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Scenes from skate: Tyler Myers down to the third pair as Canucks look for “businesslike” win in Nashville

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Photo credit:© Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 months ago
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If we had told you that the Vancouver Canucks would finish their first road trip of the year with a record of either 3-3 or 4-2, you’d be pretty happy.
Given that the club was winless through their first seven games last season, this start is just about as good as anybody could have hoped for. Tonight’s game obviously matters, and 4-2 certainly looks better than 3-3, but no matter what happens tonight, the Canucks’ first two weeks of the season can only be described as successful.
While the club tried to downplay just how important getting off to a good start was, we all knew it. We were all here last year, and we saw what last year’s start did to this team’s playoff hopes. It’s been better this year, and it continues tonight.
Here’s what went down at morning skate in Nashville!

Line Rushes

-Tyler Myers was the low-minute man for the Canucks on Saturday night, and tonight’s lineup will reflect that deployment a bit better. Myers has been demoted to the third pairing alongside Carson Soucy, with Mark Friedman moving up to the top four to play with Ian Cole. Somebody check on Ethan Bear’s status, please.
-The PB and J line, featuring the fastest Canuck this season Phil Di Giuseppe on the wing opposite Brock Boeser with JT Miller down the middle, remains intact. This has unequivocally been the Canucks’ best line this season.
-Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko, and Ilya Mikheyev were one of the NHL’s top lines for a good stretch of time last season, and Kuzmenko seemed to come alive last game with Mikheyev back in the lineup. Kuzmenko has had a bit of a slow start to his season following his 39-goal NHL debut campaign, so it will be interesting to see if and how he progresses now that Mikheyev is back on his line.
-Thatcher Demko is back in goal tonight, as both Canucks goaltenders look to keep the good times rolling in the opening part of the season.

What was said

Head coach Rick Tocchet talked about getting Nils Höglander back in the lineup in place of Jack Studnicka.
“I don’t want him to be on the shelf for too long, and it’s not a punishment for Studsy, he’s just got to stay with it. We’ve got a couple of guys with the competition that I want to get in there, need some energy in there, get Laff back at centre… Sometimes competition breeds more tenacity on the ice.”
Tocchet also touched on Mark Friedman bumping Tyler Myers out of the top four, and attributed it more to Soucy looking solid and wanting to get him some more reps with the Canucks’ “by committee” defence rollout. We’ll see how the team deploys their pairings tonight, but would be willing to guess Myers comes up near the bottom of total ice time once again.
On tonight’s game, Tocchet said he expects his group to have a “business-like” approach as they close out the road trip following two days off in which the team got some time for some off-ice bonding.
“If we can win and execute these breakouts, we are going to get some chances. We have to have a speed game against their speed game, too… For me, the best team in the league is obviously Vegas because they know how to keep the puck in the other team’s end. Very rarely do they lose puck possession and I think if we can get in that model, that mode of holding onto pucks, not one and done type of thing, that’s kind of how you equalize those fast teams.”
Puck drop is at 6:15 PM Pacific tonight as the NHL rolls out their own version of NFL Redzone with all 32 teams in action today on ESPN’s Frozen Frenzy!

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