Scenes from practice: Boeser leaves early; Hronek given day off as Canucks prepare for 3-game road trip

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
3 months ago
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Brock Boeser leaving halfway through Vancouver Canucks practice on Monday morning at Rogers Arena was no April Fool’s joke. And it certainly won’t be a laughing matter if the Canucks are forced to open a three-game road trip without their leading goal scorer on Tuesday in Las Vegas. Without Boeser, the Canucks continued on for a brief 35 minute workout before jumping on the team charter for Sin City.

What we saw

Officially, Boeser was told by Rick Tocchet to take the day off to rest. However, it’s worth noting that Boeser began practice with a lengthy conversation with the team’s training staff at the bench. He was not available to the media after today’s practice because he was receiving treatment. It’s worth noting he was also unavailable to speak to the media following Sunday’s 3-2 win over Anaheim because he was receiving treatment. So it seems clear that while Boeser was able to play – and score his 38th goal of the season against the Ducks – he is clearly not 100%.
Following practice, Rick Tocchet said it was maintenance for Boeser and wanted the player to have a rest so that he’d be ready to go on Tuesday against the Golden Knights. Defenceman Filip Hronek was also given Monday off, but he, too, is expected to be in uniform on Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena.
With Boeser’s day prematurely done, Arshdeep Bains stepped into his role on right wing with Elias Pettersson and Nils Höglander. Sam Lafferty took a couple of turns in that spot as well. 
Elias Lindholm was once again absent from practice and has now missed a full week’s worth of action since last playing on March 23rd against Calgary. Lindholm has been skating on his own every day according to the coach and is accompanying the team on the road trip.
Without Hronek, the Canucks rotated defencemen through today’s drills. Rick Tocchet confirmed Nikita Zadorov will return to the line-up on Tuesday after being a healthy scratch on Sunday afternoon. The coach, however, wouldn’t reveal who would sit out to make room for Zadorov.
And Rick Tocchet provided an update – of sorts – on Thatcher Demko who has been out since March 9th with a knee injury. The coach says the hockey club is pleased with Demko’s recovery. He pledged that Demko will return in time to make a couple of starts before the end of the regular season. 

What was said

Rick Tocchet on Boeser leaving practice: “It was more of a maintenance day. He hasn’t taken a practice off. There’s nothing really major wrong with him. I just felt he should get off the ice and be ready for tomorrow. He wanted to stay and practice, but I think he needed a maintenance day.”
Tocchet on Thatcher Demko’s progress: ‘Whether he’s on time or ahead of schedule, he’s doing really well. What we’re doing with him, Thatcher’s excited with what’s going on. I can’t give you an exact date or exact game, but he’s going to get some games before the season ends. So that’s a positive.”
Has Demko skated yet? “He’s done a couple of things. But he hasn’t been (out) with his pads on.”
Tocchet on going into Vegas and Los Angeles on this trip and having games in Edmonton and in Winnipeg remaining on the schedule: “I’m glad we’re playing these teams. I’m not going to disrespect non-playoff teams, but I’d rather play these guys. These are good buildings to go into. It’s good for some of these guys to see and play in these situational games. It’s big for us.”
Tyler Myers on fending off Edmonton to clinch top spot in the Pacific Division: “I don’t really think about the Oilers much. You look at the standings, they seem to be playing very well. I haven’t seen any specifics. It’s just one of the things to play for. Getting first in the Pacific would be a great accomplishment for us. These last eight games we’re playing some good teams — a lot of Pacific games — and we want to make sure we’re getting our game were it needs to get to.”
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