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Scenes from Canucks practice: Dakota Joshua returns to the group, new-look D pairs, Lindholm absent

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
24 days ago
Fresh off a thrilling 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks got back to work today for a practice at Rogers Arena as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. Here’s what went down at Sunday’s practice.

What we saw

Elias Lindholm was absent from today’s practice. Earlier this week, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet confirmed that Lindholm, who the Canucks acquired during the All-Star break from Calgary, is “dealing with something.”
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported during last night’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that Lindholm will be meeting with a specialist in the coming days.
“They’re managing it on a day-to-day basis,” Friedman said. “Hopefully they’ll get some clarity on what exactly is bothering him next week so he can get back to full health.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how the Canucks might roll out their lines tomorrow night against LA if they are indeed without Lindholm.
Whatever the case, it wasn’t all bad news for the Canucks today, as Dakota Joshua participated in his first group practice since injuring his hand in a fight during the Canucks’ 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on February 13th.
Joshua’s absence has certainly been felt by the Canucks, as he was a key cog of what emerged as one of the best third lines in the NHL alongside Teddy Blueger and Conor Garland this season.
With 13 goals, 13 assists, and a +16 plus-minus rating through 53 games this season, the Canucks are certainly going to be hoping Joshua is ready to return in time for the playoffs.
Additionally, we saw the defence pairings get a bit of a shakeup at today’s practice, and it will be interesting to see if Ian Cole, who’s been scratched for load management reasons the past two games, will make his return to the Canucks’ lineup. He skated alongside Carson Soucy today, while Tyler Myers moved up to play with Quinn Hughes. Nikita Zadorov and Filip Hronek rounded out the Canucks’ defence group today.

What was said

Rick Tocchet spoke about the good news of Joshua’s return.
“I don’t know the exact day, but him being out there for the first time is big. Whether we accelerate it, we’ll see how he is on the ice, but the one good thing is he’s got skating legs. We’ll see about the other part, but we’re excited to have him on now with the full group.”
On Lindholm: “It’s kind of somewhat of a maintenance, we’ve got to look at some stuff, and we’ll evaluate every day,” Tocchet said, adding that he’s not certain if Lindholm will be available tomorrow vs. the Kings.
Tocchet on sitting Cole and his defence group.
“There are difficult moments as a head coach, and that’s one of them. He’s a warrior. I have a great relationship with him, I won two cups with him as an assistant coach… We got him here because of the relationship with myself, Patrik, and Jim. Sometimes you’ve got to take a step backwards to go two steps forward. Sometimes players don’t want to hear it, but it’s my job with the presentation of how to do it, and he’s a soldier. He understands.
“Older players hate to hear their age, ‘oh he’s 35 years old’, and it’s not about that. It’s sharpened his game where he’s on the ice at his sharpest. Where his feet are moving and he’s got a lot of juice in his body, and we feel at this stage that’s the best way. It could be somebody else, and we’ve got to be prepared for it. We’ve got eight — I’ve got to tell you, [Mark] Friedman, I know he’s on the outside looking in, but he came in three weeks ago to those two games and he gave us solid minutes. He might play in the playoffs, you never know, we might get some injuries, so you’ve got to be sharp mentally and physically.
Join Sekeres & Price and the CanucksArmy crew on Saturday April 20th at the Hollywood Theatre in Kitsilano for a special tribute to their late friend, Jason Botchford, presented by Fountain Tire. “Bro, Do Your Playoffs” is a media event celebrating the life and legacy of Jason that will feature shared memories, special guests, an exclusive performance from The Matinée and the celebration of Vancouver’s triumphant return to the playoffs. This event is in support of the BC Mental Health Foundation. Get your tickets now at https://www.showpass.com/hollywood-brodoyourplayoffs/

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