23
Photo Credit: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Scenes from morning skate: Miller a gametime decision as Canucks reunite Pettersson with Garland and Podkolzin

The Vancouver Canucks open up a three-game road trip with a game in Pittsburgh tonight against the Penguins after a disappointing homestand.

As we wrote in yesterday’s Scenes from Canucks practice report, J.T. Miller took a maintenance day amidst plenty of trade rumours involving his name.

Today, he took line rushes alongside Nils Höglander and Brock Boeser. In his post-practice media availability, Travis Green said that the club will “talk to the trainers and see if [Miller] is good to go.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Here’s how the Canucks looked this morning:

Lineup

The big thing to take away from these line rushes is that Elias Pettersson is back with Conor Garland and Vasily Podkolzin.

In Sunday’s shutout loss at home to Chicago, it was noticeable that Garland and Podkolzin were hands down the Canucks’ best forwards in that game, despite Miller struggling a bit.

Garland, in particular, was an absolute hound on the puck, and possessed the puck with plenty of poise in the offensive zone.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

After 40 minutes of play, the Canucks were controlling the shot share 9-0 when Garland was on the ice.

Podkolzin followed his lead and turned in yet another strong, hardworking performance on Garland’s opposite wing.

And then Elias Pettersson — whose struggles have been well documented this season — was put on the line, and the trio turned in a shift that in a season like this one, was enough to have people talking for days.

The trio appears as though they’ll be back together tonight as the Canucks look to capture lightning in a bottle with this line.

What was said

Head coach Travis Green confirmed that Thatcher Demko will get the start tonight. Green also reacted to the Botchford Project coming back for a third season. I wrote about my story and experience as the first recipient of the initiative here.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“It seems like it wasn’t that long ago but to think that it’s been third time doing it… You know, when you start to think about it, it’s such a sad story, but also a great project that I think everyone that’s involved is proud to be a part of. I think it’s something that’s great the Canucks are a part of and to keep his memory alive.”

Conor Garland knows that if he just keeps working hard and dragging his teammates into the fight, good things will happen for his line. He talked about playing with Pettersson and Podkolzin today.

“I think when you’re all moving around and cutting seams and working for the puck working to get open for each other, it works well,” said Garland. “It doesn’t really matter who’s out there — that type of style play with that intensity, it will work in the offensive zone and I think those two guys are two really good shooters probably two of the best shots on the team, and I like to find guys in open spots. I think that that’s why I probably had a little bit of chemistry there, just with the dynamic of it all.”

Puck drop is at 4 PM Pacific tonight from PPG Paints Arena

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below