Scenes from Canucks practice: Podkolzin moves up the lineup in place of Nils Höglander
Photo credit:© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
Fresh off tying their longest winning streak of the season with their second straight win on Wednesday night in Ottawa, the Vancouver Canucks were back on the ice at Rogers Arena for practice as they prepare for a six-game homestand beginning Saturday against Pittsburgh.
The main story of the day was the Canucks shaking up their lines.
Typically, the Canucks’ coaching staff doesn’t like to change up a winning lineup, but if today’s practice was any indication, they’ll do just that tomorrow against the Penguins.
Here’s how the Canucks lined up today:
Vasily Podkolzin’s progression this season has been well-documented and downright impressive. He went from having extremely sheltered ice time and at times being healthy scratched in October, to being trusted to close out games for the Canucks and play in a top six role at various points during the month of November.
Today, he skated on the second line with J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. For the last two games, Podkolzin ran shotgun on a line with Elias Pettersson and Justin Dowling.
Moving down to the Pettersson line is Nils Höglander, who, after an electric run of games in November, has slowed down a little bit.
What was said
Head coach Travis Green talked about Elias Pettersson and his slightly improved play over the past couple of games, and the thought process of changing up his wingers a bit.
“I thought he’s taken a step the last couple games,” said Green. “We’ve been doing a little work with him on the ice and off the ice, but as far as what we’re going to do with his line, that’s all about what’s best for the team.”
Green also added that Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s absence was just a maintenance day.
Quinn Hughes sounds a bit like a broken record as of late.
The young defenceman has repeatedly said that despite their tough start, the Canucks need to just stick to their processes and trust that the wins will follow suit.
Hughes is also a player who gives honest, thoughtful answers. He typically avoids cliches, and often makes a note of when he gives a cliche answer.
He’s been doing this a lot lately, and for good reason.
“I thought we played well the whole trip, maybe besides the first game, but we just need to keep going,” said Hughes. “I know I’ve said that like five times already, but that’s the reality of the situation. We can only take one game at a time and hopefully string as many as we can and at the end of the season see where we’re at.”
Like Hughes, Conor Garland tried his best not to bust out all the cliches, but he has the same “take it one game at a time” mentality as Hughes.
“I mean, it’s a cliche, but it’s pretty I think it’s pretty easy,” said Garland when asked if it’s hard not to look at the uphill road that lies ahead for the Canucks to qualify for the playoffs. “You just worry about tomorrow night. I don’t ever try to think too far ahead. I don’t think in the past you just wake up, we got practice, and then you’ll go from there, so I think it’s pretty easy, especially with our schedule, to just worry about what’s up next. I understand we dug ourselves a hole and I know you’re saying it’s hard not to think how much we need to win… but I mean, if you don’t win tomorrow, then you’re just digging yourself more of a hole. So just worry about tomorrow. Try to go and get a win, play well, and move on.”
Puck drop is at 7 PM from Rogers Arena tomorrow night.
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