Canucks: Boeser could be flying again after cautious injury rehab

‘Obviously, it sucks to waste time and I’ve been through a lot and I’m not a fan of it, but it’s a long season. I’d rather be smart now than push through something. ‘ – Brock Boeser

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Brock Boeser isn’t a doctor, but he could probably play one.

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Vancouver right winger Canuck practiced Monday in a line with Elias Pettersson and Nils Hoglander, and barring any significant setback from an undisclosed injury, he is expected to make his NHL regular season debut Tuesday in Buffalo.

If anyone knows his body and if he’s ready to play, it’s Boeser.

Plagued by wrist, back and groin concerns throughout his career, he was not in a hurry to return when something went wrong during a preseason game Sept. 26 in Spokane, Wash., Against the Seattle Kraken expansion.

“Playing in that game, I felt something over and over again in practice where it just didn’t feel right and I had to step back and reevaluate,” said Boeser, who led the Canucks in scoring last season with 49 points (23- 26) in 56 games and a team-best 16.2 percent shooting accuracy while playing a more complete game.

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“It feels good now. Obviously it sucks to waste time and I’ve had a lot of time and I’m not a fan of it, but it’s a long season. I’d rather be smart now than push something early in the season. The first step was to pass practice and we will see what happens tomorrow (Tuesday) “.

Boeser learned the hard way that sometimes mind and body can take longer to connect.

He missed the start of training camp in 2019 in Victoria as his three-year, $ 17,265 contract extension was finalized. And he didn’t have a full summer of training to properly recover from the back injury. The result was a groin strain in October that turned into an adductor injury and would end 2019-20 with 16 goals in 57 games.

Fast forward, and being patient and cautious is a path you had to grudgingly learn to travel because it should pay off in the long run.

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“(The injury) dragged on during this camp and I had to step back and stop skating,” Boeser added. “When I return, it’s a matter of taking care of my body and continuing to do all the exercises. It’s a long routine but something that really helps me and keeps me healthy.

“I have learned a lot. Since my back injury, I have a set routine and certain things in warm-up to be ready for every practice and every game. And I even do it in the summer because it’s something I really have to be aware of to feel good before every skating. “

It is also a message for newcomers, who can be consumed by what is happening on the ice and not outside of it.

“I try to be a voice for the younger guys,” Boeser added. “(Health) matters so much and the season is so long that you really have to focus on the off-the-ice aspect of things with your body and get treatment. Every boy is different and has his own routine. That’s why I knew from getting injured in the past to take my time. “

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Hoglander is off to a good start with a couple of assists and plenty of scoring opportunities. His 10 shots and 13 attempts after three games speak of a fast, moody presence in the offensive zone and a quick snapshot. However, playing with Boeser can get him to dedicate himself to shooting a timer and right winger wrist that has speed and precision.

“I feel pretty good with a lot of speed and opportunities and if we execute better it will be good,” said Hoglander. “Brock is a really good player and we have to get him the record. Of course if I get the chance I’ll shoot him, but he has a good single shot and so does Petey (Pettersson). “

The Canucks also traded JT Miller to the middle to work between Justin Dowling and rookie Vasily Podkolzin to provide a better three-line balance and more competition in the fighting circle. Miller had a 53 percent hit rate last season at the point, but this season it’s all about more disc possession with uniform force.

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Boeser also returned to the first power play unit on Monday with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Bo Horvat, Miller and Pettersson.

“There is a progression you need to see and he seemed to go through his first practice without a hitch and we are hopeful that he plays,” Canucks coach Travis Green said of Boeser.

As for the 2-0-0 opposition, Green is not surprised that the Sabers looked good to new coach Don Granato.

“A young team that plays with a lot of passion,” he said. “They are playing a faster game and they have chosen some players who are skaters and the younger guys have developed. It is not surprising.”

OVERTIME: Quinn Hughes had a day of maintenance Monday after recording 27:02, 26:46 and 29:09 of playing time in his first three starts over four days, which also included two points, eight shots and 15 shot attempts.

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