Scenes from morning skate: Martin starts, Rathbone’s “good chance”, and Boudreau responds to Rutherford’s criticism

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
Welcome to scenes from morning skate brought to you by NHL odds site Betway!
Ahead of their Tuesday afternoon matchup with the Ottawa Senators, the Vancouver Canucks held an optional morning skate in the nation’s capital.
The Canucks are coming off of blowing yet another multi-goal lead in the third period of a game, and will look to get back on track against the Sens, who currently sit dead last in the Atlantic with just four wins on the season.
As always, here’s what we saw (on Twitter because we didn’t make the trip out to Ottawa) from morning skate.

Line Rushes

According to Thomas Drance of The Athletic, the Canucks skated with the same lines they used at Monday’s practice but with Dries and Höglander in place of Mikheyev and Kuzmenko, who were absent from the optional skate.
Those lines looked like this:
  • Despite the lines reportedly staying the same — most notably with Riley Stillman skating on the third pair with Tyler Myers — Boudreau said there’s a “good chance” that Jack Rathbone gets in tonight. One would assume that would be in place of Stillman, but we’ll have to wait until game time to know for sure.
  • Brock Boeser makes his return to the lineup tonight after missing time due to the scar on his wrist opening up again. He’s expected to skate on a line with Tanner Pearson and J.T. Miller, who makes his return to the centre position.
  • Nils Höglander appears to be the odd man out tonight as Vasily Podkolzin slots back into the lineup.
  • Spencer Martin will start in goal, indicating that Thatcher Demko will get the start against the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night.


What was said

Unsurprisingly, Bruce Boudreau was asked about the criticisms levelled by team president Jim Rutherford yesterday against his team’s “structure”.
“Listen I’m not going to get into an argument over whether we do or whether we don’t [play with enough structure],” Boudreau said. “We play as hard as we can, as well as we can, and we lay it all out on the line every night. It is what it is. I try to keep the noise out of the room as much as I can.
“It’s my 47th year and I’ve seen a lot of things. This is just another thing to add to the book I’m never going to write,” Boudreau added.
“Every person wants to prove people wrong when they say things, and I’m a competitive guy at heart, and maybe that’s the message — prove that it’s not a true statement.”
Canucks captain Bo Horvat was also asked to weigh in on Rutherford’s comments, and had this to say.
“I don’t know what was said, I’m just trying to lead by example off of the ice and on the ice,” Horvat said. “I think our details are stronger this year, after a full training camp with Bruce and having more familiarity with his systems.”
Among his comments yesterday, Rutherford directly criticized the Canucks’ training camp, and clarified what he meant by that when he spoke with Postmedia’s Patrick Johnston.
“You saw the games and the practices,” Rutherford said. “Not enough extra drive and tempo to prepare for a five-game road trip. And have a structure to make it easier for the players to play in all situations.”
The Canucks will get their first chance to prove their team president wrong tonight against the Senators. Puck drop is at 4 PM Pacific.

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