Canucks recall Jordan Schroeder rewarded after returning from AHL Wolves as a new man
Notebook: ‘He’s been significantly better than what he was doing prior to that’
VANCOUVER — From doghouse to condo, Jordan Schroeder has moved up a few floors this week on the Vancouver Canucks’ depth chart.
The diminutive centre, demoted March 11 to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, was recalled Monday, played two solid games and earned a spectacular assist on Dale Weise’s game-winner Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.
“I’m not quite sure what the week in Chicago did for Jordan but I do know in the two games he’s played with us, he’s been significantly better than what he was doing prior to that,” Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said Wednesday as the team left for Phoenix. “In the two games he’s played, whoever he’s played with, he’s created offensive chances, he’s been making the right plays at the right time with the puck and he’s been reliable defensively and not getting beat 1-on-1.”
Schroeder, a native of Minnesota, was in St. Paul with the team when assistant GM Lorne Henning gave him “the tap” that he was going down. He called his mom and spent some cheer-up time with her before flying to Chicago, where he had four points in three games.
“Obviously, right away, I was, like, ah crap,” Schroeder said, recalling his reaction at the Henning call. “But I got to go home for a few hours, my mom gave me some love and, ha, turned things around. I took the positives out of it. If you dwell on the negatives, you’re just going to screw around with your mind. So I went down there and produced. You have to play with confidence in the NHL. If you’re not, you’re not going to make things happen.”
SICK BAY WATCH: Hulking Canucks winger Zack Kassian did not travel Wednesday to Phoenix with the team after aggravating his back in a first-period fight Tuesday with the Blues’ Chris Stewart. According to Vigneault, he is sidelined day-to-day. Kassian sat out Saturday and Monday with the sore back and lasted just five shifts and 2:48 against the Blues.
Meanwhile, left-winger Tom Sestito was seen limping at Vancouver International Airport but Vigneault would not comment on his status.
“Zack is going to stay behind and we’ve got a couple of other little bumps and bruises that I’m not willing to share with you at this time,” Vigneault said.
Asked specifically about Sestito, the coach replied: “We’ve got some bumps and bruises.”
Vigneault was also coy on possible replacements. If Sestito can’t go, the Canucks will be down to 11 forwards, including Andrew Ebbett.
“I made a few calls this morning and I’m waiting for a couple of answers,” said Vigneault. “I’ll let you know.”
BY THE NUMBERS: The Coyotes have scored 79 goals this season, two fewer than the Canucks, a stat made more remarkable by the fact they were shut out for three straight games and a total of 245:32. They fired 133 shots at opposition netminders before captain Shane Doan ended the drought in the third period Tuesday against L.A.
It could be another long night for Canucks centremen in Glendale. Based on Wednesday’s stats, the Coyotes stood fourth in the league on faceoffs at 52.6 per cent while the Canucks were a dismal 27th at 47.2 per cent.
The teams are equally poor on the power play with Phoenix at 14.7 per cent and the Canucks – on a 1-for-40 nosedive – are at 13.8 per cent.
QUOTABLE: “It’s a fine line between resting too much because if you never spend any time in the gym, or working out, it’s going to wear on you. I think our strength guys are doing a good job of it. Other than that, it’s just eating, sleeping and resting as much as you can.” — Canucks captain Henrik Sedin on playing five games in seven days in four different cities.
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