Canucks Coffee: Fresh captain servings on OT, the Amazon star show

Similar to behind-the-scenes projects on streaming platforms — like the F1 focused ‘Drive to Survive’ — the NHL’s desire is to do something that’s long overdue

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Good morning. Who wants coffee?

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It was satisfying to see the Vancouver Canucks show a measure of push and resilience to claim a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at Rogers Arena. Elias Pettersson played at pace and his engagement led to two goals on a line with the energizer bunny known as Conor Garland.

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Off the ice, there were other developments. One had to do with not messing with the overtime format and the other with how the NHL has partnered with Amazon with for a behind-the-scenes series featuring 10 to 12 star players that will start filming soon and air in the fall.

It might also involve a Canuck.

FIRST SERVING: Hughes on overtime: ‘I really like it the way it is’

Quinn Hughes has always liked the overtime format.

When the NHL announced at its general managers’ meetings in Florida this week that the extra session will remain intact, the Canucks captain gave a knowing nod and sported a bit of a grin Tuesday morning.

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He knows what his club is capable of in the 3-on-3, five-minute overtime and that its 6-8 record doesn’t paint a true picture of potential and potency.

Hughes was also relieved to learn that a call to limit possession retrievals by circling back into the neutral zone to regroup — a limit of just two was suggested — wouldn’t slow the game.

Some teams actually believe they have an advantage by slowing the process and getting to the shootout.

“I really like the way it is,” said Hughes. “Yes, sometimes it’s tough when guys just take it (puck) back and take it back again and again and there might not be a shot on net for three minutes.

“But it’s still so action-packed and a lot of games are decided in overtime and both teams have chances to score. I know good teams have good overtime records because their players are trying to win the game.

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Vancouver Canucks' Quinn Hughes (43) avoids a check from Buffalo Sabres' Jordan Greenway (12) during the first period on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena
With Quinn Hughes quarterbacking the offence in overtime, the Canucks push the pace to win, not wait for the shootout. Photo by Darryl Dyck /THE CANADIAN PRESS

“I’m sure (Connor) McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl aren’t keeping the puck and going back. They’re trying to score and attack.

“That’s how we are. We want to score on the first shift. Every time we go out there, I think we’re going to win with some of the guys we have. And I do like that the NHL is trying to push the game to newer heights because everything is changing with the game and the equipment.”

Canucks coach Rick Tocchet concurred with his captain.

“I’m with Quinn on that, you only tinker so much,” said Tocchet. “Overtime is fine. If you regroup, you regroup. I don’t know if you can put other rules or shot clocks (to enter O-zone) and I think we’re getting crazy with all that stuff.

“When you have a 3-on-3 situation, and guys don’t like what they see, they pull the puck out because they don’t want to force a play. Most goals in overtime are a missed shot on a 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 breakaway. Coaches are strategizing. They don’t want to lose possession.”

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Other proposals for rule tweaks and changes will be forwarded to the competition committee. Giving coaches more clout to expand challenges for pucks over glass, delay of game and stick infractions will resonate with bench bosses.

One change is to allow coaches to challenge and rescind a minor penalty for high-sticking and pucks over glass. An additional delay-of-game minor will be assessed to unsuccessful challenges.

“If a guy snaps his head back and it (stick) doesn’t touch his face, he should get a penalty,” added Tocchet. “That’s the stuff that bothers me.”

And no more feet over bench. That’s a delay-of-game minor. One warning and then a penalty.

SECOND SERVING: Amazon lights, cameras with the captain?

The NHL has reportedly reached a deal with Amazon to produce a behind-the-scenes series that would feature 10 to 12 star players.

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Similar to a number of projects on streaming platforms — like the F1 focused ‘Drive to Survive’ — the NHL’s desire is to do something that’s long overdue.

Increasing exposure of its best players has always lagged behind other professional sports and this venture would open a window on the grind, the training, the fun away from the rink and the pressure to win.

A natural would be to follow Hughes and let the world outside Vancouver see what makes the elite Vancouver blueliner tick as a Norris Trophy candidate. 

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Canucks captain Quinn Hughes has earned the respect of his teammates, who have seen his growth on and off the ice. Photo by Frank Franklin II /AP

Hughes is all business on the ice, but there’s another side to his personality. That would draw viewers.

“I can’t comment on that, but time will tell,” he said Tuesday. “It’s a great opportunity for whoever does it. It’s a lot of exposure and people seeing what your life is like, how hard the league is and how guys take care of themselves. 

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“It’s going to be great for the guys who are doing it. We’ll see what happens. They have options because there are so many great players.”

The concept is to start filming down the stretch drive and conclusion of the season and start airing the series in the fall.

Of course, that brings up a hypothetical dilemma. Do you want your teammates distracted to some degree in the playoffs by cameras following a star player around the locker room, gym and players’ lounge?

Stay tuned.

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