Canucks Espresso: Rick Tocchet places Andrei Kuzmenko in his sights

The Vancouver Canucks head coach pulled no punches about his Russian star.

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Rick Tocchet confirmed no hesitation post-game Saturday to share his ideas on the place Andrei Kuzmenko’s recreation is at.

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“Kuzy’s received to begin to play a bit of tougher,” Tocchet stated, then reiterated his level.

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“He’s received to begin to play a bit of tougher.”

He’d benched the Russian early within the second interval, skipping over him for a number of shifts.

Tocchet steered that Kuzmenko wasn’t the one participant he was pissed off with — “there was 4 or 5 guys that simply weren’t able to win a battle,” he stated — however he was actually the highest-profile.

Kuzmenko has simply three targets this yr, a droop that’s been masked by the high-scoring of J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes.

There are solely so many targets to be scored in a season, so his time will certainly come, nevertheless it’s the remainder of his recreation that can decide what number of possibilities he will get to attempt to rating extra.

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Whenever you’re scoring, you’ll be able to tolerate errors a bit of higher. However whenever you’re not, and also you’re not taking part in as onerous because the coach thinks you’ll be able to, that dangers turning into a destructive suggestions loop.

The numbers counsel he’s creating as many alternatives at 5-on-5 as he was final season, although he’s taking part in about two minutes much less per recreation at even power in comparison with final yr.

Nowhere to go

One factor the Kraken did nicely on Saturday was depart little or no area to play in. And there’s a lesson there for the Canucks within the weeks and months to return.

“They did job within the impartial zone as we speak. When groups do this, we have to be taught to be rather less cussed with the puck and make it tougher on them,” J.T. Miller stated.

“We turned the puck over loads as we speak … we didn’t play as much as our commonplace, easy as that.”

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Ian Cole stated the way in which the Kraken play was a giant reminder of how the season goes to progress.

“Their forwards, they observe again onerous. They put plenty of strain on you from behind. Even whenever you beat them on the forecheck they’re coming again. The D are sitting proper on our forwards. There’s not a ton of openness; not a ton of open ice, not a ton of open guys,” he stated.

“That’s the way it’s going to be because the season goes, it’s at all times going to be within the playoffs. And if we wish to achieve success, we have to work out methods to get by means of this.”

Ryan Miller as soon as had selection ideas about Milan Lucic

After Saturday’s information that Milan Lucic was occurring depart after an alleged home incident, various individuals on social media highlighted Lucic’s previous transgressions, particularly the time he ran Ryan Miller out of the crease.

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This was when Miller was nonetheless with the Buffalo Sabres, three years earlier than he signed with the Canucks.

Miller was pulled after two intervals in that recreation and often a goalie could be fast to go away the constructing in these circumstances, however Miller had a degree to make, which he underlined in his feedback on Lucic.

Watch it right here:

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Extra ideas on function gamers

Ryan Johnson instructed me loads about what younger gamers should be taught to make the NHL.

It was a really insightful dialog Friday, principally centred round Linus Karlsson. However the overarching message was clear: Hockey card numbers are high quality, however are you doing the work recreation in, recreation out, shift in, shift out.

It’s a subject that got here up in discussing Vasily Podkolzin final month. It’s come up round Nils Höglander and Dakota Joshua earlier this season.

An enormous factor that makes or breaks a younger participant’s probability of each stepping into the NHL after which staying there may be can they maintain a full effort over a full 35-second shift? The motor has to maintain working each time you’re on the ice — you’ll be able to’t assume you’ll be able to simply flip a change on and off through the shift.

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That’s why Tocchet was so mad about shift lengths on Saturday. The longer the shift, the better threat you might have of spending wasted time on the ice.

The factor about urgent this level to your younger gamers, is that there have to be transparency. They need to perceive the proof that’s being introduced to them and it have to be introduced clearly to them.

It’s a precept borrowed from trendy schooling, which talks about student-centred studying; on this case, it’s player-centred studying. Put the participant on the center of the method and ensure they perceive what they’re being assessed on and the way they’ll get higher.

Karlsson was steered to Tocchet as an fascinating participant to check out; he did nicely in his first recreation and there’s little doubt Tocchet may have him in thoughts sooner or later.

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One other participant hoping to get on Tocchet’s radar is Tristen Nielsen, who threw a giant hit on Saturday for AHL Abbotsford.

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The query, clearly, is can Nielsen do this night time in, night time out, shift in, shift out. Johnson has spoken glowingly of the little winger earlier than, clearly believing he could be such a participant.

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