While some might say it’s too early for a team to be in “must-win” territory, the Canucks’ practice at Capital One Arena today would imply otherwise.
After opening the season with an 0-2 start thanks to two blown leads, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau has elected to completely juggle his forward lines ahead of their game against the Washington Capitals in an effort to get the team going offensively. While a few player combos remain intact, The Athletic’s Harman Dayal reported some key differences, particularly in the team’s top six.
Perhaps most notably, Vasily Podkolzin and Conor Garland have been moved up to J.T. Miller’s wings after the Miller-Boeser-Pearson line struggled desperately at both ends of the ice. Boeser and Pearson are now paired with Bo Horvat, while Nils Höglander moves to the fourth with Nils Åman and Dakota Joshua.
Advertisement
Ad
Curtis Lazar and Ilya Mikheyev took turns rotating on the Elias Pettersson and Andrey Kuzmenko line, which has arguably been the Canucks’ most productive combo thus far. Mikheyev’s return to the lineup is still up in the air, but we’ll likely see him before the Canucks’ five-game road trip wraps up in Seattle.
The move to keep a few partnerships together seems to imply that the coaching staff still feels strongly about the chemistry they expect the team is capable of. But the execution is where most of their concerns lie.
After running line rushes, Boudreau put the team through its paces, running a hard bag skate to finish practice. For a coach like Boudreau, it sends a clear message about his displeasure with their start and how he hopes to see a better 60-minute effort tomorrow against the Capitals.
Advertisement
Ad
The Canucks’ Twitter account posted a few clips from their hard practice on social media today. The Canucks take on the 1-2 Capitals on Monday at 4 p.m. Pacific.