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Scenes from Canucks practice: Tocchet impressed with Pius Suter’s progression into 3C role

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 months ago
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Vancouver Canucks fans are still on cloud nine following the club’s opening night 8-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
After a day off on Thursday, the team was back at it on Friday before flying out to Edmonton to face those same Oilers tomorrow to kick off their first of five road games.
Here’s what went happened at today’s Canucks practice!

What went down

Who would have guessed?
The Canucks aren’t changing their lineup after winning 8-1! The key takeaways here seem to be that Carson Soucy and Ilya Mikheyev weren’t part of regular line rushes, meaning they likely won’t be in the lineup tomorrow. Now, we’ll have a better idea after tomorrow’s morning skate (which we’ll be in attendance for!) but for now, we’ve got some things to chew on from the head coach from today!

What was said

First, the injury updates. Rick Tocchet said both Teddy Blueger and Guillaume Brisebois are “week to week” with their injuries. Originally, the Canucks hoped Blueger’s injury was just a bruise, but it’s turned out to be more than that. Blueger will travel with the team on their five-game road trip, which is obviously a very good sign.
The Canucks’ bench boss talked about what his team focused on at today’s practice:
“A lot of five-on-five play, competitive. We didn’t skate yesterday, didn’t skate Saturday, had a day off Monday. So you know, I told the guys — and I know Footy was especially his game plan, he wanted us to make sure we get a lot of five on five play, almost like a scrimmage-type atmosphere. Thinking, being competitive, doesn’t have to be long or gruelling, but I think we need to skate. You got to make sure you don’t waste these practices. Last year, sometimes I thought we gave a practice away and I think now they’re starting to see you can’t waste a practice. So that’s why Foot-y was more involved in the 5 on 5 play.”
Tocchet also spoke about Pius Suter’s strong performance on opening night, and what the Canucks like about him.
“Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why we acquired him is his hockey IQ. I don’t think you can have enough guys with hockey IQ in the dressing room, and I think he’s progressed. You know, early in camp, he was feeling his way, but I think for me every day since camp opened, I’ve seen improvement from him. We played him a lot, in four of five exhibition games, I thought playing him really helped him get up to speed with our system and his pace, and yeah his hockey IQ. There was a play last game, a lot of guys would have left the area, but he stayed there, and they scored a tap-in. That’s the hockey IQ you’re looking at.”
The early returns on Suter as the Canucks’ third line centre are very positive, as the team seems to have found somebody who can bring the strong defensive profile while chipping in on offence and faceoffs that they’ve been missing for the past number of years.
We’ll be back tomorrow to preview tomorrow’s game!

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