Scenes from morning skate: Beauvillier goes up, McWard goes in, and Demko goes between the pipes

Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber
1 year ago
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The Vancouver Canucks’ 2022-23 season is nearing its conclusion and we do have some movement in the lineup to talk about ahead of tonight’s home game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
It’s going to be a battle of the bottom tonight as the Blackhawks are doing a heck of a job of tanking. They lost eight games in a row before picking up a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday evening.
The Canucks didn’t hold a practice on Thursday morning but we have the lineup changes from Rick Tocchet’s media availability on Thursday morning.
We will see Thatcher Demko between the pipes for the Canucks and Cole McWard will make his NHL debut tonight.
Quinn Hughes is expected to be in the lineup, he was battling an illness that Tocchet called similar to strep throat but also said that the medicine has worked well and that Hughes is ready to go tonight.
Another change to the lineup is Anthony Beauvillier moving up to play with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko.
With all that, let’s get to what we saw and what we heard.


What we saw

As we mentioned earlier, the Canucks didn’t skate on Thursday morning but here are the lines from Wednesday’s skate.
Dakota Joshua will go back into the bottom six, a spot where he has looked very good so far this season.
Expect to see Aidan McDonough back for another game tonight.
The expectation is that either Jack Studnicka or Vitali Kravtsov will be the healthy scratch of the forward group.

What was said

We spoke with Beauvillier and Tocchet this morning.
Beauvillier talked about getting back on Pettersson’s line.
“I just want to get some speed on the line — create battles and win my battles, create some loose pucks for them to make plays,” said Beauvillier. “I’m at my best when I play a simple game and I play fast. So that’s what I’m looking forward to doing with those guys tonight.”
He later had some fun when talking about getting a boost to the group with some NCAA free agent kids joining the team and getting their first taste of the NHL.
“I feel like whenever a new guy or a younger guy comes in the room, you want to make sure they feel comfortable,” said Beauvillier. “You want them to bring their best game. So you want them to feel comfortable. You want them to feel welcome and try to talk to them as much as you can. We have a great group of guys here. Whoever comes in here and has questions or whatever, you want to definitely help him and I think we’ve had some great pickups lately. I mean, seeing these guys skate and the way they play, I think they’re really good players.”
Tocchet gave his thoughts and expectations for McWard in his NHL debut as he has only had one practice before his debut.
“I mean, these guys who are going in the lineup [for their] first NHL game, you gotta be careful how you evaluate [them],” said Tocchet. “But so far, the other two guys have done a nice job in the sense that there’s stuff there to work with. And, just from watching Cole [McWard], just one time, he’s got some good hands I mean, those are good things to start with with the defence. [He’s got] good feet and he’s 6’2″ and 200-something pounds which are nice to have some guys have that weight on them.”
The game is scheduled for 7:00 pm PT tonight. It’s also Country Night at The Rog, so bust out your cowboy boots!

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