Welcome to scenes from morning skate brought to you by NHL odds site Betway!
Fresh off ending their Eastern road trip on a high note with their win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks were back practicing at Rogers Arena today.
Some familiar faces rejoined the group today, and questions arose based on the team’s line rushes.
Here’s what we saw at today’s Canucks practice.

Line Rushes

  • Vasily Podkolzin was sporting a full face shield on his helmet after suffering a facial injury after his first career fight against Boston’s AJ Greer on Sunday. The injury kept Podkolzin out of Tuesday’s matchup in Buffalo.
  • The biggest surprise from the line rushes came in the form of Kyle Burroughs skating alongside Jack Rathbone while Riley Stillman slotted back in alongside Tyler Myers. It will be interesting to see how the Canucks line up tomorrow vs. LA, as the decision to take Kyle Burroughs out of the lineup would be downright shocking given the way he’s played.
  • Curtis Lazar also returned to practice, a welcome sight for everyone, especially those hoping to see some improvements to the Canucks’ penalty kill.
  • The Canucks closed out practice with a breakaway drill, and weren’t allowed to leave until everyone but one player scored. It came down to Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Vasily Podkolzin as the last two, with Podkolzin sealing the deal with a slick backhand move to beat Spencer Martin.

SCENES FROM MORNING SKATE PRESENTED BY BETWAY

What was said

Vasily Podkolzin’s wife wasn’t too impressed by him coming home from the road trip sporting a black eye.
“She said ‘you idiot’,” Podkolzin told reporters when asked what his wife thought about his injury. “She’s probably right.”
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“I’m great,” Podkolzin said. “Happy to be back, feel good. It just happened, but that’s hockey, that’s life, it happens sometimes. Everything’s good, I’m glad I didn’t get an injury, just a couple of stitches. It wasn’t easy but that’s NHL experience. I’m a young player, I’m not winning most of these battles [fights] but again, it’s hockey, it happens, and everything is good.”
Podkolzin added that he “hates” his full face shield, and hopes that it’s off after Friday night’s game against the Kings.
For those wondering, we’re told Podkolzin’s eye looked a lot worse just a few days ago.
Curtis Lazar is looking forward to returning to the lineup, and said that he’s ready to get first line minutes and go out with the first power play unit. “Why’s that funny?” Lazar asked with a laugh.
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“I think playing predictable is something we all have to buy into here,” Lazar said about his opportunity to play with Brock Boeser and Vasily Podkolzin as his wingers. “You’ve got Boes who can shoot the puck, so you want to get him looks. You’ve got Podz as well, he works hard all over the ice. If we play with structure, we’re going to get those looks offensively.”
Lazar hasn’t played a game since the Canucks’ October 24th matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes and is expected to slot back into the lineup tomorrow night when the Canucks take on the Kings.