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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Canucks show flashes of growing identity in loss to Golden Knights


VANCOUVER – After telling reporters within the morning that his group had gotten “the odor” out of its sport by limiting huge errors that result in huge scoring probabilities, Vancouver Canucks coach Rick Tocchet’s eyes will need to have been watering from the foul stench Tuesday night time.

The Canucks yielded two first-period objectives straight on turnovers and wanted a number of five-star saves from goalie Thatcher Demko to keep away from getting blown out early by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Tocchet noticed the primary 20 minutes, which featured pricey turnovers by Ethan Bear and Brock Boeser, as a lack of id for the group he took over precisely two months in the past. However whereas the Canucks’ id isn’t the place the brand new coach desires it, there may be quite a lot of it sprouting as Vancouver pushed again over the ultimate two durations earlier than shedding 4-3 to the Stanley Cup contenders.

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Boeser, who got here again to play a powerful sport on a line with J.T. Miller, had an open look from proper wing within the ultimate minute, however Jonathon Fast made a blocker save that helped the Golden Knights transfer alone into first place within the Western Convention.

“I didn’t like our first (interval) in any respect,” Tocchet mentioned. “It’s a great take a look at for our group as a result of Vegas, they’re certainly one of my favourite groups with their defence. That’s the place we attempt to (be): a giant defence that strikes the puck.  I don’t assume we had been prepared for it. We had three or 4 guys who weren’t taking part in to our id and I feel (we) struggled. After which within the second and third, we made a sport of it. 

“Three or 4 guys didn’t play to our id. You’ll be able to’t poison the water; it’s not everyone. So it’s simply a few guys. We’ve got to go north with (the puck) and we took it again and that’s what occurs, proper?”

Bear’s backhand go throughout his zone was intercepted by Phil Kessel and changed into a breakaway objective that made it 1-0 at 3:01. Reilly Smith doubled the lead at 12:11, scoring from the slot after Boeser reversed the puck behind the Canucks’ objective straight to William Karlsson.

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“It’s a studying expertise, proper?” Tocchet mentioned. “You’re taking part in in opposition to one of many higher groups and also you’ve obtained to be ready to play. And I don’t care who you’re, we will’t afford to have three or 4 guys not prepared — not prepared for that kind of sport. When that occurs, you’re down 2-0.

“You construct on these kind of issues. On the finish of the season, these (video games) matter. This can be a good analysis for us. . . to know gamers in a lot of these video games, can they deal with stress? Do they know the way to play to your id? Big analysis. However I do just like the battle within the guys, and a few guys actually dragged us into the battle tonight.”

J.T. Miller was King Kong for the Canucks, scoring twice and drawing an help on Phil DiGiuseppe’s rebound objective that introduced Vancouver inside one with 8:17 remaining. Defenceman Quinn Hughes had one other masterpiece, logging 29:35 of ice time, producing two extra assists to deliver his season whole to 62, and posting a 74.9-percent expected-goals. 

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Tocchet mentioned the trio of Miller, Boeser and DiGiuseppe had been “monsters.” However he dropped wingers Anthony Beauvillier and Andrei Kuzmenko from Elias Pettersson’s first line. Kuzmenko completed with simply 11:34 of ice time.

“I didn’t assume that line was good in any respect,” he mentioned. “There are some groups once you play, like a playoff type, there is perhaps nothing happening so that you want a great forecheck. You’ll be able to’t simply wait round for a objective. I simply felt that we wanted to search out any individual who was going to forecheck for Petey.”

BURROUGHS’ BIG ADVENTURE

Canuck defenceman Kyle Burroughs didn’t know he was taking part in till he was on his option to the rink when he discovered that Noah Juulsen had damage himself within the pre-warmup “activation.” Burroughs mentioned he didn’t arrive at Rogers Area till a few half-hour till puck drop – director of communications Craig MacEwen met him curbside and valet-parked his automotive – and didn’t contact the ice till he skated into the beginning lineup.

“It was a bit of disturbing at first to not get warmup in and, clearly, not touching any pucks earlier than the sport,” Burroughs mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s a part of the job that once you’re known as upon, you’ve obtained to indicate up. Clearly, I’d wish to have a few these performs again.”

Instructed he can be a wholesome scratch, Burroughs was one of many final Canucks off the ice after the morning skate. However by the third interval, he was pulling shifts with Hughes. Nonetheless, Burroughs completed minus-three in 18:04 of TOI.

“He’s certainly one of a sort,” Burroughs mentioned of Hughes. “He’s a unicorn in. . . how he sees the ice, how he makes use of edges. Nothing actually surprises me anymore with him. He’s up there as top-of-the-line defencemen within the league. It’s a mix of talent and confidence. It was a blessing to be on that pairing for the third interval. He elevates everyone’s sport.”

A SIGHTING TUESDAY, A GAME THURSDAY?

For a number of days this month, Filip Hronek’s nameplate within the Canucks’ dressing room was like Artem Chubarov’s automotive within the storage down beneath: lacking its proprietor.

Chubarov’s Audi turned legendary early this century for sticking within the NHL longer than Chubarov, who determined to go dwelling to play in Russia and left his automotive behind for one more season at Rogers Area. Hronek’s nameplate spent much less time in isolation, nevertheless it was nonetheless reassuring to see its proprietor skating totally with teammates Tuesday morning for the primary time since his March 1 commerce from the Detroit Pink Wings.

Injured in opposition to Ottawa the night time earlier than the commerce, Hronek felt no urgency to hurry to Vancouver. His tools made it earlier than he did. However there was a good bit of thriller to his absence and his damage – each seemingly over.

Tocchet mentioned after the morning skate that Hronek is “itching” to play and will make his Canucks debut Thursday at dwelling in opposition to the San Jose Sharks.

MIGHTY KNIGHTS

In a span of 4 days, the Canucks had been a baseline take a look at for the most effective two groups within the Pacific Division and Western Convention. Earlier than Tuesday, the Golden Knights had been tied at 92 factors with the Los Angeles Kings.

On Saturday, the Kings dominated the Canucks’ territorially, suffocating with their checking and utilizing offensive-zone time to quantity shoot. However Los Angeles didn’t look practically as harmful as Vegas, whose velocity, energy and talent had Vancouver overmatched early on. That’s not a playoff prediction, however we’re simply saying. 

The three-time Stanley Cup finalist Tampa Bay Lighting are the one group that has gained extra playoff video games than Vegas for the reason that Golden Knights entered the NHL in 2017-18 and redefined what an growth group might be. They didn’t appear like a first-year group and haven’t acted like a fledgling franchise since as president George McPhee and common supervisor Kelly McCrimmon consistently search to improve with trades, irrespective of how unpopular, whereas chasing a Stanley Cup.

One of the best groups this season are all within the Jap Convention, however somebody goes to win the West and the Knights, if their goaltending doesn’t allow them to down, look extra succesful than anybody.

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