Scenes from morning skate: Tocchet talks about the “long-term” process with Andrei Kuzmenko

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber
1 year ago
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One thing we’ve learned in the Rick Tocchet era is that he is not the biggest fan of morning skates.
The Vancouver Canucks didn’t take to the ice on Monday morning ahead of their game against the Detroit Red Wings. A pregame media availability was done but there were some other takeaways from the team early Monday afternoon.
At 11:00 am, the Canucks announced that Spencer Martin was placed on waivers for the purpose of sending him down to the AHL.
Tocchet confirmed to the media that Collin Delia will start in net but Martin will back up. It’s a similar waiver situation to Lane Pederson just a couple of weeks ago.

What we saw

As we mentioned earlier, the Canucks did not have a morning skate on Monday but we did see some line combinations from Sunday’s practice.
It looks like Andrei Kuzmenko may find himself on the outside looking in for the second time this season. It’s still very possible that Kuzmenko is in the lineup for the Cnaucks tonight but it would surely be a story to follow up on if the Canucks’ third-leading goal scorer were to be scratched by the new coach. Kuzmenko has 22 goals and 22 assists through 52 games this season. He has been a strong offensive force all season long but his defensive zone play has been talked about a lot since Tocchet arrived.


What was said

Anthony Beauvillier spoke about playing with Elias Pettersson.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Beauvillier. “I mean, just playing with Petey, [he’s] such a smart player and definitely makes my life a little easier out there. He kills plays defensively and keeps pucks alive offensively. He’s one of the best in the league and I’m very fortunate to play with him.”
Rick Tocchet spoke about Thatcher Demko’s health and when to expect him back in game action.
“He’s getting healthier and healthier, but we need some practices with him,” said Tocchet when asked about Demko. “Our goal is to get three or four more practices with him in before he comes back, but he’s getting close.”
As for the Kuzmenko ice time situation, Tocchet was asked about it on Monday afternoon.
“We’ve got to build a foundation for him,” said Tocchet when asked about Kuzmenko. “He’s a good player, but there are aspects of his game where we want him to get better in the sense of his foundation. He’s a talented guy. It’s a long-term thing with him. It’s not short-term. So this is a process with him. I thought Brock [Boeser] in the last three or four games, he’s produced. [Brock’s] got in there and helped Pettersson out a little bit. To play with Pettersson, you’ve got to have guys that are willing to really get in on the forecheck. You can’t have Pettersson playing 200 feet, forechecking [and] back-checking. I need guys to be able to hold pucks for [Pettersson] and play a two-way game. As much as scoring [as well], don’t get me wrong. That’s my goal with Kuzmenko — is to get him to [that level]. Nobody’s perfect, but he’s a great kid and he wants to learn too.”
The Canucks battle the Red Wings at 7:00 pm at Rogers Arena and we will have you covered during the day if any news breaks as well as full post-game coverage with the instant analysis, The Stanchies, and the Statsies!

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