Scenes from morning skate: More line changes as Curtis Lazar skates with J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat ahead of game against Calgary Flames
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber1 month ago
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The Vancouver Canucks are in Calgary to battle the Flames on Wednesday night.
We once again saw changes to the lineup as this week has seen forward trio and defence pairings mixed up in a blender and rumour has it that Alex Biega was on the Canucks’ top line for about 45 minutes at some point this week.
That’s a joke.
34-year-old Bulldog Biega is busy playing in the AHL, but fun fact: Bulldog has appeared in two games with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season!
The Flames return home after going on a winless three-game road trip that saw a pair of extra-time losses to the Montreal Canadiens and Leafs. They now get set in their home barn as they will look to let their offence burn.
Jonathan Huberdeau has found his scoring touch of late, notching nine points in as many games.
This will be the first matchup of the season between the Canucks and Flames, who will play a total of four games against each other this season — including a game on New Year’s Eve at the end of this month.
Let’s get into what we saw (on Twitter) from the Canucks’ morning skate ahead of their match with the Flames.
What we saw
Well, today’s first-line right winger is Curtis Lazar. Lazar skated alongside J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat at the morning skate and it looks like he’s trending towards riding shotgun with Miller and Horvat. At yesterday’s practice, Jack Studnicka skated in that spot.
Some other notable lineup changes are:
Kyle Burroughs slots into the lineup to play on the third pairing with Tyler Myers.
The third line of Conor Garland, Sheldon Dries, and Brock Boeser has come back together.
Elias Pettersson has his Russians back as Andrei Kuzmenko and Ilya Mikheyev will flank Pettersson’s wings.
With Lazar up on the top line, Jack Studnicka will slide down to play with Dakota Joshua and Nils Aman on what has been a productive fourth line.
Though we saw Quinn Hughes and Ethan Bear skate together at Tuesday’s practice, it looks like Bear will be with Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Hughes will be back with the grizzled veteran, Luke Schenn.
The expectation is that Spencer Martin will start in goal for the Canucks.
What was said
“I’ve got to stay true to myself,” said Lazar when asked about skating with Horvat and Miller. “It might be an increase in minutes, but nothing changes.”
“Laz hasn’t scored in a while and putting him up with players that can, hopefully, he bounces one in and gets a little bit more confidence in his game,” said Boudreau when talking about Lazar getting a chance on the top line. “I just thought that we were practicing a couple of guys that are younger and I didn’t think they were ready for that situation right now.”
The Canucks face the Flames at the Saddledome at 7:00 pm local time tonight. It’s a late start in Calgary for their return to home ice.
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