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Kesler back for Canucks tonight versus Coyotes

Apr 8, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT

Ryan Kesler Getty Images

Ryan Kesler will be back in Vancouver’s lineup tonight when the Canucks host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Kesler has only appeared in seven games this season. The 28-year-old center missed the start of the year while still recovering from offseason surgery, then broke his foot upon returning in February.

“It’s exciting,” he said today. “It’s been a tough year so far. Now it’s time to get some games in.”

With just 10 games left before the playoffs start and little practice time scheduled, Kesler says the plan is to play himself into shape.

Tonight, he’s expected to skate on a line between wingers Mason Raymond and Zack Kassian.

The Canucks are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games — a stretch that’s featured outstanding goaltending from Cory Schneider, who will reportedly make his 11th straight start tonight as Roberto Luongo remains on the bench.

Vancouver defenseman Chris Tanev will sit out with a leg injury.

Related: Kesler ‘itching big time’ to return before playoffs

  1. canucks30 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    It would be wise to get Luongo at least 3-5 more starts before the end of the season in case Schneider goes down or struggles in the playoffs.

    Leaving Luongo on the bench for more than a month probably isn’t a good idea in the long run.

  2. r4n6er - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Don Cherry said this exact thing on Sat. and the canucks would do well to head his words,

    • imleftcoast - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Hot goaltending is more important than a tandem. The Canucks have had trouble balancing two goalies that two years. That’s one of the reasons they need to make a trade. I don’t buy into keeping both of them fresh. The Canucks need a definite #1, and to pull their game up to playoff level. The 8-2 only reflects the cupcake division they are in.

      • canucks30 - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        Martin Gerber won a game in the ECF for Carolina in 2006, Ilya Bryzgalov won 3 playoff games for the 2007 Anaheim Ducks, Frank Pietrangelo won 4 playoff games for the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins, and Dominik Hasek won 2 playoff games for the 2008 Detroit Red Wings.

        Sometimes you need 2 goaltenders to win the Stanley Cup

  3. canucks30 - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I want to see more of this Ryan Kesler:

    And less of this one:

  4. jpat2424 - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Booooooooooooo

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