June 23rd, 2024

Canucks aim for positives from loss into next game against Predators

By Nick Wells, The Canadian Press on October 30, 2023.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Casey DeSmith (29) reacts as New York Rangers' K'Andre Miller (79) celebrates his goal during overtime of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks are looking to put the disappointment of a missed opportunity behind them and focus on the positives.

The Canucks (5-2-1) fell 4-3 in overtime to the New York Rangers on Saturday, courtesy of a K’Andre Miller winner 3:48 into the extra session, but are stressing the improvements they have made this season.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak and was the first defeat at home for Vancouver.

“I think there were things to like there, especially in a back-to-back situation against one of the top teams in the east,” said defenceman Ian Cole. “We got a point. It sucked the way it happened “¦ but we got three out of four points this weekend so take a step back, assess what we did wrong and move forward.”

Forward J.T. Miller agreed, adding that it’s a mentality Canuck players have adopted since training camp.

“There’s a lot to like about the back to back we played, but we’ve already moved on past that game,” he said.

Vancouver takes on Nashville (4-4-0) on Tuesday a week after a second period push lifted them to a 3-2 win over the Predators.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said he’s pleased with the desire shown by players wanting to learn and “earn” their spots in lineups.

“I like that. When you call a guy to your office, they’re not shaking their head, they want it. there are some guys knocking on your door saying ‘I want to see videos of this,'” he said.

“When you get that, it really helps you as a coach when you get that buy in.”

Miller said “there were a lot of holes” when it came to training before Vancouver’s current coaching staff took the reins and have seen improvements in performances.

“We kind of hit the ground running with the stuff (Tocchet) brought in last year,” said Miller. “We’re just trying to get it down, we want to get it to where it becomes habit for our team and I think we’re getting better at it.”

Nashville comes into the game after what head coach Andrew Brunette described as a “real gritty” 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime.

The Canucks were rotating their bottom six lines in practice on Monday, with Connor Garland getting a look in while forward Dakota Joshua was left out.

Joshua has one point and 11 penalty minutes so far this season.

“He’s got to get going a little bit,” Tocchet said of Joshua. “There’s certain parts of his game I do like, he’s just got to get going. he knows it. There’s a couple things he’s doing that I don’t like.”

Ilya Mikheyev, Nils Hoglander and Philip Di Guiseppe scored in the last win over Nashville, and Tocchet said he’s looking to utilize Mikheyev’s skill set more on the penalty kill moving forward.

“I think he can really help us out,” Tocchet said. “We’ve got to start to get him in the rotation for sure.”

NOTES: Former teammates of Adam Johnson paid tribute to the ex-NHLer who died after a tragic on-ice accident in the United Kingdom over the weekend. Defenceman Carson Soucy played alongside Johnson at the NCAA level and asked for privacy after practice as he was still processing the news. Forward Sam Lafferty, who helped set up Johnson’s first NHL goal, called him an “unbelievable guy” and said ex-teammates all shared stories about the forward in different group chats. … The Canucks have won 24 of their 41 all-time home games against the Predators,

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

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