Canucks dropping like flies

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

It's hard to tell whether the Canucks are lucky or jinxed.

On one hand, the team is managing to eke out wins despite the constant additions to the injury list.

On the other, the rate at which these players are heading to the medical room is getting more and more ridiculous.

Michael Grabner is the latest Canuck to fall victim to the injury bug, after he hurt his ankle Sunday while warming up. Yes, while warming up.

He was scheduled to get an MRI yesterday, according to coach Alain Vigneault.

The Austrian rookie's injury is just one of many misfortunes the Canucks have suffered this season, with seven players currently on the shelf.

In total, 11 different skaters have sat out so far with aches and pains ranging from head and shoulders, knees and toes - injuries that would make a certain children's song relevant.

And with just over one month into the season, Vancouver has already lost 75 man games to injuries, a number that is on pace to dwarf last year's total of about 209 games.

With all the bodies going down, it's forcing the team to play bland, defensive hockey, while trying to adjust to different line combinations.

"As you can tell, our games are a little more boring," said Kyle Wellwood, who recently returned to the lineup after a broken toe. "Everybody is playing a little more tentative and it's just cause we have different linemates I guess."

Vancouver has also strayed from the physicality over the past two games, averaging only 12 hits and seven blocked shots.

The cautious approach was effective enough in the 3-0 win over Colorado, but failed miserably against the Anaheim Ducks.

Either way, the Canucks will most likely stick to this game plan until their lineup starts seeing more healthy bodies.

"We got to keep it simple and find ways to win games," said Wellwood. "Once everybody gets back, we should be a little more entertaining."


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