Canucks’ Pettersson: ‘I’ve been playing with a bad knee since January’

In fact, Elias Pettersson played through injury during the late regular season and playoffs.

It seemed clear toward the end of the regular season and into the Stanley Cup playoffs that Elias Pettersson was playing through some type of injury. The Vancouver Canucks franchise forward scored 34 goals and 89 points during the regular season, but his offense petered out in the playoffs.

Pettersson scored just one goal and added five assists in 13 playoff games. Too often, he wasn’t a factor in the outcomes of games and, when he was, he was sometimes on the wrong side of those outcomes. He had caution in his skating and often seemed to be sweeping the puck with his shot, rather than putting his weight on the puck, causing pucks to miss the net or find a piece of the team’s equipment. goalkeepers.

As is typical of hockey players, Pettersson made no excuses as the playoffs progressed; Many players go through something once May rolls around and rarely admit an injury to the media. This is because no one likes complainers and because no one wants to give their opponents something to aim for.

But once the playoffs were over, Pettersson was finally able to admit that yes, he has been playing through an injury.

“I’ve been playing with a bad knee since January,” Pettersson said. “It’s been like a nagging injury, so the longer it went on, the more pain I was in.”

Pettersson had an outstanding January, scoring 14 goals in 13 games and adding 7 assists for a total of 21 points. He was named the NHL’s third star for the month of January and seemed to be reclaiming his place as one of the best players in the league.

After January, however, his production declined, especially his scoring ability. He only scored two goals in February, four in March and one in April.

Now we know why.

According to Pettersson, it is not an injury that requires any type of drastic intervention.

“He just needs time: time to heal, time to rest,” Pettersson said.

Even if the playoffs weren’t what Pettersson wanted, the experience lit a fire under the center, who said he knows he can be better and “I know what I have to work on.”

“It’s definitely made me hungrier to get back to the playoffs,” Pettersson said. “We have something good under construction here.”

The only question that remains is why Pettersson continued playing through the injury instead of taking time to rest during the season. To be fair, he said the injury got worse the longer it lasted, so perhaps he didn’t feel it was necessary to take time off until it was too late to do so.

There’s also the factor that Pettersson was playing for a new contract; It’s hard to take time off with that uncertainty hanging over you.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet identified the problem as tendonitis, but the team did not feel it was necessary to rest Pettersson.

“We worked with the doctors and the trainers and felt he could move forward,” Tocchet said. “So no, we didn’t feel like we had to close it.”

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