Scenes from Canucks morning skate: Juulsen in as Soucy serves suspension while Oilers turn to Pickard in Game 4

Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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EDMONTON – The Vancouver Canucks have an opportunity to grab a commanding 3-1 lead in their second round Stanley Cup Playoffs series with the Edmonton Oilers when the teams meet again tonight at Rogers Place. 
The Canucks took Game 3 of the series on Sunday with a 4-3 victory. The Canucks are now 4-0 on the road in these playoffs.

What we saw

The Canucks held an optional skate in Edmonton on Tuesday morning. All eyes were on the defencemen on the ice. Carson Soucy, suspended for tonight’s game, was among those taking part. So was Noah Juulsen who will replace Soucy on the Canucks blueline. Juulsen will be making his second postseason appearance after filling in for an ailing Tyler Myers in Game 2 of the Nashville series.
It’s expected that Nikita Zadorov will move up to play with Myers while Ian Cole will shift to the left side on a pairing with Juulsen. Rick Tocchet suggested he may make one other line-up change tonight but would not elaborate when he met the media. Arturs Silovs will make his seventh straight start in goal. 
Elias Lindholm and Brock Boeser each scored twice in Sunday’s Game 3 victory. Lindholm now leads the Canucks in power play goals (2) and game winners (2) in these playoffs. JT Miller has had back to back two-assist games.
The Oilers held a 45-18 edge in shots on goal including a 22-3 advantage in a one-sided third period. In the series so far, Edmonton has outshot Vancouver 94-61.
After giving Stuart Skinner the hook after two periods on Sunday, Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch is turning to Calvin Pickard to start Game 4. Pickard made his playoff debut in the third period on Sunday and tonight will be his first NHL post-season start. He was 12-7-1 with 2.45 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 23 regular season appearances.
The Oilers will start the game by separating Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as they try to spread their offence. They may also go with 11 forwards and seven defencemen. Mattias Ekholm opened the scoring on Sunday night and has now scored in each game of the series. Oiler blueliners have outscored their forward group six to five in the first three games against the Canucks.
Only three Oiler forwards have found the back of the net in this series: Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman have each scored twice while Connor McDavid scored on a breakaway in Game 2. 
In the series so far, Draisaitl leads all players with 2+6=8 through three games. Connor McDavid (1+4), Brock Boeser (3+2) and JT Miller (1+4) all have five points. Boeser, Elias Lindholm and Mattias Ekholm all share the series lead with three goals apiece. Vancouver is three for nine on the power play (33.3%) while the Oilers are four for eight (50%). 
Today’s referees: Francis Charron and Frederick L’Ecuyer (Graham Skilliter is the stand-by official)
Today’s broadcasters: Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on Noah Juulsen stepping into the line-up: “An organization has good D depth when your seventh defenceman is probably one of your best PK guys. So we’re getting a really good PK guy. Great shot blocker. Physical. Even 5-on-5, he’s one of our best hitter and that’s another element he’s going to bring into our line-up.”
Nikita Zadorov on his $5,000 fine from NHL for cross checking McDavid at the end of Game 3: “Unfortunately that’s the world we’re living in. Sometimes social media and the public views can create some hard decisions for specific people. They may make questionable decisions at the end of the day. That’s how I look at it. At the end of the day, they have to protect their investment so that’s my understanding in this situation.”
Tyler Myers on missing his defence partner Soucy tonight: “Carse has been awesome for us this year. Him and I have been partnered together most of the time and we’ve developed a lot of chemistry. But we’ve shown all year that the eight of us that are on the team can play with each other. We know exactly what we’re doing when we step on the ice. Nobody is guessing. Whatever the partners are it’s the same approach.”
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