The Canucks turn to Juulsen with Soucy suspended for Game 4

EDMONTON— The Vancouver Canucks will employ a “next man up” philosophy, according to coach Rick Tocchet, after defenseman Carson Soucy was suspended one game Monday for checking Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid in the facial area.

“We’ve done this all year,” Tocchet said.

As a result, defenseman Noah Juulsen will be added to the lineup when the Canucks face the Oilers in Game 4 of the Western Conference second round here on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, SN, ESPN).

Soucy was suspended by the NHL’s player safety department for an incident at the end of Vancouver’s 4-3 win in Game 3 here on Sunday, which gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. The second couple’s defense attorney apologized on Monday.

“Obviously there was no intention to move a player up that level, so I think it was an unfortunate incident,” Soucy said. “I think we can just leave it at that.”

McDavid’s reaction to the postgame scrum?

“They play a physical brand of hockey. It’s fun to be a part of it,” said the Edmonton captain, tongue firmly in cheek.

Soucy has four assists and is plus-3 in nine games of these Stanley Cup playoffs after posting six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-10 rating in 40 regular-season games.

Juulsen played one game in these playoffs. He had four penalty minutes in 11:24 minutes of ice time during a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the first round on April 23 in Vancouver. Juulsen scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 54 games. the regular season.

He said the Canucks’ success this season is due in part to the players’ ability to get into the lineup without missing a beat, no matter how long they’ve been watching games from the press box.

“I think we’ve done that all year,” Juulsen said. “Guys were sent here and there. And the people who were brought in are also taking it on board.

“I think of course the longer you are out there, the harder it becomes. But I think as a group we try to stay committed and hang in there as best we can.”

Juulsen said Soucy’s behavior was out of character for his teammate.

“He’s probably the nicest guy on this team,” said Juulsen, who will try to give the Canucks a 3-1 lead in Game 5 on Thursday in Vancouver.

Tocchet said of Juulsen: “I just think we’re lucky to have him as our seventh defender. He contributed greatly throughout the year and played in some difficult spots.

“We have great confidence in ‘Juuls’.”

Juulsen joins the lineup after the Canucks kept McDavid off the scoresheet in Game 3. Tocchet said he wasn’t sure who Juulsen would be working with on Tuesday and could mix up the combinations.

The coach expects both McDavid and fellow forward Leon Draisaitl to thrive in Game 4 and said it will take team discipline to slow down Edmonton’s dynamic duo.

“You have to get them to play defense,” he said. “You have to get ahead of them, and you have to make them turn the other way and control you. Break it.

“If you let McDavid play freely for 30 minutes, he can do it in his sleep. If you can get him to turn a little bit and defend, that’s a tough game.

“This is how your team should always play. Get people to defend themselves.”