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:
Ryan O'Reilly – Paul Stastny – PA Parenteau
Gabriel Landeskog – Matt Duchene – Nathan MacKinnon
Jamie McGinn – John Mitchell – Maxime Talbot
Patrick Bordeleau – Marc-Andre Cliche – Cody McLeod
Erik Johnson – Nate Guenin
Cory Sarich – Andre Benoit
Nick Holden – Tyson Barrie
Scratched: Brad Malone
Injured: Jan Hejda (knee), Ryan Wilson (back), Alex Tanguay (knee)
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – David Booth
Chris Higgins – Ryan Kesler – Mike Santorelli
Dale Weise – Brad Richardson – Jannik Hansen
Tom Sestito – Zac Dalpe – Zack Kassian
Dan Hamhuis – Christopher Tanev ?????????
Ryan Stanton – Kevin Bieksa
Andrew Alberts – Jason Garrison
Scratched: Jeremy Welsh
Injured: Alexander Edler (knee), Alexandre Burrows (broken jaw), Jordan Schroeder (foot)