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Canucks Gameday

April 23, 2024, 9:51 AM ET [212 Comments]
York Newbury
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Leading the series 1-0 on the back of an impressive come-from-behind win on Sunday night, the Canucks host the Predators for game two tonight.

The losing team has the advantage of reacting/altering their game plan, so we’ll see what the Preds offer up to the Canucks tonight. Nashville skipped their practice yesterday, deciding instead for a team meeting at the hotel. The Canucks had nine skaters at their optional practice.

It will be a big test for the home team and the home crowd: after the first playoff jitters settled, can they both keep up the intensity? The players remarked at how special it was, but also how it threw them off a little.

“I was thinking about how the building was going to be, and now we know what to expect,” Boeser said. “We can all just take a deep breath here and focus on our game. It was a little crazier than I expected Sunday and that was awesome. Just a whirlwind of a night.

“I was pretty wired and that was probably the worst sleep I’ve had in a while.”

As solid as they were on Sunday, they do have another gear. Maybe a couple more gears. Miller was asked what to expect coming into tonight’s game:

“Just expect a response, but I’m not going to wait for them to respond,” he said. “We should go at them again and go harder. We weren’t perfect by any means tonight and we can be even better — which is great.

“They have guys who have been through this before and we need to understand that we need a good start and settle into the game earlier.”

Three keys to tonight’s game:

Win the special teams battle: the Canucks were -1 on Sunday in that category, getting blanked on their chances but only allowing one goal early from a dangerous Nashville power play. Tocc knows they have to get going, as this time of year it can make or break a series.

“I don’t want to be frustrated because it’s a group that did have some looks (in Game 1) and just missed the net on a couple,” he explained. “The execution for me the last couple of months has been just okay.

“The mindset has to change. And it’s not going to change like this (snap of finger). It’s a group that likes to set up plays, and we’ve got to break that pattern. We need more road-hockey goals. Attack the net. We’ve got better at it, but we’re not there yet.”

Hit the net: the Canucks had 21 shots on net, had 14 blocked, and had 20 miss the mark entirely on Sunday. They only had four shots in the first period.

“Sometimes, we’re a little too fine on the shots and that’s something we can be better at,” Tocc lamented.

Maybe a little jitters in there, so calming things down should help with that.

Forecheck consistently: The Canucks didn’t really find their footing until the second period, so starting off strong is going to be impatient against a hungry Nashville team. The Preds easily escaped the Canucks’ forecheck the first period, but the team adjusted and started to take over in the second, before really turning it on in the third.

“The way we played in the third, that’s the way we want to play,” said Lindholm. “There were shifts where we hemmed them in and spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. That’s our identity and we can take it from there.”

Puck drop tonight at 7.

To the comments:

(Quotes from Kuzma)
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