If this is the pinnacle of injuries for the Vancouver Canucks this season, they’ll take that. After all, the club has mostly avoided any ailments to top players. (There was a mid-game scare with J.T. Miller but that appears to be a non-issue.)
But losing centre Brandon Sutter last night—not to mention the fact that fellow pivot Jay Beagle is also nursing an injury—is still viewed by the team as a tough blow.
Coach Travis Green didn’t have an update on Sutter after the game, but moves made today by the team confirm that the Canucks will likely be without him and Beagle for at least tomorrow night’s game against the Dallas Stars.
(One report had Sutter's injury deemed "mild".)
MacEwen, of course, played four games with the Canucks last season, registering one assist. He’s been a positive force in Utica for the last couple years, scoring 52 points in 69 games last season and posting eight in 13 contests with the Comets so far this year.
Groavac is a less-known name in Vancouver. The long-time AHL stalwart signed with the Canucks in the summer and impressed Green in training camp. He has considerable size (6’5, 210 pounds) and isn’t afraid to use it. Groavac actually played 52 games with the Minnesota Wild in 2016-17, but has only appeared in five NHL games since. He has one goal in six games with Utica so far this year.
The Comets were an AHL powerhouse at the start of the season but have steadily seen their best players plucked off the roster to fill in holes with the big club.
After winning eight straight games to start the season, the Comets have lost five of their last six.
It makes sense, given that the team has lost players like Gaudette, Sven Baertschi, Ashton Sautner and Jalen Chatfield to the big club, as well as Reid Boucher to injury.
The call-ups do make one consider the fate of Nikolay Goldobin, however.
Currently, the Canucks still have enough able bodies that the odds of Groavac especially actually getting into a game are rather low. MacEwen and Groavac are also both centres, and that’s the position of interest for the Canucks right now.
It’s possible that the Canucks didn’t want to see Utica slide any further and chose to keep Goldobin down there. After all, he’s producing in a major way—the Russian forward has 13 points in as many games.
On the other hand, if Goldobin can’t get called up in these circumstances, what other hope is there?
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