News and views from the Canucks’ off-day practice in Las Vegas. They face the Golden Knights on Sunday afternoon.SUMMERLIN, Nev. — It’s never easy getting hurt. It’s also a bummer when the injury occurs at a crucial point in the season.And it’s even tougher to take when it happens on a freak play.It hasn’t been an easy few weeks for Alex Edler. The Canucks’ veteran was concussed at the beginning of February in a freak accident against the Philadelphia Flyers when he smashed his face against the ice at full force.He only returned to NHL action in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.“Frustrating, yes,” he said Saturday after the Canucks practised at the Golden Knights’ practice facility nestled on the western edge of suburban Las Vegas, not far from the spectacular Red Rock Canyon.
Veteran defenceman Alex Edler, right, is back from his freak concussion, and while frustrated with the timing of his injury, he says there will be better days ahead for he and his improving Vancouver Canucks teammates.
Drew Hallowell /
Getty Images Files
“Every injury is frustrating,” Edler added. “But when you get a head injury, it’s so unknown you can’t put a timeline on it.”It took more than three weeks for him to regain full health, but Edler said he was always making steady improvement.“I got better in stages,” he said. “It was going up and down some days, but no setbacks. The progress wasn’t straight up but I’d get a little bit better, then a few days like that then better again.”And adding stress was the question of his contract negotiations. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer but holds a no-trade clause in his current contract.He’s made it clear his preference is to stay in Vancouver.“I’ve been here my whole career. I’ve been fortunate. I’ve lived here most of my adult life,” he said when asked about his love for Vancouver.“I’ve been treated well by the organization, I like the city, I like the fans. That’s why my wish is to stay here. Now it looks like we’re on the way back up again. It’s exciting to be in a rebuild.”Playing in the NHL has been beyond his childhood dreams.“It was just a dream when I was a kid. And I didn’t realize that I could get to this level until I maybe was 17 or 18.“There were a lot of guys ahead of me up to that point, on the national team, stuff like that. Everything happened very fast when I turned 18, 19. I couldn’t imagine that 13 years later I’d be here.”Staying positive, avoiding Vegas fluThursday’s loss was crushing to the Canucks’ playoff hopes, but the players remain defiant.“You’ve got to keep confident, a positive mindset, or else it’s going to go the opposite way. We’re still in the hunt, we’re still in it,” Bo Horvat insisted.After two difficult games in two nights, getting an extra day off was welcomed.“Time off is always nice after a back-to-back. It is nice to wind down, get your mind off it,” Horvat said. Having that extra day in Sin City comes with some risk.“No matter where you’re staying or who you’re playing it shouldn’t matter,” he said. “Obviously it’s a different atmosphere … Vegas is a one-of-a-kind place. You can’t get caught up in it. You’ve got to be smart about it.”
Brock Boeser fires a shot on goal against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center. He has gone scoreless in the past five.
Matthew Stockman /
Boeser’s demotion about other optionsBrock Boeser dropping to the Adam Gaudette line was as much about how the other wingers have been playing as anything else, coach Travis Green insisted.“Might work,” he said. “I’ve liked Spooner, Leivo and Horvat together. I think Goldy’s playing well. I’ve liked Pearson’s game.”But Boeser was also removed from the main power-play unit, which is another telling statement about the winger’s current form.Boeser’s poor back-check on the third Arizona goal Thursday was crucial as that goal stood up as the winner.The sophomore winger took full blame for that miscue after the game, but it seems the coach is looking to light a fire.Despite Boeser’s recent slump — he’s goalless in five games — the sniper does have 21 goals and is scoring at nearly the same pace as a year ago.Tanev could still returnAs far as he knows, Chris Tanev hasn’t yet returned to the ice, Green said.He is likely to step on the ice soon, though.Still, that came with a caution: “He’s not going to come back unless he’s healthy.”firstname.lastname@example.org/risingactionCLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email email@example.com