Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Scenes from Canucks practice: Myers and Cole take maintenance days while Irwin and Karlsson join the mix
2 months ago
What we saw
The Vancouver Canucks took to the ice at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Arena at UBC on Wednesday.
Veteran blueliners Ian Cole and Tyler Myers were absent from the session while Matt Irwin and Linus Karlsson were added to the mix. Cole and Myers were given maintenance days after a heavy workload in recent weeks while Irwin and Karlsson were recalled from AHL Abbotsford earlier in the day. For Karlsson, it’s his second call up after making his NHL debut in Calgary two weeks ago. Irwin, the Victoria native who signed with the club as a free agent in the summer, is up with the big team for the first time since the preseason.
Ilya Mikheyev, who left Tuesday’s win over Anaheim after taking a Tyler. Myers shot to the leg in the third period, was a full participant in today’s practice.
Thatcher Demko got in a brief workout with goalie coach Ian Clark ahead of practice, but left shortly after the full group hit the ice. Fear not, however as this was by design as practice netminder Roman Basran was on hand to shoulder the day’s workload along with back-up Casey DeSmith.
As for the way Rick Tocchet had his line combinations, there was no change from his deployment against Anaheim. It looks like the Anthony Beauvillier trade has offered Phil Di Giuseppe a lifeline in the top six. PDG was once again alongside JT Miller and Brock Boeser at practice. Mikheyev was with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko to round out the top six.
There was no change to the bottom six forward group with Teddy Blueger between Dakota Joshua and Conor Garland while Nils Aman remains in the middle with Nils Höglander and Sam Lafferty. Linus Karlsson appeared to be the extra forward today.
There could be changes afoot on the blueline for Thursday’s measuring stick game against the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights. But it’s hard to know for sure without Myers and Cole on hand. The practice pairings were Hughes-Hronek along with Irwin-Juulsen and Friedman-McWard.
What we heard
Tocchet on day off for the two oldest players on Canucks roster: “Maintenance day for those guys. They’re playing a lot of minutes and they’re banged up a little bit. So it’s a good day for them to rest up.”
Tocchet on making use of nearby farm team to shuttle players in and out: “I like the fact that Abbotsford is what 45 minutes — with traffic, 3 hours — it’s 45 minutes away where we can call up some guys. A guy like Matty (Irwin), a veteran guy, maybe throw a couple of practices and see the speed of it and who knows he could be an option. Or maybe it will be Johansson down the road. I think when you have that flexibility to do that, it really makes a difference whether you can get guys to practice with you.”
Tocchet on first match-up of season against the Stanley Cup champs: “Listen, if we win, we’re not going to think we’re the hot shots and if we lose, it’s not the sky is falling. But these are the game you should be excited about. The crowd will to be into it. The spotlight is going to be on this game for us. If I’m a player, you want to be involved, you want to be in these pressure situations. I know teams are saying it’s a measuring stick when they play Vegas, but for me, I just want to see us really excited to play a 60 minute hockey game.”
Tyler Myers on facing Vegas for Pacific Division lead in late November: “It feels good to be where we’re at and have the start we’ve had. We know there’s a lot of season left. But definitely where we’ve put ourselves so far and to be able to play against another top team in a divisional game those are the games you have a lot of fun with.”
Quinn Hughes on what he appreciates about Adam Foote’s coaching style: “I just think as a person, he coaches you how he’d want his kids to be coached. He’s got two kids in the NHL and he understands the pressures, not only as a player but also as a parent and as a coach. I think he looks at it from those three perspectives. I think a lot of coaches don’t know how to connect with their players and talk to them and teach them. I’ve seen and I hear stories around the league about a lot of coaches reaming out their players or what not. He’s able to connect with you and talk to you and teach you. I’ve learned a lot from him as a player but also as a person, too.”
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