John Tortorella says his third and fourth lines must earn their ice time something the Canucks coach stressed they most certainly did not do in Vancouver’s season-opening 4-1 loss in San Jose. After a short 30-minute practice Friday at Rogers Arena Tortorella made it clear he was not enamored with the play of his bottom-six forwards in Thursday night’s loss to the Sharks. He suggested both lines need to be much better when the Canucks play their home-opener Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers. “The fourth line has got to play better” Tortorella said later adding: “I’m not sure we had three lines going either. (Actually) I am sure. We also need more out of our third line.” Vancouver’s fourth line of Dale Weise Zac Dalpe and Tom Sestito spent most of Thursday night stapled to the bench. Weise logged 4:40 of ice time Sestito had 3:28 and Dalpe in his Canuck debut had a game-low 3:19. Tortorella said there was a good reason for that: they simply didn’t play well enough. “I want to use my whole bench I go into every game wide open as far as who is going to play” Tortorella said. “I am certainly going to be using my top players in certain situations I know that. But if I’m forced to use four lines because of their play and they are making the decisions for me I feel pretty good about that because guys are going. “But when a fourth line takes a penalty gives up two scoring chances and one’s a goal it’s awful tough for me to put them on the ice. When they are not physical enough it’s awfully tough for me to put them on the ice. They are not scoring 30 goals so they need to do the other things. I need to see that so they’ll get an opportunity again (Saturday) night and they’ll make the decision for me as the game goes on.” Weise who took a first-period penalty that stalled some the Canucks’ early momentum knows he has to earn his ice time. “I think everyone wants to play more and everyone thinks they can do more but that’s what makes good hockey teams” Weise said. “Guys have to accept their roles and do the best they can in that role. I am very comfortable playing that role whether it’s two to three minutes or 10 to 12 minutes.” After picking apart his fourth line Tortorella took aim at his third line of Mike Santorelli David Booth and Brad Richardson. They each played between 12 and 14 minutes against the Sharks. “I need our third line to give us some zone time offensively” Tortorella said. “They had some good shifts but again we just didn’t sustain enough and that’s what that line needs to do.” The Canucks insisted Friday there were positives to be taken from their loss to the Sharks.
Tortorella targets third and fourth lines after season-opening loss
Vancouver Sun | Oct 5