Elias Pettersson will not dress for tonight’s game due to a lower body injury. pic.twitter.com/9Z2j8M9Io5
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 7, 2020
Elias Pettersson Scratched
Elias Pettersson was hit late on an unpenalized play by Matt Grzelcyk in their previous game against the Boston Bruins. That hit left him shaken up, and the game-time decision shows the extent of the injury.
The Vancouver Canucks, coming off two straight losses on their five-game road trip, can ill-afford to lose their leading scorer. While they have improved their depth, Pettersson still leads the way with 23 goals and 55 points in 54 games.
Pettersson has so far avoided last year’s late-season scoring slump. A lower-body injury last year around this time kept him off the ice for five games and his scoring statistics suffered.
As reported on TSN yesterday, Pettersson compared the hit to one last year by Mike Matheson that left him concussed. He has also expressed frustration with the reduced number of penalties he has drawn – 16 in the first 27 games this year, just eight since.
What This Means for the Future
That Elias Pettersson skated in the warm-up is a good sign. This should simply be a precautionary measure for a bruise rather than a long-lasting injury. Zack MacEwen drew in to the Minnesota game, and Justin Bailey remains with the team, so the Canucks won’t be short-handed.
That being said, neither player is going to replace Pettersson. Of course, there is no one on the team or waiting in the wings who can do that. The team has gained a small amount of breathing room in the standings and can afford to keep their star forward off the ice. If he’s not back against division-rival Calgary Flames on Saturday, however, that cushion might be at risk.