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Scenes from Canucks practice: Tocchet calls loss in San Jose ‘a wake-up call’; Kuzmenko returns; a Suter setback

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Photo credit:X/@Canucks
Jeff Paterson
2 months ago
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After a day off Sunday, the Canucks returned to the practice ice Monday morning at Rogers Arena. Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek were both given the day off as Rick Tocchet said he wanted his work-horse defensemen to get two consecutive days off the ice after a relentless November schedule.
After being a healthy scratch for weekend games in Seattle and San Jose, Andrei Kuzmenko returned to his regular spot in the line-up alongside Elias Pettersson and Ilya Mikheyev. Tocchet confirmed after practice that Kuzmenko will be back in the line-up on Tuesday against Anaheim.
For most of Monday’s practice, Phil Di Giuseppe skated as the extra forward. With Kuzmenko returning to action, somebody will have to come out of the line-up. Tocchet said he hasn’t yet made up his mind about who will sit out against the Ducks.
Without Hughes and Hronek, the Canucks blueline had a vastly different look at practice. Mark Friedman and Noah Juulsen were paired together while Akito Hirose skated with Tyler Myers and Ian Cole took turns with Cole McWard.
The Canucks practiced in their black skate gear as they’ll wear their retro uniforms for the fourth time tomorrow night. They are 3-0 so far this season in their black threads.

What was said

Tocchet on state of his team that has lost four of six: “For us, the last five or six games, it’s been a good period, bad game, good game, two good periods, one bad — it’s more about consistency. I think the San Jose game, they’ve been playing well — I don’t care what anybody says — was kind of a little wake-up call. I thought the guys practiced hard today. We haven’t had many practices, but it was a good practice. So I like that. The energy.”
Tocchet on how Andrei Kuzmenko responded to being scratched: ‘There’sa couple of guys — I’m not picking on him, but he’s got to get his game sharpened up. It’s not about last year, it’s about this year for us. He’s a guy that needed a reset. We worked with him on a few of things. I thought he had a good practice today and that’s what I’m looking for tomorrow.”
Tocchet on Phil Di Giuseppe’s game of late: “Giusepp’s been okay. I think he’s slipped a little bit. I think he’s got to get back to that forecheck. I’m not sure if it’s him or not (that will sit), we’ve got 24 hours before I decide.”
Tocchet on Pius Suter’s whereabouts: “It’s a little bit of a setback that we found out about a week ago. It’s improving minimally. We thought it would improve a little bit more. So, yeah, we’re frustrated, too. He’s a missing piece that we really want, but we have to get him healthy and he’s not healthy. Is it day to day? He’s still got to get back skating so that’s probably going to take a couple of days. It could be a week from now, I don’t know. We thought it would be a little bit quicker, but it hasn’t.” (Tocchet confirmed the ailment to be a lower body injury. It’s believed to be more of a middle body injury)
Elias Pettersson on playing seven of next eight on home ice: “We’ve been on the road lots. So we’re excited to be home and play here for a bit now. Hopefully we can come up with a good homestand record now and obviously a win tomorrow. We don’t get much practice time so every chance we get to work on our details I think it’s very important because we haven’t had many practices with the schedule we’ve had.”
JT Miller on his last second scoring chance in San Jose that would have tied Saturday’s game: “I was made that I didn’t do something else with it, honestly. It wasn’t even close. You can always go back and hit the pause button and see what you could have done. I just wish I had a little more patience in a moment like that because that was a dream bounce in that circumstance.”
What did he wish he would have done differently? “Anything.”

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