vancouver – if you were anywhere near bruce boudreau on christmas you didn’t need jolly old st nicholas.
The new coach of the Vancouver Canucks spent the NHL holiday break in the mountains at Whistler – “I almost fell down one” – where the Santa-like man from the North (Toronto) taped a spirited Christmas message to fans to “kick some” 2022 I donkey. ,
Players have reacted to their brilliant, energetic coach going 6-0 since replacing Travis Green three weeks ago. But, as Boudreau put it in his social media message: “6-0 may be fine, but 10-0 is better.”
Boudreau’s optimism and positivity have been a panacea for the Canucks, who played themselves in a very dark place by starting the season 6-14-2.
They won two of their last three matches under Green, but Boudreau has been like rocket fuel for a team that was underperforming and needed positivity like a fish need water. it occurs.
He had a long meeting with the players after Monday’s practice at Rogers Arena.
The traction the Canucks finally generated in December was halted by schedule breaks extended by several days by the latest COVID-19 crisis, and despite their longest winning streak in two years, the team finished six from the playoff spot. Points out.
Beyond the schedule and standings, the shadow of the Canucks’ COVID outbreak last season still hangs dangerously over the team, as the ghost of the Christmas future stands atop Ebenezer Scrooge.
Players are buoyed by their recent success, re-energized and suddenly loving their jobs again. But barring a further postponement by the NHL, the Canucks are about to embark on a three-game US road trip starting Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, in which a positive COVID test for players would mean a 10-day trip to their hotel room. May be a one-day quarantine.
All six players who were in COVID protocol with the Canucks last week are back in practice.
“I’ve seen most of everything (but) I haven’t lived through COVID,” Boudreau, 66, told reporters on his Monday Zoom call. “I had not worked for the last one and a half years. You just learn to roll with the punches, I guess. I mean, we’re anticipating leaving tomorrow. And unless we are told not to leave, I assume we are going. We are all looking forward to leaving.
“If there is one team in the NHL, clearly, that is overly cautious about the whole COVID situation, it would be the Vancouver Canucks for last year. So I think the players are doing a really good job of being in their own little bubble and doing what they want to do. We are quite healthy now. And hopefully Anaheim is healthy enough and we can go and play a game.
Boudreau said Canucks winger Alex Chiasson, who was added to the COVID protocol on Sunday, could be cleared to rejoin the Canucks with another negative test result on Tuesday. The team must practice in Vancouver before flying to California – pending their daily test results for the coronavirus.
The Canucks, who have postponed five games, are scheduled to visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the Seattle Krakens on Saturday, before coming home under the 50 percent seating limit at Rogers Arena to play two games next week.
All or none of these games may go as per schedule.
“I think you’re uncomfortable all the time right now,” said veteran defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsen. “You really don’t know what’s going on and you’re trying not to think too much about it. Obviously, it was nice to have everyone around their family for Christmas. But that’s what it is.” You take it day in and day out and see what’s going on. I feel like there’s really nothing you can do about it.”
Ackman-Larson identified the real problem after a few questions: “It’s not really about hockey, it’s also about mental health. It makes you tear up a little bit just thinking about it all the time. You have to. Must play hockey and do well on ice, and you have to deal with things happening around COVID. It’s a lot of things that are on your mind, but you learn to live with it and try not to think too much about it Huh.”
Like all teams, especially those that have crossed international borders, the Canucks will be a little more concerned about COVID when they are on the road because of the ill effects of being away from home.
“It’ll be a lot easier to get everything running smoothly and you don’t have to worry about all that stuff,” said winger Conor Garland. “But I just play hockey. I just look at my phone at nine o’clock to see what our schedule is for the next day. I guess you could say it’s disappointing, especially the cancellation of games where we really wanted to play. Like I said, you take it day after day and don’t look too far ahead.”
As far as hockey goes, it’s probably not the inspiration the Canucks need right now, but the realism.
“The biggest thing for me is for the players, with this break, not to get complacent and think: OK, everything is a rose,” Boudreau said. “We’re still near the bottom of the league. We’re still . . not even close to getting to the playoffs yet. So, if we’re satisfied with what we’ve done, we’re headed for disaster. We’re headed for disaster. additional) practices hopefully we are getting better as a team and we are getting better and not satisfied.”
Yes, 10-0 is better than 6-0. Even if it still won’t land the Canucks in playoff position.