Photo credit:© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Scenes from morning skate: Martin starts, Thatcher Demko practices with Canucks teammates
1 year ago
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Fresh off of the heels of their best loss of the season against the powerhouse New Jersey Devils, the Vancouver Canucks are back in action tonight to take on the New York Rangers from the historic Madison Square Garden.
But first, let’s reflect on Monday night’s loss a bit. When Rick Tocchet was hired, both Tocchet and management talked about how this team wouldn’t be a quick fix, but made it clear that the rest of this season was going to spent developing players, implementing systems, and ultimately, setting a new standard for how the Vancouver Canucks are going to play.
Of course, by doing things such as rolling all four lines and limiting the ice time of the Canucks’ top guns, there are going to be more losses along the way, but right now, nobody is going to be complaining about that — especially if more entertaining games like the one we saw on Monday night are in store.
As Tocchet said recently, he’s more concerned with the process than the result, and that’s a breath of fresh air for Canucks fans. That means that from top to bottom, the Canucks as an organization have at least recognized that what they have right now isn’t good enough, and that in addition to their roster, the organization’s culture needs to be retooled.
It’s why the reins have been passed over to the likes of Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes in the leadership group following captain Bo Horvat’s departure to Long Island. And ultimately, watching this team evaluate itself and put a focus on the future is entertaining to watch in its own right.
And with that, let’s preview tonight’s game against the Rangers.
Tocchet said pregame that the Canucks will be going with the same lineup as they did in New Jersey, so we can expect the lines to look like this tonight:
Spencer Martin will get the start in goal tonight, as Tocchet said that he’s relying on goaltending coach Ian Clark to help him select the starters until Thatcher Demko returns. Speaking of which…
Thatcher Demko was on the ice yesterday and took part in practice with his team. Tocchet didn’t reveal when Demko would be eligible to return to game action, but the fact that he’s on the ice and practicing with full movement is certainly a good sign. Just look at that crease movement!
It wasn’t a full practice for Demko, as he apparently faced minimal shots for ten minutes during yesterday’s practice. It seems like Demko is a week away from returning, at the very least. In the meantime, Martin and Collin Delia will hold down the fort as the Canucks are clearly exercising extreme caution with Demko before allowing him to return to the crease.
What was said
Anthony Beauvillier talked about getting through the first days since the trade, and how he’s getting a bit more comfortable being a Canuck.
“Definitely feel a little better now, it feels more normal,” said Beauvillier. “Just to have a couple skates and a game and try to get to know everyone at the same time, it definitely feels more normal for sure. At the start, obviously mixed emotions, you’re leaving a group obviously that I really liked. Getting a chance to play in Vancouver with a group of guys that are really skilled, young, and have a bright future is really exciting. Like I said, mixed emotions, but at the same time, right now it feels like I’m at the right place. I obviously want to be here and want to do well here. It’s been a crazy week for sure, but I’m happy to be here and happy to feel more comfortable here.”
Rick Tocchet spoke about how he feels his Canucks tenure has gone so far.
“It’s been good,” said Tocchet. “I’ve been here two weeks and there’s things you want to change, but you’ve got to be careful. I just like the attitude, like we’re trying to change the way we play and I’ve seen some really good steps on changing the way we’re playing.
“The situation we’re in — I don’t know when the trade deadline is, six weeks — you’re just managing, talking to players, making sure their heads in the right place because, there’s a lot of — I call it noise, and that’s what happens around this time. So it’s really important that you’re a pro and you stick with it and stay focused. And that’s what we’re trying to do here and manage that noise around the trade deadline.”
Puck drop between the Rangers and Canucks is at 5 PM Pacific tonight.
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