Backbreaking news for fans still basking in the glow of last night’s solid victory over the Nashville Predators, as it has been announced that Alex Edler’s back spasms that kept him out of the game are more serious than initially thought. Edler will undergo micro discectomy surgery on his back and will be out indefinitely.

While Lee Sweatt performed admirably in his absence, scoring the game-winning goal and finishing +2, he still had under 9 minutes of icetime and often seemed overmatched physically. Keith Ballard, on the other hand, stepped up and played a team-high 23:53, boosted by Ehrhoff missing some shifts to get stitches after getting whacked in the face by Ryan Kesler. With Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts still out of commission, this latest wrinkle forces the Canucks to contend with a depleted blueline that may require further call-ups from the Manitoba Moose and more ice-time from the maligned Ballard.

Alternatively, with Edler sure to go on long-term injured reserve and the all-star game providing a brief break in the schedule, this may be the time to push Sami Salo harder in practice to see if he is ready to slot back into the lineup. The need to clear salary to fit Salo under the cap has suddenly disappeared.

Update: Edler’s back surgeon, Dr. Marcel Weird Keyboard Dvorak, has suggested that Edler should recover in 8 to 10 weeks. Edler’s surgery is scheduled for Monday, which would put his potential return at March 28th to April 11th if Dr. Dvorak is correct. The Canucks’ final game of the regular season will be April 9th, meaning Edler could still return in time for the playoffs.
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6 comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011

    In The Pluperfect

    For two periods

    I watched this game on my TV.
    'Twere better I had surfed the net.
    'Twas just relieved I watched for free,
    For not one puck had gone in yet.

    Now if the boys had played their roles
    And the conflict not been boring,
    I'd overlooked the lack of goals
    Had there been some warriors warring.

    And then the third

    In which a dull defensive lapse
    Had Nashville now ahead by one,
    And certain of a 'Nucks collapse,
    I grabbed a beer to watch the fun.

    But then Luongo shut the door
    And all the fans erupted, “Lu!”
    Then Alex Burrows had to score
    (I spilled my beer upon the floor.)
    And Lee Sweatt made it one to two.
    (This is a team one can't ignore.)

    grudgingly yours,
    chickenhawk

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  2. J21
    January 27, 2011

    It seems Gillis' strategy of procrastinating on Salo until something else happened is "paying off" now, hrm. Of course, the Canucks and defenseman injuries go together like torches and pitchforks, so I suppose this was just a case of waiting for the inevitable.

    Argh, why Edler, though. :( Almost as depressing as not having an IWTG to dissect the morning after a game I didn't see. (Or the afternoon… PiTB has to join the media club and start catering to us eastern-situated folk!)

    The other silver lining is that by not being played anywhere near as much as he ought to have been all season, Keith Ballard should have a lot left in the tank.

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  3. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011

    Ouch.. he's been so good this year too. Hurts to lose him. Hopefully Ballard can show us his stuff.

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  4. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011

    terrible news for the nucks and my fantasy teams but mostly the nucks. this is where ballard is going to have to step up and hopefully salo is almost ready to go

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  5. J.S. Topher
    January 27, 2011

    I think we may see now why Balls hasn't been getting a lot of ice time… To keep him fresh. Nothing will help the canucks defensive corps like a some young call ups and fresh Balls

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  6. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011

    "Backbreaking news?" Ouch. I think that pun hurts more.

    ;) ,
    Rach

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