Canucks: What does Rick Tocchet have in Anthony Beauviller? He's unsure

‘There’s stress inside myself to deliver my sport to a different stage and never be a man you may transfer simply up and down the lineup.’ — Anthony Beauvillier

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Who’s Anthony Beauvillier?

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That’s what Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet must know. Amid a glut of wingers, there’s going to be added incentive for Beauvillier to deliver a mix of pace, ability and can to take care of a top-six combine presence subsequent NHL season.

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If he embraces the problem, nice. If not, there are alternate options.

There may be the likelihood that he might be moved on the commerce deadline with one yr remaining on his contract at a $4.15-million US wage cap hit. It will depend on the place the Canucks are at in pursuit of an elusive playoff place and the way Beauvillier is contributing to the hunt.

“There’s stress inside myself to deliver my sport to a different stage and never be a man you may transfer simply up and down the lineup — that’s the place I wish to deliver my sport,” Beauvillier, 26, mentioned on the finish of final season.

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It’s not a stretch to recommend that Beauvillier might begin with J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser, whereas a wholesome Ilya Mikheyev will get an early look to affix Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko to supply a wanted forechecking presence. That would depart newcomer Teddy Blueger between Nils Hoglander and Conor Garland and Nils Aman centring Dakota Joshua and Vasily Podkolzin.

If Tocchet desires to hold 14 forwards, then Phil Di Giuseppe might benefit consideration as a grinder together with Sheldon Dries for centre depth. And, who is aware of, perhaps Linus Karlsson builds off a stable rookie AHL season in Abbotsford — 24 objectives and 49 factors — to push for a spot and veteran Tanner Pearson returns from a hard and extended hand damage drama.

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Tyler Myers talks technique with Canucks winger Anthony Beauvillier earlier than going through the Kraken at Rogers Area on April 4. Picture by Arlen Redekop /PNG

Regardless, Beauvillier can’t over-think it. That was pushed house in his exit assembly with Tocchet. What did the bench boss say?

“It was simply me maintaining it easy,” mentioned Beauvillier, who averaged 16:59 of ice time right here. “Play with tenacity and pace.”

Beauvillier ran cold and warm following the block-buster commerce that despatched captain Bo Horvat and his 31 objectives to the New York Islanders on Jan. 30. To his credit score, Beauvillier punched his golden ticket in being aligned with Pettersson and Kuzmenko. He had 4 objectives and 6 factors in his first seven outings, with two game-winners.

Nevertheless, when the objectives didn’t come — together with simply two in his closing 16 video games — it was both a results of taking part in by way of a nagging ailment, or one thing lacking in his sport. He dropped right down to play with Aman and Garland at one level. And even when re-united with Pettersson late within the season, the chemistry wasn’t there.

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He had similar 20-point outputs (Sept. 11) with the Islanders and Canucks, however it took 49 video games to achieve that in New York and simply 33 right here. In order that’s one thing. His Corsi-For, puck-possession stat of 48 per cent was fifth amongst Canuck wingers who performed at the very least 30 video games. And his points-per-game common of .049 is much like his Islanders output.

So, what wants to alter?

“To be trustworthy, he hasn’t actually favored his sport and I haven’t favored it,” Tocchet mentioned April 6 when he briefly put Beauvillier again with Pettersson and Kuzmenko. “The final eight or 10 video games he has been coping with somewhat little bit of an damage and it may be affecting him a contact — I don’t know.

“However there are issues there. He’s obtained some pace and has scored massive objectives for us. For him, it’s attempting to know who he’s. We’d like him to be first on the forecheck and be a pest on the market — any person who’s all the time in any person’s face. Not operating guys, however we want higher forecheckers.

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“Taking part in with Petey, typically I feel he’s somewhat fancy. He’s quick and a first-forecheck participant. And if he does that, he’ll be actually efficient. He will get somewhat too east-west with Petey, however that occurs once you get elevated to a star participant. You begin to neglect what your strengths are.”

It’s not that Beauvillier can’t complement elite gamers. He had a 21-goal marketing campaign and a pair of 18-goal seasons with the Islanders and in addition performed with Matt Barzal.

“He’s such a wise participant,” Beauvillier informed Postmedia. “Made my life somewhat simpler on the market. He performs defensively and retains pucks alive offensively. And he’s among the finest within the league and I used to be very lucky to play with him.”

Within the 2021 playoffs, Tocchet noticed how Beauvillier might be efficient with three objectives in a six-game, opening-round sequence win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had 13 factors (5-8) in 19 playoff video games that season.

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Regardless that Beauvillier grew up close to Montreal, he marvelled on the Boston Bruins’ consistency and tenacity.

“Each time I get an opportunity, I watch (Brad) Marchand with the way in which he performs,” mentioned Beauvillier. “He’s hungry, desires the puck and needs to make a distinction. I’ve all the time been an enormous fan of his sport. And (Patrice) Bergeron (who retired Tuesday) is simply the right participant and human.

“You undoubtedly look as much as these guys and get no matter they’ll do into your sport.”

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