Scenes from practice: Canucks’ new leadership group want cheers for Bo Horvat in return to Vancouver
3 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks will be without defenceman Carson Soucy ‘week to week’ in the words of head coach Rick Tocchet. Soucy was injured blocking a Juraj Slafkovsky shot in the second period of Sunday’s 5-2 win in Montreal. The big defender left the game and did not return. On the same shift, Soucy’s partner Tyler Myers was shaken up when he locked legs with a Montreal player in the corner deep in his own zone.
Myers was absent from Tuesday’s practice at UBC, but Tocchet believes the big blueliner will be ready to face the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
“Soucy is going to get evaluated again today and we were just precautionary with Myers, but I think he’ll be fine,” Tocchet told the media. “It kind of sucks (for Soucy) because I thought his game the last three or four games he and Mysie had been coming together as a really good pair for us. It sucks, but over 82 games you’re going to get injuries and we’ve been fortunate with the injury bug and that’s where the depth has to come. That’s where Abbotsford comes into play.”
Tocchet explained that the club looked at both Christian Wolanin and Akito Hirose, and that Hirose got the call from the farm because Wolanin is battling through a minor injury. Hirose was one of six defencemen on the ice with the Canucks at practice on Tuesday.
Based on line rushes, Tocchet appears to be keeping the line-up he used in Montreal intact. Nils Höglander was the extra forward and was skated hard by skills coach Yogi Svejkovsky at the end of the session.
The Canucks started Tuesday’s practice with a quick three-on-three small area game moving the nets up to the opposing bluelines. Tocchet said with a compressed schedule in the next two weeks starting with back to back games Wednesday and Thursday, he didn’t want his guys on the ice for too long today. So practice lasted just over 30 minutes.
The session included Daniel and Henrik Sedin overseeing face-off work with Elias Pettersson, Pius Suter and Teddy Blueger all battling on draws in the neutral zone.
Following practice, much of the talk was about Bo Horvat’s return to Vancouver. The Islanders had ice booked at UBC but opted not to use it. So Horvat and his new teammates had a day off following their 4-1 loss in Edmonton. It’s expected Horvat will meet the local media on Wednesday following the Isles morning skate.
Horvat was the focal point of questions for former teammates Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson and JT Miller who were asked about memories of their former captain and the kind of reception he might receive in his return to Rogers Arena:
Hughes: “I think the reaction should be really good. People should welcome him and celebrate him on his return. He put in nine really good years here and was really solid and never complained. He was a great leader. He put in his work and was someone that everyone could go to if they needed to talk to someone. It wasn’t always easy, but he always stepped right in front of it. He should be welcomed and celebrated and hopefully after that we can get two points.”
Petterssson: “First of all, I hope they don’t boo him. He gave it his all in his nine years he played here. He has always been a good teammate. It sucks that he’s not playing with us anymore. He’s always helped me. My first season, my English wasn’t the best, be he was always a guy I could talk to. And a great player, too.”
Miller: “Oh god, I’m not going to dip my toe into that basket. Obviously there were a lot of rumours and stuff, but he was a great teammate, a really great friend and a really good person. At the end of the day, no matter what happens with the response in the rink, I think in the room we all know what kind of guy he is.”
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