Arguably the best player on the Canucks, Bo Horvat has fallen to injury. The star top line center suffered a fractured foot in the third period of Tuesday’s tilt against the Hurricanes and is projected to be out of the lineup for approximately 6 weeks.
This blow not only hurts the Canucks offensively, but also deprives the club of their best defensive forward and penalty killer. With Brandon Sutter still out of action, we can expect a heavy workload to fall on the shoulders of Markus Granlund, Loui Ericksson and Brendan Gaunce (to name a few) to carry the load.
While most skeptics have considered the Canucks’ success this season an anomaly that would still see them on the outside of the playoff picture come March; most fans have held up the torch of hope that the team is not sentenced to failure by default – the loss of Horvat; however, has some fans now doubting whether or not this Cinderella story is about to come crashing down.
Regardless of your opinion, this is yet another test of the Canucks’ resilience in the face of significant adversity (losing Tanev and Edler for extended periods of time saw the team rally without losing momentum). The difference this time; however, is that the Canucks have not lost a top 6 forward yet this season, let alone the most versatile and consistent one of the bunch.
My prediction: The Canucks fall back in to the traditional reliance on the Sedins for offense which then shifts the focus of opposing teams on to Hank n’ Dank as the bonafide top-line. As a result, players like Baertschi, Boeser, Vanek, Gagner, Burmistrov and even Goldobin step in; now with more favourable match-ups, to pick-up some of the slack left by Bo. The biggest question mark is how this might affect the defensive side of the coin. But what the hell do I know, I am still holding on to the fleeting hope that we win the cup this season.