Scenes from morning skate: Podkolzin moves to Horvat and Boeser line as Canucks start road trip against Rangers
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
There’s nothing quite like New York City in the winter. But unlike Manhattan’s chilly Februarys, the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers are both entering tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden pretty hot.
Vancouver is coming off their best game of the season, a 7-1 drubbing of the Pacific-leading Calgary Flames, while the Rangers have won six of their last ten. New York is currently sitting third in the heavily contested Metropolitan Division, sitting just four points back of the Hurricanes for the division lead.
When these teams last met at Rogers Arena back in October, the Canucks were in a very different place as an organization. But that didn’t stop J.T. Miller (who’ll be under a watchful eye tonight) from netting the overtime winner in a 3-2 game.
Can the Canucks build off an emotional win against Calgary and start their Eastern road trip off right?
Show me the line rushes!
With Jason Dickinson out of the lineup after sustaining an injury against the Flames, Bruce Boudreau made some interesting line shuffles at practice yesterday.
Alex Chiasson will slot onto Elias Pettersson’s right wing, with Nils Höglander moving across to the left. Vasily Podkolzin will take over Dickinson’s left wing spot alongside Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, a pretty major assignment for the 20-year-old.
Thatcher Demko will face stiff competition from the Rangers’ quick and talented attack tonight, but one key lineup change could make all the difference; Igor Shesterkin, New York’s own Vezina calibre goaltender, will likely be riding the bench behind Alex Georgiev. Shesterkin played yesterday in the Rangers’ 1-0 loss against the Penguins, stopping 25 Pittsburgh shots.
What Was Said
Bruce Boudreau hasn’t coached in the Eastern Conference in quite some time, but he’s plenty familiar with the likes of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Yesterday Boudreau spoke about what the Canucks need to do in order to compete with the Rangers, and how big the challenge is.
“They’re a 70-plus point club, and there’s not too many of them in the league. They’ve got firepower that not an awful lot of teams can match on both the back end and the front end,” Boudreau said.
“I think the key to us is the first period. If we can keep teams close in the first period, we usually have a lot of success.”
Boudreau also talked about his experience coaching in Madison Square Garden and how fun being part of a hockey game in New York City is.
“I’ve had some pretty good spats with the Garden fans in the past, but it’s it’s a great place,” Boudreau said. “Let’s face it, it’s the heart of the world when it comes to sporting events so it’s always exciting. And there’s been some good times and some bad times here, hopefully [today] is a good time.”
Bo Horvat echoed his coach’s sentiments about playing in “The World’s Most Famous Arena”.
I always love coming to the city, it’s one of my favourites. And obviously playing at MSG is always special,” Horvat said.
Horvat also talked about the key aspects that earned the Canucks their huge win over the Flames on Thursday, and how it can roll over to tonight.
“When our special teams are good and we got all four lines rolling, I think we have a really good hockey team,” Horvat said.
“It’s just a matter of doing it consistently.”
Puck drop from Madison Square Garden is slated for 4:30 PM Pacific, with TV coverage on Sportsnet Pacific.
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