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At the Rink blog

Tortorella's message to Canucks: Stay aggressive

Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 1:02 PM

By Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Tortorella's message to Canucks: Stay aggressive

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks won't change their lineup against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night, but coach John Tortorella is still trying to change his team's mentality.

Tortorella was upset his team sat on a 2-0 third period lead against the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, blowing the lead midway through the period and giving away a point to a Pacific Division rival they are chasing before rallying to win 3-2 in overtime.

It was the fifth time in the past seven home games that the Canucks failed to hang onto a lead in the third period. And while he made it clear the team was not guilty of sitting back with the lead in the other four losses, Tortorella still sees room for improvement.

"It's just being a little bit too careful," he said after practice Saturday afternoon. "I just want us to stay aggressive. It's a mindset. That's the way we want to play, aggressive, and we have lost ourselves there a little bit when we have a lead."

In fact, Tortorella doesn't think his new team has fully grasped the assertive mentality he wants even when playing without a lead.

"We are going to keep pounding away on that mindset," Tortorella said. "Even through our whole game, I don't think it's totally there on how aggressive we need to be as far as our battle level."

Neither team skated Sunday morning in advance of a 5 p.m. local start time, but here are the anticipated lineups for the Avalanche and Canucks:

AVALANCHE

Ryan O'ReillyPaul StastnyPA Parenteau

Gabriel LandeskogMatt DucheneNathan MacKinnon

Jamie McGinnJohn MitchellMaxime Talbot

Patrick BordeleauMarc-Andre ClicheCody McLeod

Erik JohnsonNate Guenin

Cory SarichAndre Benoit

Nick HoldenTyson Barrie

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratched: Brad Malone

Injured: Jan Hejda (knee), Ryan Wilson (back), Alex Tanguay (knee)

CANUCKS

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinDavid Booth

Chris HigginsRyan KeslerMike Santorelli

Dale WeiseBrad RichardsonJannik Hansen

Tom SestitoZac DalpeZack Kassian

Dan HamhuisChristopher Tanev

Ryan StantonKevin Bieksa

Andrew AlbertsJason Garrison

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Jeremy Welsh

Injured: Alexander Edler (knee), Alexandre Burrows (broken jaw), Jordan Schroeder (foot)

Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh