Canucks, Rick Tocchet

Canucks Tocchet Gives Club’s All-Star Break Analysis

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet was asked twice to put back on his TV panelist hat during his interview session on NHL All-Star Friday and analyze his own club.

Naturally, it wasn’t unpleasant given his hockey team’s outstanding 2023-’24 season thus far, but he also didn’t want to pump their tires too much.

“Hard working team, kind of have a chip on your (their) shoulder, which I like,” ‘Tock’ summarized. “We live for the day. We earn our day everyday, that’s kind of how we run things around our team. Don’t listen to outside noises, and it’s going to get hotter and hotter. The pressure is going to mount and I like the head space of our players right now.”

He’s not one to brag despite Vancouver sharing the top of the NHL standings with the Boston Bruins, both with 71 points and a .724 winning percentage.

Meanwhile, he was very happy to learn of Vancouver’s acquisition of right handed centre Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames, a deal Tock heard about while sitting on an airplane waiting to leave for Toronto. He relishes the fact his club is “going for it”.

“Our players are really excited about it. When I heard, my phone was buzzing, a lot of the players texted me. Quality guy, can play all forward positions and a right-handed draw is something we desperately needed. I think he’s over 55%, so that meets a need for us,” Tocchet said. “I texted Matt Tkachuk because he’s played with him and I said ‘what do you think, what about this guy,’ and he said he loved him. So if Matt Tkachuk says he loves him you know he’s a good player.”

Tocchet is coaching Team Hughes on Saturday for the NHL All-Star mini round robin, 3-on-3. Brothers Jack of the New Jersey Devils and Quinn of the Canucks are co-captains along with celebrity captain, singer Michael Bublé.

The following line-up will take on Team (Auston) Matthews in Game-1.

Lose and they’re done. Win and move on to the final against the winner of Team (Nathan) MacKinnon vs. Team (Connor) McDavid.

Quinn Hughes – Canucks
Elias Pettersson
– Canucks
Nikita Kucherov
– Lightning
Thatcher Demko
– Canucks
Kyle Connor
– Jets
Brady Tkachuk
– Senators
Jesper Bratt
– Devils
Cam Talbot
– Kings
Brock Boeser
– Canucks
J.T. Miller
– Canucks
Frank Vatrano
– Ducks

The team should have excellent chemistry with five different Vancouver players participating.

By the way, It’s a chemistry Tocchet says exists on and off the ice in Vancouver, one of the big reasons for the club’s excellent first half of the season.

“For me it’s a group thing,” he said. “I’m lucky. I brought in (assistant coaches) Adam Foote, Sergei Gonchar with the existing staff. Convincing the twins (Henrik and Daniel Sedin) … they weren’t even coaching, they were on the development side, now they’re coaching with me. Obviously my relationship with (GM) Patrik (Allvin) and (President of Hockey Operations) Jim (Rutherford) is a big help. I think it’s just a pack mentality that we have that really helped me.”

Earlier Canucks:

Simmer and Gabby 11 – with Bruce Boudreau

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.
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