Scenes from Canucks practice: Silovs and Myers join the group as team returns from two day break

Photo credit:© Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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It was believed the Vancouver Canucks had taken two full days off following their impressive 5-0 win over Winnipeg on Saturday. However, Rick Tocchet revealed on Tuesday that 11 players took part in an optional on-ice workout at Rogers Arena on Monday. Now, it wasn’t a formal on-ice session. The building was open to the players and several of them elected to go for a skate.
The full group gathered for the first time with the coaching staff on Tuesday morning. That included Arturs Silovs and Tyler Myers joining their teammates. Silovs has been recalled from Abbotsford in the wake of Thatcher Demko’s knee injury while Myers returned to the ice for the first time since leaving the team’s 5-1 loss to Los Angeles on February 29th. Myers has missed all four games during the club’s current win streak with an undisclosed injury.

What we saw

There were no changes to the line combinations or defensive pairings the Canucks used on Saturday. That means Myers is unlikely to return to the line-up on Wednesday against Colorado. Although Rick Tocchet wouldn’t rule that out entirely.
This was Casey DeSmith’s first practice as the interim starter. Tocchet says the club will run with DeSmith for the next couple of starts and then step back and assess its goaltending situation. The head coach would not commit to a start for Silovs during this call up. 
Tocchet, when asked for the club’s official assessment of Demko’s injury, would only say ‘week to week – lower body’. But he did add that he has full confidence that Demko will be back and ready well ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Canucks host Colorado on Wednesday night. The Avs are in Calgary on Tuesday. Colorado is opting to start back-up Justus Annunen against the Flames saving starter Alexandar Georgiev for the back half of their back to back. Winnipeg took the same approach last week going with back-up Laurent Brossoit in Seattle last Friday and trotting out Connor Hellebuyck against the Canucks.

What we heard

Casey DeSmith excited to step into the starter’s role: “Just having the experience of having done it before, you go the whole season with sporadic starts and then you have this run where you’re filling in and getting a bunch of games at one time, so just having done it a bunch of times in the past, obviously I can call on that experience and that’s the benefit of being an old guy, I guess.”
Rick Tocchet on DeSmith’s time to shine: ““I think if you look at his past, what he’s done for us and with Pittsburgh, he’s run with the ball. And he’s done it very well at times. It’s hard for him because he hasn’t played a lot of games consecutively. So this practice (time) this week is great. We have a lot of confidence in him. I think him getting in there in that circumstance (relieving Demko on Saturday) is going to help him for tomorrow. I really do.”
Tocchet entertaining the idea of load management on defence when Myers is cleared to return: “Guys don’t want to hear it and as coaches you have to explain it because some guys may not like it if they’re out. But we’re at the point of the season where if we have healthy D you’re going to have some good defencemen that are going to sit out. And that’s the job and the mentality of the coaches to make sure the players understand that. You’ve got to be a good team guy. Everybody wants to play. We’ve been lucky with injuries. And you’ve got to stay ready.”
Tyler Myers on possibility of playing Wednesday against Colorado: “It was good to get back out with the guys and it’s getting pretty close here, so we’ll see in the next day – or few days – what game it’s going to be. I still have to have some conversations with the medical staff. We’ll see after I talk to them where we stand.”
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