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[Article] Tocchet raves about Canucks leadership group & approach to practice ahead of weekend games against Blues and Rangers


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Tocchet raves about Canucks leadership group & approach to practice ahead of weekend games against Blues and Rangers


Coach called Thursday one of team's best practices of the season.


Jeff Paterson

3 Hours Ago


Things are going well for the Vancouver Canucks in the early going this season. And not just in the games where the Canucks have won four of their first six outings. The solid showings include practice where the head coach is heaping high praise on his players for their between game habits. 

Rick Tocchet gave the Canucks leadership group -- captain Quinn Hughes and alternates JT Miller and Elias Pettersson -- credit for setting the tone for a spirited 40-minute session at Rogers Arena on Thursday.


After a travel day home from Nashville on Wednesday, the Canucks were back on the ice preparing for a busy weekend that includes back to back games against St. Louis and the New York Rangers.


"It was one of our best practices, I thought the energy level was great," Tocchet beamed when he met the media. "Love the leadership group. I think they knew that they wanted to have an energized practice going into a back to back."


The Canucks have not played a home game since demolishing Edmonton 8-1 on their October 11th season opener. Since then, they've been out on the road for five straight.


Over the years, the first game back following a lengthy road trip has presented challenges for the Canucks. Tocchet conceded that he is aware of the history, but believes his team is prepared to overcome the scheduling hurdle.


"The old 'coming off the road type of stuff' I think that's a mental thing after a long road trip," he explained. "The players and the leadership group practiced really hard today which is a good sign."


Tocchet skated his group in the same line combinations and defensive pairings used in Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Predators. Jack Studnicka, the lone extra forward, skated on defense with Noah Juulsen to form a fourth pair for drills.


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Chance to stay well above .500 or end the month a pathetic .500. We've always sucked at back to back games except for last year for some weird reason so hopefully we can at least get 3 points from the weekend. Doesn't matter which goalie we start for which game but I'd like to see Demko against the Rangers to put on a clinic and try and steal the show. They've dominated on the road this year so far and have a 1.86 GAA so far so it won't be easy. Their PK is mid-table though so there's one opening - strong goaltending duel and beat them at special teams. The Blues are quite low scoring too so this is going to be a real defensive effort across the board.



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1 hour ago, Mrwipeout said:

back to back is never easy.....Blues is a bit the same level as nashville...maybe slightly more consistent. NYR are one of the contenders..and thats the 2nd game which will make it a real tough one. 


blues are playing the second game of a back-to-back themselves, having got calgary booed out of their own rink last night.


ironically, the rangers did the same thing to the oilers last night.


it would be delightful if the canucks could beat both teams, back-to-back, that shut out the Alberta teams and got them jeered off their own home ice. 

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Lets see some optimism here...

Yes we've struggled after road trips, but what haven't we struggled with over the last 10 years... 

This team is better than what we've had in a long time, and it looks like the players are buying into, what Tocchet is serving. 

So damn nice to see us actually competing again, and not folding at the first hurdle...


onwards and upwards Canucks fans. 

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