After blocking a shot with his hand in the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday, Ben Hutton sat out the road game of the home-and-home on Saturday and it now appears he will be out significantly longer than just one game. Canucks beat writer Ben Kuzma quoted head coach Willie Desjardins as saying that Hutton will be “out for some time” with a left hand injury, and Kuzma believes he is likely headed to the injured reserve.
The injuries on the blue line continue to pile up in Vancouver. The Canucks skated with just five defensemen on Saturday as top defenseman Chris Tanev was unable to go. While Tanev is expected back for the ’Nucks next game, they are still waiting on a return to 100% from veteran Alexander Edler, and have Erik Gudbranson and Philip Larsen already on IR. With Hutton now out, Andrey Pedan will be recalled and pressed into regular action, while rookies Troy Stecher and Nikita Tryamkin (who’s also banged up) will have to carry even more weight than they already have been.
Hutton, while not the most defensively-gifted defenseman, is developing into a strong puck-mover. In just his sophomore season, Hutton has been playing over 20 minutes a night and has four goals and seven assists. He was well on his way to matching his rookie season total of 25 points, but if he’s out for an extended amount of time, he may fall short. The Canucks will miss Hutton’s production, as they had just recently hit their stride with six straight wins before Saturday’s 3-1 loss, the first game Hutton missed. Don’t be surprised if Vancouver returns to their losing ways with such a beat up defensive group. They are surely hoping that Hutton (and Gudbranson and Larsen) return to the lineup sooner rather than later.