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It always means something when a head coach faces his old team.
Tonight, the Washington Capitals, Bruce Boudreau’s former club, will take on Boudreau’s Canucks in a matchup between two teams with nine wins on the season, and who both sit in sixth place of their respective divisions.
The Canucks are on a three-game win streak and have won five of their last six games.
Here’s what we saw at today’s morning skate.

Line Rushes

  • Ilya Mikheyev was absent from morning skate. Jack Studnicka skated in his place on the Pettersson-Kuzmenko line. Bruce Boudreau said that today’s skate was an optional one, and that Mikheyev was the only one that took it. He’ll play tonight.
  • The other lines appear to remain unchanged, right down to Kyle Burroughs staying put on the left side of the third pair alongside Tyler Myers.
  • After a long chat with goaltending coach Ian Clark, Spencer Martin was the first goaltender off the ice this morning. He’s your projected starter tonight. This game will mark Martin’s third start in the past four games, as the team has made it clear they’re going to ride the hot hand of Martin. This feels like the right call until Demko turns it around or until Martin falters.

SCENES FROM MORNING SKATE PRESENTED BY BETWAY

What was said

Elias Pettersson talked about the success of his line — which still remains without a name — which, as we wrote yesterday, is currently the best line in the NHL.
“We’ve been finding each other well so far,” said Pettersson. “I think it just comes down to work ethic, trusting your teammates, and working with each other. If one guy makes a mistake, [the] others back him up. We play with a ton of confidence, but we work a lot.”
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Bruce Boudreau spoke about the thought process behind giving Spencer Martin the start in goal tonight.
“The whole idea is not all of a sudden he [Martin] plays a couple of good games, then give him eight in a row,” said Boudreau. “Spencer’s been really good, but you want to bring it up a little slower for Thatcher. And then the next time, he might start two in a row, and then it’ll gradually get back to where he’s the guy if he continues to play the way he’s been playing. But you can’t deny that Spencer’s been great every time we’ve — touch wood — every time that we’ve put him out there.
“I mean, I don’t know what his overall record is, but I think it’s like one loss in 14 or 15 games. So you can’t just sit there and say because Demer’s our number one guy and our future that we’re going to forget about the guy that’s gotten us into a pretty good position right now.”
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Backed by Spencer Martin, the Canucks will attempt to continue to turn around their season after picking up just two wins in the month of October. Puck drop is at 7 PM tonight from Rogers Arena.