After a minor COVID-19 scare as the result of a false positive among one of their players caused them to cancel practice on Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks were right back to work on Monday morning as they continue to prepare for Wednesday night’s opener against the Edmonton Oilers.
The club also announced early Monday morning that they were placing six players on waivers, including Sven Baertschi and Loui Eriksson. You can view the full list of players here.
Motte and Gaudette have moved on
Unsurprisingly, Tyler Motte was asked early on about the “incident” in which he and Adam Gaudette shed their gloves during Saturday night’s scrimmage after a questionable hit from Motte.
“Just trying to be competitive and bring some intensity to camp,” said Motte. “It’s obviously a quick turnaround until we get into the season here without any preseason games so just trying to bring that to the scrimmage a little bit. Me and Gauds obviously settled it on the ice and it’s behind us. We shared a laugh after and it’s behind us now. We’re looking forward to getting ready for the season.”
Gaudette wasn’t made available to media today, so no quotes from him on the situation.
When he was asked about the fight, head coach Travis Green said his players fighting does not give him any cause for concern.
“Would I say I liked it? I don’t know if I liked it or disliked it. I liked the competitiveness of the two players for sure. We talked about with our team how this had to be close to a real game,” said the Canucks’ bench boss. “I’ve seen lots of fights in practice over the years and it does happen occasionally, there’s nothing wrong with it. I wasn’t sitting there clapping my hands, but I wasn’t disappointed with it, either.”
Fight aside, the intensity level has been high at this training camp, as is typically the case with Green at the helm.
“The pace was high, guys looked good,” said captain Bo Horvat about Saturday’s scrimmage. “I thought it was a little bit tighter checking than the first game, and we had a little bit of everything. Some goals, some fights, it was good to see.”
From top to bottom, the Canucks look like they’re ready to face the Oilers on Wednesday night.
PP2 gets some work
On Friday, the Canucks did some special teams work, but it was mainly to get Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette some reps killing penalties while the club’s first power play unit worked out some kinks.
Reading too much into the second power play unit the team went with — which featured Loui Eriksson and Brogan Rafferty on it –would have been foolish, but today, we got a better idea of what the team’s second power play unit will look like:
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) January 11, 2021
The Canucks went with a 1-3-1 formation on the second unit, with Pearson behind the goal line, Virtanen and Gaudette on the wings, and Hoglander in the bumper position while Nate Schmidt patrolled the blueline.
It will be interesting to see how much the Canucks choose to use their second unit, which features some new faces on it from last year, whereas their first unit remains the same, for the most part.
Nate Schmidt talks
Before even lacing up in a game, Nate Schmidt’s bubbly personality and positive energy have quickly made him become a fan — and media — favourite in Vancouver.
Today, he was sent out to talk alongside Braden Holtby, who maybe couldn’t be more opposite than Schmidt, personality-wise.
There are just far too many quotes from this one to break down, so here are a list of things that happened on the call instead:
-Schmidt hijacks the Zoom call and asks Holtby a question.
-Schmidt talks about how he has very few bad days, but admits that after “an adult beverage or two” it’s hard to keep up his energy level.
-Schmidt waves at a reporter after she says hi to him, making Holtby laugh and shake his head.
-Schmidt admits he doesn’t drink caffeine, wonders what his energy levels would be like if he did.
Here are the full nine minutes of Schmidt and Holtby from today:
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 11, 2021
On a more serious note, Schmidt talked about how important it would be for the second group to be successful.
“For me, it’s just, we have an unbelievable first group,” said Schmidt. “As the second group, our job is momentum. If we get a chance to go out and get time on the power play, it’s all about momentum. Getting shots through and just being kind of methodical in our approach… Let’s face it, our unit might not see as much [ice], but we have to be ready whenever we can, because at the same time we have to understand what our job is, which is ‘hey if the first unit goes out there and doesn’t get a lot of momentum, that’s our job to go out there and grab it.”
The Canucks will have one final practice tomorrow, and we will be back at the rink with another full recap of the day before the team heads for Edmonton tomorrow afternoon.