Canucks Dale Weise, Steve Pinizzotto won’t be sidelined for long
Notebook: Depth at centre on Vancouver’s wish list as trade deadline approaches
Forward Dale Weise of the Vancouver Canucks pursues a loose puck after goalie Jonathan Quick of the Kings makes a save during Saturday’s NHL game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Weise injured his shoulder late in the Canucks’ 1-0 victory and will miss at least a week according to the team.
Photograph by: Victor Decolongon, Getty Images
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Canucks grinders Dale Weise and Steve Pinizzotto are both out for Tuesday’s game against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific, Team 1040), but neither is expected to be out for too long, according to Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman.
Weise injured his shoulder in Saturday’s 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Kings and is sidelined week-to-week. The Winnipeg native has two goals this season, both game winners. He was in a sling Sunday in Denver.
“We see Dale out of the lineup for the short term,” Gilman said Monday. “At least for the next week.”
Pinizzotto has appeared in four games since coming up from the Chicago Wolves but was left behind in Vancouver last Wednesday when the team embarked on its three-game road trip, the reason given being illness. At first, it was believed Pinizzotto was going to join the group during the trip but he wound up remaining in Vancouver.
“We don’t anticipate that Steven’s illness is something that will keep him out of the lineup for a protracted amount of time,” said Gilman. “He wasn’t feeling well. We had him assessed by our doctors and the decision was rendered to keep him away from the team. He’s being assessed again today.”
Pinizzotto has no points, three shots, one fight and is minus-2 in his four appearances. Zack Kassian (back) remains out day-to-day. He is on injured reserve and can't play until Thursday at the earliest.
SWAP TALK: The Canucks are actively pursuing a centre — Steve Ott? Derek Roy? — and make no secret of that. They are also loath to trade a top prospect and/or high draft selection for a rental. However, Gilman said they are open to anything they feel will make a difference.
“It’s not really been the philosophy of our administration to trade a first-round pick or a top prospect for a player on an expiring contract,” he noted. “That being said, we know we have a competitive team, we’ve been depleted by injury and if there is a chance for us to make a move that’s going to improve our team, we’ll make it. The market is percolating right now.”
The trade deadline is April 3 at noon.
BY THE NUMBERS: Rookie centre Jordan Schroeder will take a four-game points streak into Tuesday’s game against Columbus. His points have been invaluable as well.
He set up Weise’s winner last Tuesday against St. Louis, scored the winner Thursday in Phoenix, fed Mason Raymond for the winner Saturday in Los Angeles and then fed Raymond again Sunday for the go-ahead goal in Colorado.
Meanwhile, first-line left-winger and first-unit power-play mainstay Daniel Sedin remains in the deep freeze offensively. Daniel has no points in three games, one goal in 12 games and has been held off the scoresheet in six of the last nine games.
Despite winning four straight and six of the last eight, the Canucks continue to have major problems in the faceoff dot. Their centremen have gone 11 straight games without finishing better than 50 per cent. They won just 25 of 58 draws (43 per cent) Sunday in Denver. Based on Monday’s league stats, they stood 28th at 47 per cent.
The floundering power play was ranked 29th at 13.4 per cent.
SCHNEIDER SNUBBED: Despite his best week of the season, Canuck netminder Cory Schneider couldn’t net any love from the NHL in its player of the week awards. Schneider went 4-0-0 behind a depleted lineup with three of the wins coming on the road. His goals against average in the four games was 1.25 while his save percentage was .957. He also shut out the Stanley Cup champion Kings.
The NHL did select Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin as its first star of the week, followed by Minnesota Wild goalie Nik Backstrom and Leafs centre Nazem Kadri. Backstrom was 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .972 save rate. Ovechkin had eight points in four games while Kadri had seven points in three games.
QUOTABLE: “The most amazing part is it’s sunny here. Half the kids on this team have never been here when it’s sunny.” — Blue Jacket defenceman (and former Canuck) Adrian Aucoin on Vancouver’s lovely Monday weather.
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