The bad news keeps coming for the Canucks. Sven Baertschi left Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames when a Mark Giordano clearing attempt deflected off the glass and ricocheted into his face. He returned to Vancouver immediately.
Travis Green reported to the media in Winnipeg today that Baertschi has a fractured jaw. Although it won’t require surgery, which is good news, he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
He joins Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter among forwards on the injured reserve, as well as, of course, Derek Dorsett. Can the team survive without Horvat and Baertschi, two of their top-three scorers, for the next 16+ games?
Coach Green updates the status of Baertschi, Sutter and Gudbranson while previewing tonight's battle with the Jets. pic.twitter.com/NdSphcNxxT— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 11, 2017
Baertschi currently has 8 goals and 18 points in 30 games, while Horvat has 10 goals and 20 points in 28 games. Their 18 combined goals represents 22.2% of the Canucks’ goalscoring this season.
Add in Dorsett’s 7 goals and Sutter’s 2, that’s exactly one-third of the Canucks’ goalscoring out of the lineup.
Travis Green was cagey about who would replace Baertschi in the lineup, but the smart money would be on Nikolay Goldobin, who has the offensive skill to step back into the top six and, frankly, should be back in the lineup no matter what. The Canucks could also call up Reid Boucher, whose 13 goals for the Utica Comets ties him for second in the AHL.