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Scenes from practice: Status quo for Canucks as Tocchet sticks with winning lineup ahead of Game 4

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Photo credit:© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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NASHVILLE – Based on a quick practice on Saturday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks look like they’ll go with the same lineup in Game 4 on Sunday that they used to grind out a 2-1 win in Game 3 on Friday night.

What we saw

With the Nashville marathon clogging the streets around Bridgestone Arena on Saturday morning, both teams elected to avoid the congestion and pushed their practices into the early afternoon. The Predators skated first followed by the Canucks.
It was status quo for Rick Tocchet’s team as the coach ran his players through a brisk 30 minute skate. It was all hands on deck with 14 forwards, eight defencemen and three goalies taking part. 
The Canucks started practice with some up-tempo rush drills followed by a little bit of line work. Rick Tocchet deferred to skills coach Yogi Svejkovsky to conduct most of the drills through the session.
Prior to the start of the formal part of practice, captain Quinn Hughes engaged in a lengthy discussion with assistant coach Adam Foote. 
Just before the team broke off into drills, Elias Pettersson worked on one-timers with assistant coach Sergei Gonchar.
With a 4pm local time start for Game 4 on Sunday, neither team will take to the ice until warm-up prior to puck drop. Rick Tocchet is expected to meet with the media on Sunday afternoon at which time his lineup should be finalized.

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on Brock Boeser getting the hang of playoff hockey: “I really liked his game yesterday. I think he’s gradually seeing what playoff hockey is all about. I thought yesterday he was one of our better players positionally. Obviously getting that goal in that area and screening the goalie for Millsy. He was an impact player for us last night.”
Tocchet on Ian Cole leading Canucks with five shot blocks on Friday night: “He eats three pucks – one in the head, one in the shoulder, one in the collar bone. I’ve seen Coler do that when we won the Stanley Cup (in Pittsburgh). That’s why we went and got him for games like that. That’s a lot of courage of him blocking those shots. Those were point blankers. When he blocked those, there was a lot of juice on that PK. And I think Coler provided that.”
Teddy Blueger on Canucks being held to just 12 shots on Friday night: “We defended hard. Obviously, offensively, we’d like to have the puck more. That’s something we have to learn and get a little bit better at when we have the lead in the third not to back off as much and play too cautious and keep forechecking and keep trying to make plays when they’re there. Obviously you have to be smart. But you have to be happy with a win. It’s a big game for us and the win’s the most important thing.”
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