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Scenes from practice: New helmets, a day off for Demko, and a return to Canucks’ regular defensive duos

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Photo credit:X/@Canucks
Jeff Paterson
4 months ago
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Vancouver Canucks fans got the answer they had been waiting for after the club’s social media tease last month that showed the silhouette of a helmet and a promise that ‘something’ was coming in January.
That day arrived as the club took to the ice for a brisk practice at Rogers Arena with the players adorned in blue metallic helmets. And make no mistake, they are metallic, not chrome according to messaging from the hockey club.

What we saw

The Canucks practiced for a grand total of 25 minutes coming off their 2-0 win over Chicago on Monday night. The line combinations remained the same, but the coaching staff reverted to familiar defensive pairings with Quinn Hughes skating alongside Filip Hronek while Nikita Zadorov and Tyler Myers were back together. Ian Cole and Noah Juulsen were paired as they were in the win over the Blackhawks.
Thatcher Demko worked prior to practice with goalie coach Ian Clark and then was given the rest of the session off. Practice netminder Roman Basran joined Casey DeSmith to tend the nets for the remainder of the workout.
Rick Tocchet suggested during his media availability that he’d like to take Basran on the road over the second half of the season to give him the flexibility to give his goalies occasional practice days off. Tocchet also said he’d like to see the organization consider bringing Arturs Silovs up from Abbotsford when both the parent club and minor league teams are at home to allow Thatcher Demko to have some full days out of equipment and off the ice down the stretch.
The Canucks catch a break from the schedule-maker on Tuesday with St. Louis playing in Calgary. The Blues will be here to face the Canucks on Wednesday night.

What we heard

JT Miller asked for his review of the blue metallic helmets: “They’re shiny.”
(Long pause)
Do you like them?
“We wear what we’re told to wear.”
Rick Tocchet on the new look helmets: “I’m not a designer. I’ve got no comment on the helmets.” After a few more questions on the topic: ‘You guys really want to press on this helmet thing (laughs). Another question, please.”
JT Miller on Lotto Line losing some of its mojo lately: “We’re winning games, man. It’s not about us. It’s not about our line. It’s about the team and we have different guys step up at different times. It’s a long season and this stuff happens.”
Rick Tocchet on what Nils Höglander would have to do to get a look at power play time: “Sometimes you have to give guys a little taste. Every one is screaming for him to be a top six forward, he’s not ready for that big role yet. He might be down the road. But right now in his development, we’re on par with what we’re doing with him. It’s stuff like where do you put him on a power play? Is he a half-wall? A lefty-righty thing. Actually we were tinkering with that the other day. Some games, I could probably throw him out there for 25 seconds or whatever. But there is a possibility. But the way he has developed, maybe that development if I put him on there would be a little quicker than I had anticipated and just see if he’s a power play guy.”

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