Canucks Recreation Day: Searching season in full swing to bag low-flying Geese

Andrei Kuzmenko was re-united with Elias Pettersson and Ilya Mikheyev in follow Monday. He had sat out Friday and Saturday video games

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Anaheim Geese (9-12-0) at Vancouver Canucks (14-7-1)

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When/the place: Tuesday, 7 p.m., Rogers Area

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TV: SN Pacific. Radio: Sportsnet 650

The thrill: Will Andrei Kuzmenko play? Or keep within the doghouse? Both means it was going to be a giant story. Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet has tried to play the endurance and reset playing cards with the Russian winger, who gained’t merely be handed a get-out-of-jail-free card. He has just three targets by 19 video games, with 28 pictures and a ten.7 proportion capturing accuracy. Final season, he had a whopping 39 targets and a league-leading and eye-popping 27.3 proportion capturing proportion.

On Monday, Kuzmenko was reunited with Elias Pettersson and Ilya Mikheyev. Phil Di Giuseppe was the odd-man out in line rushes to accommodate Kuzmenko.

Tocchet’s greatest criticism with any participant is shedding construction and system staples that he has been hammering house for almost a 12 months. When he says “defend the heart of the ice” it means being as seen on the again verify as within the offensive zone. That has hampered Kuzmenko.

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You may’t be cute with the puck within the slot and suppose you’re going to attain off a spin-o-rama. You’ll rating in case you’re nearly as good with out the puck as with it. In the present day’s sport is performed down low. The need and the desire to play in soiled areas and rating soiled targets are essential.

“He’s acquired to get his sport extra sharpened,” Tocchet mentioned Monday following follow. “When the puck is out within the impartial zone, it’s a must to hustle again to be an possibility. Be a middle-drive man and with pucks alongside the wall, you’ve acquired to get them out.

“These are the little issues I worth. It’s not simply scoring targets. He has to know that. I’m clearly not going to sit down the man for lots of video games, however the way in which we performed in Seattle on Friday, with all 4 strains contributing, it was exhausting to tug a man out (and put Kuzmenko in).

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“He had an excellent follow in the present day and a few vitality.”

Kuzmenko got here to coaching camp with a two-year, $11-million US contract extension and improved health. Did he suppose that may make it simpler? Did he take final season without any consideration? That’s why college was again in session Monday. Kuzmenko has welcomed added instruction previously. It will possibly’t be lip service now.

Tocchet clearly wants Kuzmenko to revert to his dynamic type final season and appreciable chemistry with Pettersson. Kuzmenko had 5 targets in 4 video games in opposition to the Geese final season, so possibly Tocchet can also be enjoying a hunch for Tuesday.

The historical past: First assembly of this season. The Canucks went 4-0-0 in opposition to the Geese in 2022-23. On house ice, they gained 8-5 on Nov. 3 and 3-2 in additional time on March 8. At The Pond, they prevailed 2-1 on March 19 and 3-2 on April 11. Kuzmenko struck for a hattrick, 4 factors, and was a plus-3 on Nov. 3, whereas Pettersson had 5 factors (1-4) and eight pictures. Within the March 8 assembly, J.T. Miller scored in regulation and additional time.

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On the highway, Miller and Petttersson scored in a 40-shot assault on March 19, whereas Miller snapped a 2-2 draw early within the third interval on April 11.

The hope: The Geese are wounded after being bombed 8-2 in Edmonton on Sunday to increase their shedding streak to 6 video games. They gave up 4 targets within the first interval and Connor McDavid struck for 5 factors (1-4). The Canucks want to start out sturdy, draw penalties and permit their third-ranked energy play to dominate.

The concern: Trying previous the Geese and towards a litmus check right here Thursday in opposition to the Pacific Division main Vegas Golden Knights. The Canucks have to dictate and never discover themselves in one other 2-2 draw after 40 minutes and fail to ship the dagger. Their final three regulation losses have are available in that vogue.

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The highest weapons: The Canucks proceed to have a big effect on the NHL scoring race. Quinn Hughes (8-25) and Miller (13-20) had been tied for second with 33 factors every heading into league play Monday. Pettersson, who has only one help in his final 4 video games, was tied for sixth with 29 factors (8-21).

The wounded: Canucks: Carson Soucy (foot, six to eight weeks), Pius Suter (decrease physique, day-to-day), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion, LTIR). Geese: Leo Carlsson (undisclosed, day-to-day), Trevor Zegras (decrease physique, day-to-day), Jamie Drysdale (decrease physique, IR), Isac Lundestrom (Achilles, IR).

The quote: “For us the final 5 – 6 video games, we’ve had an excellent interval and a foul sport. After which an excellent sport and two good durations after which one unhealthy interval. It’s extra about consistency, and we’ve acquired to search out it. The San Jose sport (4-3 loss Saturday) was a little bit of a wake-up name.” — Rick Tocchet following Monday follow.

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The lineup: 








The prediction: The Canucks begin sturdy and don’t fade. There’s no purpose to not dominate a struggling and low-scoring Geese squad, particularly if the facility play is afforded beauty. Canucks win this one 5-2.

(FAN FORUM: Do you’ve got a selected query for a participant? Go it alongside to @provincesports and we’ll get it in a future version.)

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