Scenes from morning skate: Christian Wolanin draws into the lineup and Arturs Silovs starts vs. Flyers
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber9 months ago
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The Vancouver Canucks are looking like a much different team than they were back in October when the season began.
Tonight’s game screams that this team is going through a transition and should probably get those aboard Team Tank pretty excited. Even if the team is hosting the 25th ranked Philadelphia Flyers.
There was a lot of news to get to, so let’s just dive right in to that before we get to what we saw and what we heard.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Thatcher Demko, and Curtis Lazar were all absent from the morning skate.
Head Coach Rick Tocchet said that Ekman-Larsson is going to be out for some weeks due to an ankle sprain.
As for Demko, Tocchet called today a maintenance day even though there was a report about Demko suffering a setback on Thursday. Demko has been out for 10 weeks and told us earlier in the week that barring any setbacks, he was hoping to backup tonight against the Flyers.
Tocchet called Lazar day-to-day with his lower-body injury.
What we saw
Let’s kick things off with the lines.
Phil Di Giuseppe continues to skate on a top-six line, playing the left wing with J.T. Miller at centre, and Brock Boeser on the right wing. PDG spoke about the opportunity that he is getting right now, and we will get to that in the what was said section.
Christian Wolanin was called up on Saturday morning with Travis Dermott heading to IR.
Wolanin hopped right into the line rushes with Luke Schenn as his partner. Wolanin also saw time on the second power play unit.
As for your starter, it looks like Arturs Silovs will be back between the pipes for the Canucks.
He got “the talk” from goaltending coach Ian Clark before the morning skate concluded. Silovs was also the first goalie off the ice and that typically indicates who the starter will be.
Will Lockwood continues to skate in a non-contact jersey. He was putting in some extra work with the skills coach and looked to be skating at a good pace. The worry for Lockwood’s return comes from his head injury. He is going to need to get up to speed in practice before getting another shot in the lineup and as goes for every player on this roster — nobody should be getting rushed into the lineup.
What was said
Di Giuseppe spoke about the opportunity to play in the top-six.
“I know my role on that line,” said Di Giuseppe. “Just try to play to my strengths and get these guys pucks and let them make plays. [I’ve got to] just get on the forecheck, open up some ice for them, and skate for those guys. I’m hungry. Obviously, it’s been a while to get this opportunity. I’m just trying to relish it and make the best out of it.”
Nils Aman spoke about developing his game in the AHL.
“I was trying to go down to Abbotsford and develop my offensive game and trying to build on that,” said Aman. “I think I’ve been a little bit better once since I come back. I still need to develop that game. Confidence is a big thing, but also be trying to be strong on the puck and try to make plays and stuff like that. So, a little bit on confidence and much more too.”
Wolanin spoke about getting back to the NHL.
“It’s been a fun year down in Abbotsford but obviously the end goal is always to be up here and playing up here,” said Wolanin. “So it’s really good to be back. Playing 20 minutes [a night in the AHL], you’re not going to be only relied on for points, you’ve got to be solid defensively and you’ve got to do the little things that it takes to be successful as a group. Having the repetition and having the opportunity to play so much, it’s just been a lot of fun to get back into that rhythm and hopefully can keep it going.”
Tocchet spoke quickly about Wolanin and his expectations for tonight.
“He’s second in the AHL for points, he can run the second power play unit, puck-moving defenceman,” said Tocchet. “We will see what he’s got, this is evaluation time to see if he can do some stuff that we’re looking for.”
The Canucks host the Flyers at 7:00 and be sure to tune in after the game as Elias Pettersson is joining Scott Oake on After Hours.
Keep it locked on CanucksArmy for the instant reaction to the game, The Stanchies, and the Statsies the morning after.
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