By Joe Haggerty
VANCOUVER The Canucks could be getting even stronger if things continue to go well for Manny Malhotra, who practiced Friday with a caged helmet while attempting to return from a nasty eye injury.Malhotra still bears the mark of a shot he took in the left eye while playing the Colorado Avalanche in the middle of March. But he was cleared for a full practice on Friday, and the door is slightly ajar for him to play in Game 2. The gritty Malhotra, who is still sportingbruising and swelling around his left eye, is listed as day-to-day by coach Alain Vigneault. Malhotra brings faceoff ability, defensive grit and a fighting spirit the Canucks could clearly use against the Bruins.
Obviously, coming back after taking a long break, there's going to be a little bit of a trial-and-error period just as far as my comfort level on the ice and my conditioning are concerned, said Malhotra. There are a lot of things that go into that decision to play in Game 2.
"Number one: I obviously don't want this to be a sideshow. We always talk about in our dressing room that the whole is much greater than the individuals. We have a very strong focus in the room. It's where it needs to be. I don't want anything to sidetrack that.
"From the other standpoint, it's playoff hockey. That's what we're used to. You don't get a whole lot of information on injuries in general. So we're just kind of following suit in that sense.Also, defenseman Dan Hamhuis was missing from practiceafter suffering an unspecified injury in Game 1 while throwing a hipcheck on Milan Lucic.Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs