Coming off what Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau referred to as a “fiesty practice” on Wednesday, he stated that it’s his responsibility to make sure his players are ready to play in each game and it’s up to him to hold them accountable. This during a three-game losing streak that has had the coach publicly wondering about their commitment, fortitude, and desire in certain areas.
“The bottom line is, it’s on me if they’re not doing what I want them to do,” Boudreau said after practice. “So I wanted to make sure that in the meeting and in the video that we showed today that they understand what I want them to do. And then it’s like I said, it’s on me to implement that. If they don’t, then I’ve got to make them find a way to do it.
“I always used to tell people, the coach’s job is to find the Achilles heel of the player. In other words, if it’s a kick in the butt or a pat on the back, or take away ice time away, or in the older days, taking money away, I mean, it was my job to find out what makes them tick and what would go. Maybe sometimes I’ve let that slide a little bit and just go back to the well too often. So, it’s up to me to make these guys more accountable.”
There’s been some storm clouds gathering over the Canucks this week with consecutive losses to the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 on the road last Thursday, to the Flames 3-2 in Calgary on Saturday night, and Wednesday night at home 6-2 to the New York Islanders.
Trade speculation has heated up with organizational meetings happening this month, the NHL trade deadline looming on March 3rd, and the Canucks mired in 6th place in the Pacific Division.
“Obviously we’re not happy with our last couple games, we know what we need to do better,” Canucks leading scorer Elias Pettersson said after practice. “So we had a good, tough but good meeting today with the whole team and we just need to learn from it, learn from these games, and get better.”
The Canucks host the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. Even with the return of superstar centre Nathan MacKinnon from injury two games ago, the club is still missing five of their regular skaters and goaltender Pavel Francouz.
Puck drop is a little after 7 pm at Rogers Arena.