Great news from the Canucks today, as it was revealed that Manny Malhotra has been medically cleared to play hockey again. Media outlets aren’t saying when he’s going to play, but I will. He will play in game 1. I base this on the fact that Cody Hodgson is getting very few minutes on the 4th line right now, and the fact that Malhotra has been skating for weeks. He should be in decent game shape. So if he’s medically able to play (which he is), he’ll play.
Kudos to Jason Botchford on getting this story right from day 1. A lot of the local media were taking the Canucks at face value, even though it was clear that Malhotra was in the middle of a comeback. I’m glad to say that Canuckz.com was on board with Botchford the whole way.
But enough of that. Against all odds, Manny Malhotra is back. What a story.
This is huge news for the Canucks. Malhtora will help with faceoffs of course, but his biggest value is on the penalty kill. He will play with a full visor and will likely start on the fourth line, given the strong play of Maxim Lapierre on the third line. But if Lapierre and the third line falter, Malhotra might find his way back in between Torres and Hansen. In any case, this news means that Canucks are now a four line team again, which is great news because so are the Bruins.
What an inspiration this will be to the Canucks, and what an ovation he’ll receive from the fans at Rogers Arena in the Stanley Cup final.