Kasimir Kaskisuo got called up from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL (American Hockey League) to play backup Thursday in a lineup that is starting to look very vulnerable and thin in the crease. Despite out-shooting the Wild 41-34, with a 19-4 margin in a third period, they simply could not score. Vancouver will have goaltender Thatcher Demko in ner from Utica of the AHL. So it could be a battle of the AHL goalies!
“We could have handled the puck better,” Marner said post-game. “We should have got the puck in more. We should have held it a little bit longer in the O-zone, but those are things we’ve got to learn to be better, and we’ve got to learn quick. It’s coming down to the stretch now and this is when everyone is going to start grinding and playing that lockdown game, so we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for that and we’ve got to make sure we find ways to score around that.”