The Canucks wrapped up their second training camp of the 2019-20 season on Saturday and will depart for Edmonton today.
The day consisted of a short practice followed by a Zoom call with the media.
Head Coach Travis Green has seen a lot of his players over the past two weeks and will now have less than a week to finalize his playoff roster.
The first line looks to be centred by Elias Pettersson with Tyler Toffoli and JT Miller playing on his wings. This comes as no surprise as Toffoli found instant chemistry alongside Miller and Pettersson after being dealt to Vancouver via the LA Kings.
The second line will feature Bo Horvat surrounded by long time linemate Tanner Pearson and newcomer to the line Brock Boeser. This will round out the top six as a line that will be relied upon to be defensively responsible while also being able to score at 5-on-5.
The third line seems to be where it gets interesting as coach Green went with Antoine Roussel, Adam Gaudette and Micheal Ferland as his third scoring line.
Green spoke about Ferland’s training camp progression:
“It’s been great to see. Not just from a coach’s standpoint, but from someone watching someone that’s gone through something that’s been hard and difficult and being happy for him. For me, he almost looks better, I say better but just more alive, he looks really excited to be on the ice and he’s engaged. And you can tell he’s on his toes on the ice — he’s bright, and it’s nice to see from a personal standpoint and then obviously from a coach’s standpoint and team standpoint a healthy Micheal Ferland is important, there’s a reason why we signed him. He brings a little bit of everything. If he’s in the lineup he’s a handful.”
The fourth line has seen some movement as Tyler Motte and Jay Beagle will likely be the mainstays while we could see one of Loui Eriksson, Jake Virtanen or likely Brandon Sutter round out that group.
Coach Green talked about what the veterans and someone like Jay Beagle can bring to this team as a lot of players will be going into their first NHL playoff series.
In the locker room before games and before the series starts. And then obviously when you’re going through it. There’s going to be different stages of the playoffs where it feels like it’s hard, and you’re up against the wall and your back is against the wall. With being there before there’s a calmness to it, and understanding it. And having voices in the room that have been that help for sure. He understands how important the little areas of the game are. And (Beagle is) the ultimate team player. And when you get to the playoffs you’ve got to have a team full of team players. It’s not about individual play, it’s just about winning.
In the end, coach Green mentioned that the team has been getting a bit antsy about playing games. You can only do so much in practice. The exhibition game will tell the final chapter of all the pre-playoff story and Green says that this type of playoffs may be even harder than a regular playoff run.
I’ve heard people talk about this playoffs having an asterisk. This might be the hardest playoffs to win. There’s a lot of unknowns. We’ve got to win an extra round for starters. You’re more or less on the road the whole time. There’s no fans, it’s hard, it’s hard to win at the best of times and I think people underestimate how hard it is. There’s times where a crowd can pull you through. I’m thinking about times when you’re down three-two in a series and you come home to your building and just walk out of the tunnel. That emotion that is there in the building can feed a team. It’s going to be different. The ultimate competitor is going to have the advantage right now.
The Canucks training camp was a success overall and the team look as ready as they’ll ever be for their play-in series against the Wild.
Green did not give any updates on Zack MacEwen who was absent from practice on Saturday or anything on Alex Edler who was shaken up during practice.
Green on what he can tell us about Zack MacEwen not being on the ice today:
— 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber 🤙🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) July 25, 2020
On Wednesday night the Canucks will play the Winnipeg Jets in their lone exhibition game then on August 2nd, they will get it all going against the Minnesota Wild on what will surely be a very exciting Sunday night.