The Vancouver Canucks have managed to stay relatively healthy this season, particularly at the top of their lineup. Most of the games missed by members of the Canucks have been COVID-related, with their long-term injuries limited to bottom-six forwards and bottom-pairing defencemen.
That might change as the season is winding down. On Tuesday, Brock Boeser missed practice, with the Canucks announcing that he has an upper-body injury.
Boeser left Sunday's game against the Vegas Golden Knights in the second period after appearing to injure his right arm in a collision between teammate Elias Pettersson and former Canuck Ben Hutton. Pettersson was attempting to throw a hit on Hutton at the same moment that Boeser reached in to check Hutton with his stick, causing Boeser's arm to bend awkwardly.
Boeser returned for the start of the third period, however, and seemed none the worse for wear. Still, it seems likely this is where Boeser suffered his injury.
With Boeser out, Pettersson moved to the wing with J.T. Miller and Tanner Pearson, with Jason Dickinson playing on the wing with Bo Horvat and Conor Garland. Alex Chiasson took Boeser's spot on the first power play unit, while Vasily Podkolzin moved onto the second power play unit in Chiasson's place.
There is some more bad news as well. With just 12 days remaining in the season, it's likely that Nils Höglander and Tucker Poolman are done for the year.
Höglander has been out since mid-March after suffering a lower-body injury — suspected to be a groin injury — at practice. Poolman has been out of the lineup since January 27 with what head coach Bruce Boudreau described as "headaches and migraines." He attempted to return on Sunday against the Golden Knights but departed in the first period with the same issue that kept him out.
Quinn Hughes was also absent from Tuesday's practice for the Canucks. According to Boudreau, he's suffering from an illness but could return in time to join the Canucks on the road in Vegas on Wednesday. Multiple Canucks have been suffering from a non-COVID-related illness in recent days, with Bo Horvat leaving the Canucks' game against the St. Louis Blues and Brad Richardson missing Sunday's game against the Golden Knights.
The Canucks cancelled Monday's practice while more players dealt with the same illness.