Scenes from morning skate: Anthony Beauvillier moves up to Elias Pettersson’s line for first home preseason game
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Dave Hall2 months ago
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It’s Truth and Reconciliation Day and The Vancouver Canucks find themselves back at Rogers Arena for their first home game of the preseason, as they look to seek redemption against the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks dropped a 2-1 decision in Edmonton earlier in the week and are hoping to earn their first win of the preseason, after dropping all three in their first stretch of games.
Head Coach, Rick Tocchet had been vocal about his lineup strategy heading into camp, and given his morning line rushes, he appears to be right on track. After mixing things in previous match-ups with players hoping to earn roster spots, he is expected to dress an NHL-heavy lineup tonight.
With just two goals thus far, the Canucks’ offence has been nothing short of disappointing, but bringing in their heavy hitters all in one game should inject some excitement for fans on a Saturday night in Vancouver.
What we saw
As mentioned, the Canucks will be icing a group that should closely resemble their opening night roster. After getting some looks with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko early on, Nils Höglander looks to be dropping to the third line, while Anthony Beauvillier is set to be his replacement.
Phil Di Giuseppe sticks with Miller and Boeser, which seems to be a line that Rick Tocchet has enjoyed out of the gate.
Keep an eye out for Teddy Blueger, who impressed during his first outing in a Canucks uniform in their previous match against the Oilers. He’s expected to center the fourth line, in between Nils Aman and Jack Studnicka.
The battle for that sixth and final defensive spot continues, and Cole McWard appears to be getting every opportunity to grab it. For the second time in this preseason, he is expected to be getting his shot with the newly appointed captain, Quinn Hughes. Rick Tocchet spoke highly of the 22-year-old and wants to get him as many looks as possible (see below).
Here’s what we expect for tonight’s roster:
One thing to keep an eye on is the secondary powerplay unit. With Hoglander in the line-up, most assumed he would slot in to patrol PP2. However, it looks like Jack Studnicka will be getting a sniff to showcase himself tonight. In his post-skate comments, Rick Tocchet mentioned that he needed a right-shot guy, and wanted to “see what he’s got”. Studnicka has had an impressive training camp and looks to be getting rewarded.
What was said
Anthony Beauvillier spoke to the media today and was asked about the opportunity to skate on the Pettersson line.
“Yeah, it’s great,” said Beavillier. “Every time you get the chance to play with Petey and Kuzey, I mean, they are two obviously world-class players and can make plays at any time, and just their talent and how effective they are and the ice. It’s always a privilege to play with guys like that, and [I] just got to keep it simple”.
When asked if he reads into where the coaches slot players in during the preseason.
“We have a lot of depth on this team. So whoever you play with [you] try to make the best out of it. But it’s good. ” Beavillier mentioned, “You don’t really read into his training camp, as they’re trying a bunch of different things, and I’m just trying to worry about what I’m doing to do on the ice”
Beauvillier was asked about working on board battles and playing hard during training camp.
“Yeah, I think we just got to support each other a little bit better. Stay tight and stay connected, and I think from the game I played, I think we’re a little bit too far away from each other. [We] just got to win some battles from two-on-ones and, well, battles are important.”
Rick Tocchet spoke to the media as well and was asked about the opportunity to be back at home in front of the home crowd.
“It’s something that I think the guys needed,” said Tocchet. “Being back in Vancouver, getting our home fans in the building, and getting used to this stuff. I think it’s something we need. It’s kind of fun, and it’s a good time for us to come back and play a home game”.
When asked if he has seen progress as training and preseason have gone on.
“I’ve seen a lot of effort”. He said,” When you have a disconnected lineup, sometimes you get new guys that don’t know the system. So, sometimes when you have a mix, you’ll see some system breakdowns, and I’m okay with that. It’s just the little things – wall work, being above a guy, and your neutrals. Little things like that.”
Tocchet was also asked about the battle for that final defensive spot and his thoughts on Cole McWard being paired with Quinn Hughes.
“Yeah, I really liked his game in Edmonton. Very poised.”. Tocchet said, “Playing against McDavid and Draisaitl is a heavy feat. Now listen, it’s not like they were going a million miles out there, but they’re still the best player in the league and I think he handled himself well. I think he needs a little bit of a runway here”. He alluded to McWard and if he could make the team, “I am not saying it’s going to happen, and we have backup plans if it doesn’t. There are some other guys that we can put in there, and we got some veteran guys that we acquired, and they might have to fill the vid, too. ”
Finally, Tocchet touched on Quinn Hughes and if there is more to give in the goal department.
“Well, I can tell you his shot is about 10-20 miles harder”. Tocchet said, “He has worked on his game all summer and you can tell. His movements on the blue line have always been elite, and I think there are about three other plays that he’s worked on. He’s incredible on the blue line.” He mentioned, after describing Quinn’s goal in Edmonton, “I want him to take that shot.” He said. “If he takes that shot more often, he’s going to score goals. I’m not really worried about him, just as long as he shoots the puck.” He said, “I want him to have that shooting mentality. His shot is sneaky good, and he worked on it in the summer a lot. ”
Puck drop is scheduled a bit earlier than we typically see for a Saturday night Canucks game. Game time is 6 p.m. at Rogers Arena and the game will be available on Sportsnet.
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