Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is hoping his club can ride last season’s strong finish into a hot start for the 2023-24 campaign.
“It definitely feels different because I feel that we’re more aligned from the top to the bottom,” Allvin told Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre Friday when asked about the organizational changes over the last year. “I think we’re all preaching the same message. We know the players. And there was definitely a big momentum boost after last year when we did the coaching change.”
The Canucks were a long shot to make the previous postseason after an 18-25-3 start to the 2022-23 campaign under head coach Bruce Boudreau. Vancouver missed the playoffs by 15 points, but Allvin took solace in the club’s strong finish, going 20-12-4 after Rick Tocchet replaced Boudreau.
Allvin said he believes that a full training camp under Tocchet will prepare the team better to avoid the poor starts that torpedoed them in past seasons.
“The approach Toc has and how he wants to play the game, you need to be fit to play,” he said. “And I think that’s what he emphasized to the players – the fitness level in order to be able to play the right way. That’s where I give the leadership group a lot of credit because the players came together and sent out the texts, and everybody showed up earlier than ever before.”
After the Canucks finished 25th in the league in goals against and owned the NHL’s worst penalty kill last season, Allvin made a cognizant effort to improve the club’s defensive play for the upcoming campaign.
Allvin said those additions and a full season under Tocchet will help the Canucks win the close, low-scoring games they couldn’t last season.
“You don’t need to win games 6-5, 7-5,” he said. “You can win games 2-1 by playing the right way and being a very, very consistent team. I think that’s what we (strive for), being very consistent in detail.”
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