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Scenes from Canucks skate: Pettersson will play, Friedman a gametime decision vs. Lightning

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Photo credit:© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 months ago
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It’s officially the Vancouver Canucks’ first chance of the season to avoid losing back-to-back games.
During Tuesday night’s soft 2-0 shutout loss at the hands of the lowly Philadelphia Flyers, Canucks fans saw plenty of the bad habits and overall disastrous play that has plagued this team for the last number of years rear its ugly head.
Head coach Rick Tocchet was incredibly displeased with his club’s performance in that game, and rightfully so. All the good things and overall hard work we saw from the team in their first two games of the season against the Edmonton Oilers seemingly disappeared on Tuesday night, and as we know, this team is in no shape to be taking nights off like that.
Tonight, they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have started their season by winning their home opener vs. Nashville, then dropping every game on their three-game road trip against Detroit, Ottawa, and Buffalo.
Steven Stamkos has dressed for just two of Tampa Bay’s four games, and returns to the lineup tonight. Having dropped their last three and returning home tonight, there’s no doubt that the Lightning will be coming out strong tonight.

What to expect

As you read yesterday, Elias Pettersson was “a bit banged up” and was absent from practice. Tocchet said at the time that Pettersson likely wouldn’t miss tonight’s game, and during this morning’s well-attended optional skate in Tampa Bay, Pettersson was among the 14 players on the ice, per Thomas Drance.
As Drance pointed out, Thatcher Demko wasn’t on the ice, but Tocchet confirmed after the skate that Demko will be the Canucks’ starter tonight. Tocchet also said that newly acquired Mark Friedman would be a gametime decision because the Canucks are still getting him up to speed with systems and whatnot. Yes, that means that there’s a chance we see another night of Noah Juulsen and Tyler Myers in the Canucks’ lineup.
Speaking of Rick Tocchet…

What was said

Head coach Rick Tocchet spoke about building good habits and his players buying into what the coaching staff is selling.
“Yeah, I think the guys have bought in right from camp on how we want to play, try to create an identity. You’re going to have your ups and downs trying to create an identity, right? But I think so far, the guys have bought in and understand what we want from them, now it’s about being consistent in those staples.
“There was a lot of dialogue today. I thought yesterday’s practice was pretty good, and we had a meeting. We had to address some things even though it’s early on. I liked the fact that there was a lot of banter, a lot of great stuff. I saw three lines go together with the computer themselves, going over stuff. I like that stuff. Sometimes as coaches, you’ve got to stay out of their way, we can’t always be in their face. Especially now, I think I’ve got to stay away a little bit and let them navigate certain things.”
Despite the Lightning missing star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, they’re still going to be a hungry group and a tough test for the Canucks as they look to avoid falling in back-to-back games. Coverage starts at 4 PM Pacific Time tonight from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida!

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