Canucks’ Tocchet considering some lineup changes ahead of Game 3 vs Oilers

Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet didn’t love his team’s play in last night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

While he credited the Oilers, particularly Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, he didn’t seem to love his team’s effort throughout the entire 60 minutes and is expecting a better performance for Game 3 tomorrow night.

“We respect [the Oilers], they’re great players, but I think we’re respecting them too much,” Tocchet told reporters today. “We’re coming off our checks; we were stuck checking too much last night. That was the disappointing thing for me. We lose in overtime, it’s 1-1 in the series, we’ve played eight playoff games. You’ve got to make sure that’s sustainable. We need some players to dig in for us. You have to dig in if you want to win.”

To add some more motivation and fire to his group, there could be a few lineup changes coming for the Canucks in Game 3.

“I think, for me, we need more from [Nils Hoglander],” Tocchet said. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him right now if we’re going to make some lineup changes because I didn’t like his game yesterday. We’ve got to figure a few things out here. … There’s a bunch of guys who could be an option right now. [Nils] Aman could be an option, [Linus] Karlsson, who’s going to be coming with us, might be an option.”

There may be a change on the back end as well. Ian Cole, who accidentally redirected Evan Bouchard’s game-winning goal into his net, has had a rough series. However, Tocchet was careful to say that he wouldn’t necessarily be the one coming out if he does make changes to his defensive group.

“[Noah] Juulsen’s a possibility, too. Might have to get him in the lineup,” Tocchet said. “I’m not saying for Cole. I mean, Cole has had a couple tough games in a sense, but he’s such a big part. He’s played a lot of playoff games. When you play a lot of playoff games, there’s going to be some times stuff doesn’t go your way. He’s a warrior; he always bounces back.”

While it remains to be seen what lineup Tocchet will decide on for Game 3, it is evident that he is putting serious thought into it to give his team the best chance possible. Puck drop for tomorrow’s outing is set for 6:30 pm ET.