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Scenes from Canucks practice: How Casey DeSmith got black pads past Ian Clark, Dakota Joshua skates as an extra

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Photo credit:Jeff Paterson
David Quadrelli
5 months ago
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Following the Canucks’ 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night, the team had a chance for a much-needed day off in which they held their team Halloween party. Brock Boeser and his girlfriend Bella dressed as an Avatar, while JT Miller and his wife Natalie went as Hugh Hefner and a Playboy bunny. But it may not be quite what you think:
We asked Miller if he had any comment on his Halloween costume.
“Nope, speaks for itself,” Miller said.
Anyways, let’s get into what went down at today’s Canucks practice.

What we saw

Tomorrow night against Nashville is the Canucks’ first game of the year in which they will wear their black skate uniforms. As a result, we saw both goaltenders continue to break in their new pad setups. Thatcher Demko rolled out the most boring setup of all time — all white pads that have the logo CCM stitched in black. His mask appears to be the same as last year’s.
Casey DeSmith, on the other hand, rolled out an all black TRUE setup, which he ordered before he heard about Ian Clark’s rules regarding pad colours. The Canucks’ goalie coach somewhat famously asks that his goaltenders wear white base pads, as Clark — and many others — believe that coloured pads provide shooters with a clear outline of where the open spots of the net are behind the goalie. The early indication is that DeSmith won’t have to change pads. More in the what was said section.
Here are today’s line rushes in front of those goaltenders:
As you can see, Dakota Joshua is the odd-man out today, and with Teddy Blueger set to begin skating soon, you wonder if Joshua could find himself in the press box for more games than just tomorrow night in the near future. Joshua took a bad penalty to give the Rangers’ dangerous power play one of their six man-advantage opportunities of the night.
This wouldn’t be the first time Tocchet has dished out some tough love to Joshua this season. The Canucks’ bench boss wasted little time before telling media that he felt that Joshua needed to “pick it up” during training camp. Tocchet and Joshua had a chat right before practice started, and there seemed to be some good back and forth dialogue between the two.
Let’s get into what was said after today’s practice.

What was said

Casey DeSmith gave us the goods on the black pad situation, starting with his first call from the Canucks’ equipment staff that he needed to get a new set of pads made for black skate nights following his trade to Vancouver.
“The equipment guy said ‘hey we need to get you a black set’, and I took that literally and I made a black set. Probably a week later, I heard about the white pad rule, I told Clarkie ‘I already ordered black pads, if you want me to change them, let me know.’ I didn’t hear back from him, so I figured it was okay.”
It appears Clark is in fact okay with bending his own rules a bit for DeSmith, because the two have now had multiple on-ice sessions with DeSmith donning them, and there hasn’t seemed to be any issues.
The Canucks will be wearing the black skate jerseys tomorrow night vs. Nashville, and they’ll wear the alternate uniforms 14 more times after that, including for all-Canadian matchups against the Edmonton Oilers (November 6) and Toronto Maple Leafs (January 20).
Rick Tocchet spoke about how he’d like to see more from Dakota Joshua.
“It’s no different than early in the season, he’s got to get going a little bit. There’s certain parts of his game I do like, he’s just gotta get going. He knows it, it’s just a couple of things I don’t like that he’s doing right now, and he’s got to drive the force. He knows it, he even said ‘I’m not happy with my game’ too, but that doesn’t mean he’s not in the lineup, I haven’t made any decision, it’s just that I wanted to put Beau up there with Garland. I think those guys are going pretty good and it’s just a matter of time before they break loose.”
On a much more serious note, Tocchet also offered condolences to the family of Adam Johnson, the former NHLer who tragically lost his life after an opponent’s skate blade came up and cut him in the neck area. Carson Soucy and Sam Lafferty both played with Johnson previously, and Tocchet spoke about how he as a coach tries to support his players through this difficult time.
“Just support — talk. I think when you support people with numbers, you know, people grieve in different ways, but I think when you have a lot of people supporting you — I know I don’t like being alone. I know Sous is a big part of our team. Hopefully… he’ll seek comfort from a lot of our players, being around a lot of guys.”

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