Vancouver Canucks, Rick Tocchet

Canucks Coach’s Patience To Be Challenged

Let’s face it, losing for the Vancouver Canucks is a good thing. It might drive new Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet bats by the time the season is over, but right now the NHL Draft lottery has to be the top thing on this club’s mind. Even without Connor Bedard falling into place, which would be the dreamy sweepstakes win, there’s plenty of top players available in the top portion of the draft.

In the meantime … ugh.

“Obviously we had a lot of guys who had tough nights, we had no stop and start,” Tocchet said postgame. “Our defensive zone there was just no stop and start … we just weren’t gritty enough. We value the little things and we’re just gonna have to keep stripping this down until we get it right.”

When asked about his frustration level, Tocchet simply pointed out that it’s his and the other coaches’ jobs to instruct the players and make sure they get it right.

“We’re gonna practice tomorrow and we’re gonna have to go back to grade school on how to defend and how to stop and start, because too many guys are spinning … very high risk team. I thought on the road trip, on certain parts of our game we got it, but then we get this high risk … some of the better players tonight, they were just too risky for me.”

Canucks Lessons

Risk leads to opportunities the other way and in this case, a 6-1 victory for the Detroit Red Wings.

Mistakes and lackadaisical play also leads to trouble. Versus the Red Wings, that would have been symbolized by the 5-1 goal, when a bad Canucks line change led to a five-on-two rush for Detroit.

“That’s the one thing I thought we were good at the last six games, we were getting better at short shift lengths and body language, but that was obviously not good,” Tocchet said with a head shake and a shrug. “I’m not sure what people were thinking on that play. I don’t have an answer for you on that one.”

Similarities to comments made by Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau in his withering days.

Just 28 more games to play out the string and fix as much as possible heading into the draft sweepstakes.

Good seats still available.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.