Scenes from practice: Canucks roll out new defence pairings; Tocchet may cut ice time if stick penalties don’t stop

Photo credit:© Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month ago
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On Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 4-3 after the Penguins stormed back from a two-goal deficit in the second period. Rick Tocchet was not happy with his group’s carelessness with the puck, and continues to be flabbergasted at the amount of “stupid stick penalties” his team has taken since the All-Star break.
Here’s what went down at today’s Canucks practice.

What we saw

Long story, but a few Twitter users asked me to handwrite today’s lines (a la New Jersey Devils team reporter Amanda Stein). Now, handwriting has never been a strength of mine, but here’s my best effort!
For those of you who can’t read my handwriting (I don’t blame you), the forward lines remain unchanged from last night’s loss, but there was a bit of a shake up to the defence pairings. Noah Juulsen moved up to play alongside Quinn Hughes, while Nikita Zadorov found himself with Filip Hronek. Ian Cole and Tyler Myers, who have spent plenty of time together this season, were reunited.
It will be interesting to see if those pairs stick around for tomorrow’s game against the LA Kings. Here’s what was said after today’s practice.

What was said

Rick Tocchet on stick penalties: “I think we lead the league in penalties since the All-Star break. That’s kind of a concerning thing for me because a lot of it’s the stick… we’ve got to stop the turnovers, things like that. Consistency when it comes to those categories are the stuff we have to get better at if we want to get to the next level. So it’s been addressed, not just from me, I think the players are saying it too, which is a good thing.”
Tocchet on how he can help his team limit their stick penalties: “Well, we practiced today. We had a drill where it’s stuck on a puck. That will help. We might have to start taking ice time from guys who are taking numerous penalties. That’s really how you make your players accountable. And hopefully the player understands that, and changes the technique. You know, you can’t have a loose stick, you can’t have your stick flapping in the air.”
Tocchet also touched on the new-look defence pairings: “I think sometimes you try different things, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be set in stone. But I think sometimes it’s good to throw different things at your group. You know, the one thing that I thought over the last year we’ve cleaned up a lot, but it’s kind of creeped back in, is when we make a mistake, there’s been two or three mistakes after that mistake. It happened on two of the goals. A month ago, that wouldn’t have happened. For some reason, it’s crept back in our game, and you know, that’s .500 hockey teams when you do that. You cannot duplicate triple your mistakes in a play, and it happened twice yesterday. So the players understand that, and then they have to clean that up.”


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