Canucks fans and media are concerned about the play of forward, Elias Pettersson.
Brock Boeser speaks about his “frustrating” time being in quarantine
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
The Vancouver Canucks finished a five-game eastern road trip. At the time of writing, the Canucks have a record of 16-16-3. They have 35 points and ranked seventh in the Pacific Division—six points out of a Wild Card playoff spot.
TSN reporter, Farhan Lalji, reported on January 10 that Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Jason Dickinson practiced with the Canucks—after all three players had been placed in COVID-19 protocol. Boeser entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols on December 29, followed by Dickinson on January 2 and Pettersson on January 5. All three players returned to the lineup on January 11, when the Canucks opened their five-game road trip against Florida—losing to the Panthers by a score of five to two.
Canucks forward, Brock Boeser, was relieved to end his quarantine. He had already spent five days in quarantine. And after re-entering Canada from the US (Vancouver was on a road trip in California)—the Canadian government wanted Boeser to quarantine for an additional 10 days (a total of 15 days). He expressed his frustrations about his lengthy time in quarantine, speaking to the media for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19. “I think there was a lot of miscommunication on what was agreed on, and what actually happened,” Boeser said as reported by the Daily Hive on January 10.
Boeser said being in quarantine for 15 days was difficult for him physically and mentally. “Everyone knows that 15 days is way too long for someone that’s had COVID, especially when the quarantine has been reduced to five days for almost everyone,” he said. “It’s just really frustrating for sure. Us guys wouldn’t have flown back if we knew that situation was going to happen. We would have all stayed in the States. I feel terrible for the guys that are still locked up.” In 29 games played this season, Boeser has 17 points (9 goals and 9 assists).
Canucks fans and media are concerned about the play of forward, Elias Pettersson. He has underachieved and is not playing with the same confidence he had when he entered the NHL in the 2018-2019 season (winning the Calder Trophy as top rookie in the same season). However, this season, in 35 games played, Pettersson has 19 points (8 goals and 11 assists).
Jeff Paterson, a longtime sports reporter who covers the Canucks for the Sekeres and Price show, says Pettersson’s poor season is very concerning. “I’m concerned, I am,” he said during an appearance on the Donnie and Dhali show on January 12. “And I see a lot of people saying, ‘He’ll be fine.’ First of all, what does that mean? He’ll be fine? He’ll score a goal again at some point in his life [….] People want him to succeed. I understand that. Canucks fans are pulling for him. But just to say, ‘He‘ll be fine.’ When? And what does that look like? Because under [Bruce] Boudreau now, so many guys have responded. He’s got five points in 10 games. He’s a half a point a game guy [….] [But] I am worried. I see nothing. I see no flashes from him of that player that he used to be. And so, I hope he proves me wrong.”
In other NHL news, the San Jose Sharks have placed Evander Kane on waivers to buy out his contract. The Vancouver native was suspended by the NHL for 21 games at the start of the season for showing a fake COVID-19 vaccine card. Kane has also been involved in a high-profile dispute with his estranged wife, Anna Kane. The NHL had investigated allegations of domestic assault made by Anna, who also accused Kane of betting on NHL games (including his own with the Sharks).
Emily Kaplan of ESPN reported January 10, the NHL concluded after announcing Kane’s 21-game suspension: “[our] concurrent investigation into allegations of domestic abuse made against Kane by his estranged wife, [Anna], could not be substantiated.” Kaplan also mentioned the NHL investigated the gambling accusations against Kane and cleared him “…saying it found no evidence that he bet on hockey.”
Regular viewers of Canucks broadcasts on Sportsnet will have noticed a notable omission from its January 11 broadcast. Daily Hive reported January 11 veteran on-air host, Dan Murphy, is in COVID-19 protocol. Murphy said his daughter had tested positive for COVID-19. Hence, he will miss 10 days of work due to being a close contact. “She’s in great spirits,” he said and added that he is feeling well. Murphy posted on Twitter on January 11: “First time in two decades [I’ll] watch a game I was supposed to work. Missed two previously due to emergency situations.”
Campbell River native, Kyle Bukauskas, filled in for Murphy in the studio. The Sportsnet broadcasts are currently being filmed remotely from a Vancouver studio due to the pandemic. Murphy becomes the second Sportsnet on-air television broadcaster to miss game coverage due to COVID-19. Sportsnet 650 colour commentator, Corey Hirsch, filled in for analyst, John Garrett, during the Canucks’ first road trip of the season—after Garrett tested positive for the coronavirus.
Canucks’ schedule this week (all home games)
Friday, January 21 vs. Florida Panthers (7 pm)
Sunday, January 23 vs. St. Louis Blues (7 pm)
Tuesday, January 25 vs. Edmonton Oilers (7 pm)