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Scenes from morning skate: Elias Pettersson takes morning skate as Canucks shake up PP units vs Coyotes

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
9 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks are back at home today to take on Loui Eriksson and the Arizona Coyotes.
Or is it Jay Beagle and the Arizona Coyotes?
Maybe Antoine Roussel?
Regardless, here’s what we saw from morning skate at Rogers Arena this morning.

Line rushes and notes

  • After missing practice yesterday with a non-COVID-related illness, Elias Pettersson was back on the ice today and is expected to play tonight against the Coyotes. Yesterday, Boudreau said he was “hopeful” that Pettersson would be able to return today.
  • Tucker Poolman, who was out with what the club described as a “non-COVID-related illness”, has been suffering from headaches and migraines, according to head coach Bruce Boudreau. He’ll see a specialist soon and hopefully begin training in the coming days.
  • Travis Hamonic skated today. The club is hopeful that the veteran defenceman will return sometime next week.
  • Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Höglander, who both saw time in the press box as healthy scratches prior to the All-Star break, appear as though they’ll both slot in tonight, flanking Elias Pettersson.
  • Matthew Highmore has been added to COVID protocols and will be out of the lineup tonight
  • The Canucks also debuted some new — or I suppose old — look power play units. Most notably, power play one is back to having four forwards and one defenceman on it. In the games leading up to the All-Star break, the Canucks were rolling with two defencemen.
  • Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, and Antoine Roussel make their return to Rogers Arena tonight.

What was said

Head coach Bruce Boudreau talked about Conor Garland and the rest of the forwards’ point production not being there as of late as Garland gets set to face his former team.
“They all want to score, but they’re playing way more responsibly,” said Boudreau. “So as long as he continues to play well and we keep winning, I’m not going to be worried about it. If you start losing a lot of games and your production is down, then you start worrying about it, but they’re all playing well. They’re all working hard to work on the defensive part of the game as well, and they’re getting chances, but they’re not putting them in. But as long as we can continue winning I’m not going to worry about his production.”
Boudreau also talked about Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s new role on PP1 in the absence of Quinn Hughes.
“He played that position all the time in Arizona and was one of the best,” said Boudreau. “I mean, he’s here for a while we want him to understand that he is one of the best we got. I don’t expect anything different from him except for him to be him. He’s gonna get more opportunities to get offensive numbers because everybody seems to think that unless you get the offensive numbers you’re not playing well, and he’s been playing really good, but he’s going to be in that spot right now until Quinn Hughes gets back.”
Chris Faber joined me at Rogers Arena to preview the game tonight and talk about Jack Rathbone’s five-point night yesterday in Abbotsford as well.

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