Shifty Shirokov out with knee injury


Hyped Russian forward Sergei Shirokov has suffered a setback in his pursuit of an NHL job.


Hyped Russian forward Sergei Shirokov has suffered a setback in his pursuit of an NHL job.

After opening eyes with four points in his first two preseason games, Shirokov will likely have to wait a week before he gets another chance to impress.

"He has a mild first degree sprain (on his knee)," head coach Alain Vigneault said. "He didn't practice (Saturday) and he's going to need a couple of days here. We're hoping to shoot for next weekend."

The injury makes Shirokov's odds of landing a forward spot a lot longer. If he doesn't play before Saturday's game in Calgary, it would leave him just two more games to prove he belongs in the NHL. The Canucks finish their preseason schedule next weekend with games in Calgary and Edmonton.

"It's one of the tough things about (this process)," Vigneault said. "If they get injured, they can't play."


One of the true breakthrough performances Saturday came from an unlikely source.

Evan Oberg, the college free agent defenceman who the Canucks signed last season, had a good game, indicating he may not be as far away from playing in the NHL as some believed.

Oberg, known for his puck moving and playmaking, had an assist but was a physical force on the ice, playing 22:28.

"I really like this young man here," Vigneault said. "It's my first opportunity to see him. I saw him at rookie camp and I thought he was real good. He's not intimidated, he shows a lot of poise with the puck. He'll make a mistake now and then, which is normal. But you see a lot of upside there."

What the Canucks like most is the way Oberg has filled out his frame the past few months. He had strong test results at prospects camp.


Dave Scatchard is proving the game hasn't passed him by.

After scoring a goal in a good game San Jose Friday, Scatchard was even better Saturday.

"This was his best game so far," Vigneault said. "You could see he was feeling more comfortable. There's five games in seven nights and a lot of guys will get a lot of opportunity to play. They're going to have to make the best of it.

"It's about getting noticed and (Saturday) he got noticed."

Your voice