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Canucks pregame: Rick Tocchet tells his players to “earn their f——- ice time” ahead of meeting with Flyers

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 months ago
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The Vancouver Canucks may be 2-0 to open the 2023-24 NHL season, and the vibes may be great around the team and in the fanbase.
But head coach Rick Tocchet isn’t letting his players take their foot off the gas just because they’ve gotten the results they were hoping for. According to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, Tocchet could be heard telling his players on the ice to “earn their [expletive] ice time” during yesterday’s practice in Philadelphia, which went for nearly an hour.
“We’re 2-0, we should be happy with the fact we won our two games, but I’d be kidding ourselves… that game, we had a few guys who I didn’t think they played well in the sense of — I don’t want to say they didn’t compete, I just didn’t feel some guys were there. We had some guys really work hard, and I know it’s a team game, so I don’t want to single out guys, but I think it’s important that we understand the last game — which, we didn’t bend — I know they got two power play goals but I think our penalty kill was good on that 5-on-3, timely goals, a guy like Lafferty who I think has been a great addition for us.
“But I think there’s some stuff there. Our puck possession, we’re not holding onto pucks, we’re getting out battled, and yeah I understand Edmonton was going to come out flying, but I still thought there was some things there we should have cleaned up, and that comes with being competitive and holding onto pucks, and I didn’t think we were as good as we were in the first game.”
The Canucks didn’t hold a morning skate today, and Tocchet talked about his philosophy when it comes to morning skates and practices in between games.
“No offence to the guys when I got here, but the morning skates were useless. Guys weren’t even doing anything, it was just a matter of putting their equipment on. If we’re going to go on, let’s do something constructive. If not, they can have an optional and have some fun, but I think they’re a waste of time. Not all the time though, it’s situational. I’m not a morning skate guy, but there are times when you have to morning skate. If you want to work on the power play or guys want to work on their shot, that’s the time to do it.”
As we wrote yesterday, Carson Soucy is a game time decision tonight and would certainly be a welcome addition to the Canucks’ lineup on defence.
The team may have upset the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night, but there were plenty of things for the Canucks to clean up. They can’t all be Piccasos, but the club can also do things to make their wins look less like finger paintings… did that analogy make sense? We’re not sure.
Nonetheless, the Canucks will put their undefeated record on the line tonight in Philly as they visit the Wells Fargo Centre to take on the Flyers. Puck drop has been moved from 4 PM Pacific to 3 PM Pacific to accommodate Game 2 of Major League Baseball’s National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks.

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