Manny Malhotra mystery might finally end, Dan Hamhuis game-time decision
|06.04.11 at 4:22 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — The will-he-or-won’t-he guessing game surrounding the status of Canucks center Manny Malhotra could come to an end Saturday night at Rogers Arena. Malhotra, who has been out since March after taking a puck to the eye in a game against the Avalanche, skated Saturday morning with teammates and said afterwards that his status as it relates to his chances of playing in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals has improved.
“It’s gone from day to day to game-time decision right now,” Malhotra said. “I’m honestly not trying to send you guys on a wild goose chase. That’s just the nature of the situation right now.”
Malhotra, who had 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points in the regular season, was cleared for contact a week ago but has been in and out of practices. He missed Tuesday’s skate, reportedly due to an eye appointment, but has taken the ice in recent days and said Saturday that he feels comfortable.
“I feel really good,” the center said. “I felt good yesterday skating and felt good this morning. So, again, hopefully I’ll continue throughout the day.”
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault has given the standard, three-word response of “day-to-day” over the course of the week when asked about Malhotra, and Saturday he had three new words.
Said the coach: “Game-time decision.”
Vigneault said the same of defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who left Game 1 in the second period after hip-checking Milan Lucic and getting cross-checked by David Krejci in succession. If Hamhuis can’t go, former Boston College and Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts could be in the lineup, with Keith Ballard also an option.