Canucks and coach Rick Tocchet
Photo credit: San Diego Union Tribune

Canucks coach Tocchet making significant line changes to stop McDavid

Published May 12, 2024 at 10:24

With the series shifting back to Edmonton tied at 1-1, Canucks coach Rick Tocchet is going to need a serious game plan to contain the Oilers top line with last change. Tocchet wasn't happy with his team's play in Game 2, and will be making some changes tonight.

Most significantly will be the expected changes on defence. Tyler Myers is reportedly dealing with an injury, and could be a game-time decision to play. Additionally, Ian Cole has had an extremely rough series so far after a strong showing against Nashville, leading to belief that Noah Juulsen could enter the lineup in Cole's place. Cole had an awful game 2, and bookended it with his best Zach Hyman impression to score the OT winner on his own net.

Tocchet also specifically called out some poor play from their young forward Nils Hoglander, and may be looking to bring in Nils Aman or Linus Karlsson in his place. Hoglander has been playing on the second line alongside Elias Pettersson, but the Canucks rotate players up and down the lineup frequently. If Hoglander comes out of the lineup, it's motel likely that a player like Elias Lindholm, Connor Garland, or Sam Lafferty is promoted to the second line.

Canucks coach Tocchet strategizes to stop Connor McDavid and Oilers top unit

With the Oilers in possession of last change tonight and likely loading up McDavid and Draisaitl once again, the Canucks will be in trouble if they aren't prepared. Tocchet hopes these line changes and specific messaging to defend the Oilers stars will give them an opportunity to take advantage when Connor and Leon come off the ice. For the Oilers to have success now, their superstars will need to be superstars and their depth players will need to keep the team above water.

Hoglander definitely didn't make much of an impact in game two, but he was at the center of one hilarious play. Oilers forward Derek Ryan skated past Hoglander and got him with a direct cup-check, which sent Hoglander down to his knees. No penalty was called on the play, and the NHL Department of Player Safety has decided there will be no suspension.
May 12   |   269 answers
Canucks coach Tocchet making significant line changes to stop McDavid

Do you think the Oilers load up McDavid and Draisaitl for the rest of this series?

Yes, Canucks can't defend it15457.2 %
No, need to spread out the talent9836.4 %
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