Canucks’ Tocchet voices frustrations with Pettersson, ‘five or six’ passengers after game four loss

Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
1 month ago
Fresh off a Game 3 win, the Vancouver Canucks faced the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of their playoff series on Tuesday, hoping to maintain their momentum. However, the Oilers emerged victorious with a 3-2 win, tying the series at 2-2 as it heads into Game 5.
The game took a dramatic turn in its closing moments when Brock Boeser scored the game-tying goal for the Canucks with just two minutes remaining, briefly igniting hopes of an overtime clash. Just over a minute later, Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard swiftly dashed those hopes by scoring in the final minute, securing the win for Edmonton. Despite pulling their goalie in a last-ditch effort to equalize, the Canucks fell short.
Following the game, Vancouver’s head coach, Rick Tocchet, didn’t mince words in his assessment:
“We’ve been a resilient group all year, but we need 5 or 6 guys to get going here. I mean, it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But some guys, I don’t know if they thought it was the playoffs. We can’t just rely on 12 guys. So we’ve got to figure it out quickly. It’s 2-2. Obviously, it’s a tough one. They came to play and wanted it more early. The second goal, in the other period, was a killer. Another couple of given mistakes and then the last goal. We just can’t do that.”
Reflecting on standout performances, Tocchet acknowledged Boeser’s efforts:
“He’s a goal scorer. That was a smart play. We had people and that was the right play, just getting the puck to him.”
However, Tocchet was critical of the team’s performance, particularly on the power play:
“It just wasn’t good. Not good enough. They know it. I didn’t think they worked hard enough to manage the puck. It’s a four-minute power play. I don’t know, I think the second unit had some shots, but it’s just not good enough. They know what I mean. You have to have a work ethic and you have to possess the puck, and I don’t think we did.”
Tocchet’s comments on Elias Pettersson’s performance in the series were straightforward:
“He’s got to get going. I don’t know what else to say.”
Expressing disappointment with the team’s performance, Tocchet emphasized the need for improvement:
“Like I said, there’s 5 or 6 guys. Yeah, we need them to get going. I don’t know what else to say.”
Despite the loss, Tocchet commended his team’s resilience:
“Yeah, we’ve done this all year, bouncing back after a tough loss or a bad game. But like I said, you’ve got to give Edmonton credit, they played better tonight. We came back, made a game of it, and then we gave them a freebie. So the way you look at it, if we had gone to overtime, who knows? You could call it playing with house money. I don’t know, but I thought we started to wear them down at the end. Maybe that’s a positive, I don’t know.”
Looking ahead to Game 5, Tocchet hinted at potential lineup changes for the Canucks:
“Well, it’s a matter of will to get the puck. It’s not about X’s and O’s. Sometimes, players know where the puck is going; they just need to get there first. I think we’re hesitating. Some guys are playing passive hockey, and you can’t win if you have 5 or 6 passengers versus seven or however many. We’ll take a look, but there’s at least a half a dozen passengers tonight. Quite frankly, that’s what it was. But saying that, in playoff hockey, it’s a new game next time. So some of those guys can be heroes for us. They’ve got to step it up.”
The series now returns to Rogers Arena in Vancouver for a pivotal Game 5 on Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm (PST).



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