Capital defenseman Jack Lynch flew home to Washington today, his damaged right knee in a brace and preliminary diagnosis indicating probable torn ligaments. That would sideline Lynch until March.
The rest of the 4-20-5 team, meanwhile, headed for Squaw Valley, Calif. for what coach Tom McVile called a two-day "midseason training camp." Next stop is Los Angeles for a Saturday night game against the Kings.
Lynch crashed into Vancouver winger Hilliard Graves along the boards with only 73 seconds remaining in the Canucks' 3-1 victory Tuesday night, apparently catching his right skate in the ice as he made contact.
Lynch was removed on a stracher and writhed in agony as the brace was applied in the Pacific Coliseum medical room. Sleep did not come that night.
Defenseman Gord Lane was recalled Hershey of the American Hockey League to replace Lynch. Lane is the last healthy farmhand capable of playing in the NHL Pete Scamurra is in Washington for treatment of a recurrent leg injury and Jean Lemieux has beeen troubled by a sore right shoulder for more than a month.
"General manager Max (McNab) and don't talk about injuries,' McVie said, "but somebody better talk about them pretty soon."
McNab had a few words: "We're getting short and we were thin to be in with."
Defenseman Yvon Labre and winger Blair Stewart are recovering from operations, winger BillRiley is recuperating from a cut tendon in his ankle and winger Ace Bailey is resting his damaged right knee Only Bailey is likely to play before January.
Defenseman Rick Green required stiches after a stick cut open a privously wound on the bridge of his nose early in the third period of Tuesday. Winger Tom Rowe suffered a bruised right arm and center Gerry Meehan a charleyhorse. All three pronounced themselves fit today, however.
"We had plenty of chances, plenty of chances" was McVie's reaction to Vancouver's victory Bob Sirois alone had enough scoring opportunities to win three games, but Vancouver goalie Curt Ridley stopped all of Washington's efforts except a second-period drive by Dave Forbes. Bill Collins set that one up and was credited with his 150th NHL assist. Collins netted his 150th goal Nov. 20.
Forbes' score created a 1-1 tie midway through the second period. The Canucks, however, increased their offensive pressure and Ron Sedbauer beat goalie Jim Bedard 4 1/2 minutes later, scoring while on his kness in the slot. Sedlbauner wrapped up the Canucks' 10th victory by splitting the Washington defense and lining a shot off a goal post into the net.
This was the 12th straight game in which the opposition scored first, Pit martin connecting on a first-period breakway for his 300th NHL goal.
The Canucks were playing without leading scorer Mike Walton,suspended for a stick fight with Chicago's Phil Russel. Nevertheless, they maintained their perfect record against the capitals here and took over the undisputed lead in the Smythe Division.
The Squaw Valley trip was not revealed to the team until after the game and McVie indicated it could be either rewarding or most unpleasant, depending on how hard the players skated in practice. It certainly got off on an unpleasant note, since the team was up before dawn to catch a 5:30 a.m. bus to Vancouver Airport.
"If they do a good job, we'll have one workout a day and then they can go into town," McVie said. "If they don't we'll have two or three workouts. We've got ice all day and I'm not planning to go anywhere.
"I got the idea when I came out to the mountains to work with Gary Smith last summer. We've never won a game in Los Angeles and I expected to be fighting them for the playoffs at this stage. It hasn't worked out that way, but we still want to win.