Canucks debut new lines at practice in Newark, Tocchet announces alternate captains
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
7 months ago
The Canucks’ hiatus during the All-Star break didn’t feel like much of a break at all. Not for fans, not for the folks who cover this team, and not for a handful of players on the team, at the very least.
Since their last game, the Canucks traded their captain in one of the biggest deals in franchise history, placed a player on LTIR, and called up three players. In addition, Elias Pettersson put on a show in the hardest shot event at the All-Star skills competition, joining Alex Ovechkin as just the second forward to win the event in the past 22 years.
Through all of this, the Canucks’ farm team has still been playing games, giving fans two games to see for themselves what the organization has in new top prospect Aatu Raty, who the Canucks acquired on Monday in the deal that sent Bo Horvat to Long Island.
So yeah, a lot has happened since the “break”.
But on Sunday night, the Canucks were all reunited from their various choice vacation spots as they get set to face off against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night. Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre was in the building for practice, and dished all the goods when it came to the Canucks’ new-look Bo Horvat-less lines.
- As you would expect, JT Miller is playing centre with Horvat now gone. Dakota Joshua and Conor Garland are on his wings. As we wrote earlier this week, Garland has looked the best he has all season through three games with Rick Tocchet as his coach.
- The newly-acquired Anthony Beauvillier is taking Ilya Mikheyev’s spot on the Canucks’ first line alongside Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko. This seems like a good move for the Canucks, who greatly benefit from rebuilding Beauvillier’s game a bit to close out this season.
- It looks like Vasily Podkolzin, Nils Aman, and Phil Di Giuseppe — who were called up from Abbotsford yesterday — will all get into the lineup tomorrow night.
There were really no surprises when it comes to the Canucks’ lines without Horvat. Hopefully, Tocchet will continue to employ his philosophy of running four lines with consistency as he tries to implement structure and good habits into this team’s players to close out the season.
After practice, Tocchet confirmed what he alluded to in a radio interview with Mike Halford earlier this week — that Pettersson and Quinn Hughes will serve as alternate captains. At that point, Tocchet hadn’t made up his mind on exactly how the leadership group would shake down, but he’s since made up his mind, according to MacIntyre.
Puck drop between the Canucks and Devils is at 4:30 PM Pacific Time from the Prudential Center tomorrow night.
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