For Canucks, rest is best for everyone in drive for playoffs

Notebook: Vancouver has a busy schedule in the coming weeks, so practices are likely to be a rarity

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With the Vancouver Canucks on a homestand that sees them play seven games in 12 days, head coach Bruce Boudreau acknowledged Thursday that rest will be essential for his team as they fight to make the playoffs.

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Boudreau made Thursday’s practice an optional skate, with just a handful of players taking part.

“I’ve been on the West Coast before and I know what it’s like when you have a long trip out east and then you come back (home),” he said. “Usually the first game is not very good. I thought we handled it better than, say, some of the good Anaheim teams that I had would have handled it.”

There wasn’t much to go over on ice as a result, he said. The Canucks play every other day for the next week, then play Saturday and Sunday before getting two days off at the league trade deadline before heading off on a tough road trip to the Central Division, which starts with two games in two nights in Colorado and Arizona.

“The only time we do have a two-day break is after a back to back and before a back to back,” he said. “It’s March — if they’re not in shape now, do you know? And it’s not like I’ve been here (coaching) a week. They know exactly how I want them to play and we had a good video session this morning and we’ll all skate (Friday) morning and hopefully have a good game (Friday) night.”

Miller doing his best to ignore trade chatter

JT Miller is on the best playing run of his life. Given his contract status of him — he’ll be a free agent after next season — plenty of discussion on the hockey trade-rumor hot stove has centered on whether he might be a trade target for another team.

Asked about his situation on NHL Network TV on Thursday, Miller repeated that he doesn’t often look at social media but that, sure, he hears from friends and teammates about teams that are supposedly considering bidding for his services via trade.

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But none of it matters to him, he told hosts Jackie Redmon and EJ Hradek.

“It’s hard to avoid it entirely,” he said. “I’m with the guys here. I’m very invested in our team here. This is where I want to be here. Every night we try to win for this team here. It’s the only thing I can focus on… and until something happens it’s the way it’s going to be.”



Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks

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Hradek did ask Miller about his future and whether he’d like to remain in Vancouver long term, and Miller responded with understandable caution. He did n’t say it, but one can gather he knows his price of him and as a player who has been traded twice in his career he surely knows not every team will be able to pay him like he will hope if he does hit free agency in 2023.

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