Rick Tocchet speaking with reporters during a media briefing.
Photo credit: Global News

LATEST | Tocchet finds a new source of motivation for his Canucks

Published December 28, 2023 at 9:33
The Vancouver Canucks will return from the holiday break on Thursday night as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Rogers Arena.

So far this season, the Canucks have exceeded the expectations of many in the hockey world as they sit in first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference and second place in the entire National Hockey League, only behind the New York Rangers.

There are several reasons why the Vancouver Canucks are in the position they are, including the play of Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller. They've also thrived under the system head coach Rick Tocchet wants them to play and can also thank their depth for producing in key moments throughout the first 2+ months of the 2023-24 season.

On the outside however, there are many that say the Canucks' play so far won't be sustainable for the entire 2023-24 season and while that may be true and they could eventually hit a slump, this team knows they can prove everyone wrong. Rick Tocchet said in a recent interview with Sportsnet that he wants the team to use the criticism as fuel for the remainder of the season.

"I don't like using the word negative (but) I think there's a lot of outside noise that doesn't believe in this team," Tocchet said. "I kind of like that, me personally. As a player, I liked that. I hope we use that as fuel. At the end of the day, you know, you're a motivated guy. Whether somebody says you're lucky or it's a matter of time before it blows up, I really don't care about that stuff. I think it's self-motivation and team motivation together."

There's going to be some ups and downs for the Canucks as the season continues, as there will be with every team in the National Hockey League. But they've put themselves in a very good position and there's no doubt in their minds that they can return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2020.

The Canucks' race towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on Sportsnet Pacific.

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LATEST | Tocchet finds a new source of motivation for his Canucks

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