The Vancouver Canucks got a little tougher with Jack Skille’s return to the lineup against the Blackhawks.
The unique combination of grit and scoring ability is what earned Skille his one-year, $700,000 contract after a professional tryout with the Canucks at the beginning of the season. Those attributes have been sorely missed on a Canucks team derided for lack of offence and toughness.
Skille has been out since February 18th with an injury suffered in a game against the Calgary Flames. Missing more than a month of hockey is always difficult to come back from, but Skille has proved himself a tenacious competitor who is more than ready to face up to any challenge.
While the 4th-line winger “only” has 4 goals and three assist for seven points in 52 games, he was tied for the leading scorer among players getting less than 10 minutes a game before his injury.
The Canucks will need all the help they can get tonight against a Chicago Blackhawks team that is the toast of the Western Conference. The Blackhawks will be looking to extend their five-game winning streak, while the Canucks do not want their losing streak extended to seven games.
Skille might not be a game breaker, but hopefully his attitude and veteran leadership can help the Canucks try and upset one of the hottest teams in the league tonight in Chicago.