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Scenes from Canucks practice: Carson Soucy could return Tuesday in Philadelphia

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
6 months ago
After back-to-back victories against the Edmonton Oilers, the Vancouver Canucks find themselves one of only five undefeated teams in the young 2023-24 NHL season.
After a travel day on Sunday, the Canucks held practice in Philadelphia, as they get prepped to take on the 1-1-0 Flyers on Tuesday night.
Here is what happened at practice.

What we saw

As expected after two wins, the forward group remains unchanged.
The one thing to keep an eye on is Ilya Mikheyev, who was seen skating with a full-contact practice jersey for the first time this season.
While it is unclear when he will slot into the official game-day lineup (see quote below), it is an encouraging sign that we may see him at some point during the club’s remaining four-game road trip.
Speaking of full participants, Carson Soucy also took part in practice wearing a full-contact sweater, indicating that he is close to returning.
Soucy has been sidelined and has yet to make his official Canuck debut following an awkward fall on the club’s final pre-season match in Vancouver on October 6th.
Skating on the third-pairing alongside Noah Juulsen, Soucy is considered a game-time decision, but could make his Canuck debut as early as Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Assuming Soucy is available to play, Akito Hirose looks to be the odd man out on the backend.
With that, the club would have to send one of Hirose or Jack Studnicka back down to Abbotsford to stay compliant.
Since Mikheyev may not be ready to play on Tuesday, Hirose could find himself on a plane to report back to the AHL sooner, rather than later.

What was said

First things first, Rick Tocchet spoke about the injuries and confirmed that Soucy would be a game time decision tomorrow. He said, “Souc[y] had a good practice today, so he’ll be a game-time decision.”
On Mikheyev, Tocchet said, “Every day he’s getting there…There is a good possibility that he’s going to play a game on this road trip. I don’t know which game, obviously the latter, but he’s progressing.”
Tocchet also talked about building on the club’s two wins against the Edmonton Oilers.
“Well, you always take the negative and positive from the game. Hey, we are 2-0, and we should be happy with the fact that we won our two games. I didn’t think a few guys played well in the sense that, I don’t want to say that they didn’t compete, I just didn’t feel that some guys were there.”
“I think it’s important that we understand that in our last game, we didn’t bend. I know that they had two power play goals, and I thought our penalty kill was good…But I think there is some stuff there. You know, our puck possession, and we’re not holding on to pucks, and we’re not getting out-battled. I understand that in Edmonton they were going to come out flying, but I still thought there were some things there that we should have cleaned up. That comes with being competitive and holding onto pucks, and I didn’t think we were as good as the first game.”
When asked what he expects to see from Philadelphia, Tocchet said:

“It’s a John Tortorella team, they are going to work their butts off”. He mentioned,“ I know everyone says that they are going to be in last, but I don’t see that. I think [Travis] Konecny is one of the best players in the league, playing against us last year, he was all over us.”
When asked about Elias Pettersson’s ability to transition to their new system and embrace his defensive side, Tocchet said:
“I think he understands what it’s going to take to win. The Sidney Crosby’s of the world, the Steve Yzerman back in the day, Joe Sakic, those guys got their point, but they played a 200-foot game, and they played situational hockey, and he knows that. He’s not bucking the system. He knows he is going to be playing the last minute of the game whether we are up or down. And listen, he’s got a longer leash, obviously. If he’s got the puck, you have to let them make plays, I think he just knows now when is the right time to make those plays. I think Petey’s been awesome at choosing the right time to do it and when not to do it. And he’s still getting points, too”.
Check back tomorrow for the Canucks’ morning practice edition of scenes from morning skate, as they gear up to face the Flyers at 3 PM (PT) on Tuesday.

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