Dec 162009
 

Through all the ups and downs this season there haven’t been very many constants. We’ve had a mismatch of players, we’ve been short staffed on forwards, blue liners, goaltenders. We’ve had a hot power play, a cold penalty kill. We’ve signed ECHLers, played with the waiver wire, and the only thing that’s remained constant in the first 33 games of the season is Alain Vigneault.

Tonight the Canucks look to string together their first four game winning streak of the season, and it’s been the stellar play of Luongo and Henrik Sedin that have pulled the Canucks up to 5 games above .500, but who have also taken the heat off of Vigneault. I was never for the Vigneault extension, and I still thing it was the wrong move. The fact of the matter is that while Vigneault continues to be inconsistent in the result he produces on ice, there’s always another scapegoat to take the blame.

When a team’s playing .500 hockey the excuses are all about the players. There’s always an individual who would do better, or a player who’s injured and considered a large part of the team’s winning ways. The thing is, we went through every excuse in the book to start the season. From the cliche “we always run into hot goal tenders” to “Luongo always starts slow” even to “we always play down to our opponents” the excuses were rampant and everyone was blamed from Wellwood, to Luongo and half the blue line. Because it’s .500 hockey no one ever things to blame the coach and I think that’s a problem.

Vigneault’s preached a defensive style of hockey which has left us frustrated at some of the most important times (like sitting on a one goal lead in the playoffs). The Canucks need a coach that plays a different style of hockey and I think until you swap Vigneault out for a Craig McTavish, or a Marc Crawford (I think he would thrive under the team we have right now) you’re accepting .500 hockey and not seeing what this team is really capable of. This team was touted to be one of the best this season on paper. I’m tired of blaming individual players for the team’s short comings. It’s hard to say that a slumping Wellwood, for example, even if he were to start a goal scoring streak, would result in Canucks wins. It’s a team game and while certain players need to elevate their game, I don’t think that this many games into the season you can keep pinpointing individual efforts or lack thereof for group shortcomings. So why aren’t they consistent? It starts behind the bench.

  • http://yaletown.ca Yaletown.ca

    Good point. I do think Crawford got thrown under the bus with the Bertuzi fiasco.
    Canucks have speed and they should use it and be in attack mode for 3 periods.

  • http://yaletown.ca Yaletown.ca

    Good point. I do think Crawford got thrown under the bus with the Bertuzi fiasco.
    Canucks have speed and they should use it and be in attack mode for 3 periods.

  • CandyCanuck

    Who got the Canucks into the playoffs last year, when initially everyone was waiting for his head to roll then as well!? Maybe if defense realised they need to assist Luongo rather than leave him to it they would be in a better place now. People always blame management… maybe they should learn the definition of team. Also the addition of a 40+ goal scorer would help.

  • CandyCanuck

    Who got the Canucks into the playoffs last year, when initially everyone was waiting for his head to roll then as well!? Maybe if defense realised they need to assist Luongo rather than leave him to it they would be in a better place now. People always blame management… maybe they should learn the definition of team. Also the addition of a 40+ goal scorer would help.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Richard Loat

    You can say AV was responsible for us getting into the playoffs if it was his coaching that got us there. The two times we’ve made the playoffs in his time here have been a result of Luongo’s play getting us there. The one time we didnt get to the playoffs was a result of Luongo’s less than stellar play.

    AV hasn’t done anything to prove his coaching has a profound effect on this team.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Richard Loat

    You can say AV was responsible for us getting into the playoffs if it was his coaching that got us there. The two times we’ve made the playoffs in his time here have been a result of Luongo’s play getting us there. The one time we didnt get to the playoffs was a result of Luongo’s less than stellar play.

    AV hasn’t done anything to prove his coaching has a profound effect on this team.

  • VanStanley

    Hmmm…..

    When AV first showed up, he had not much to work with. Defensive first hockey is what wins championships. If you cannot keep it out of your own net you cannot expect to win. That is what he geared the team towards. Getting the core players to buy into that system is what AV did, and it was successful.

    In the past two seasons we have seen a number of changes happen with in the team. The coaching staff puts forth a system and the players are the ones accountable. You look at other tenured coaches in recent memory. Lemaire, Trotz and Ruff all come to mind.

    (Crawford was unable to do anything more than AV has achieved. Sure he got a ring in Colorado, but that was in a different era. Capitalizing on good drafting and shrewd trades from Quebec. Sakic and Roy. Good components to win Cups).

    The emergence under AV of Kesler and Burrows, helping add pop to our offence. Two seasons ago we WERE a one line team, that played trap hockey. Teaching that system to the core, now has us on the brink of being able to win many hockey games by exploiting other squads offensively, hence our near the top powerplay. We have three lines, thanks in part to deals made by Nonis and additions from Gillis.

    For example, sure Wellwood and Bernier are not exactly lighting it up this year, but Raymond sure is. Why? They had an fantastic playoffs. Raymond elevated his play and gained confidence, and it has parlayed into so far, an excellent regular season. That has to be in part attributed to AV.

    The problem with the Vast Vancouver hockey market is that most people have never, and will never play the game. At various times throughout the history of the franchise, the fans have been unable to see when the squad has something good. Gillis recognized this fact and signed AV to a deserved extension.

    To suggest that Crawford could do the job again may be true, but do we really want to recycle someone who also was unable to motivate the squad he had, pre cap era btw, to anything more than mediocrity?

    AV thinks outside the box, and makes his players accountable. Expect deals to be made before his job would be compromised. During a very large injury bug the team played through and won a lot of hockey games when they could have done the opposite. After three years of constant line juggling, which most fans complain bitterly about, he was able to get more juice out of that squeezed lemon. Playing defencemen as forwards, rotating the assignments, do what was needed to get results strengthened the team.

    Fans want the run and gun silver ballet. Has it worked yet in 40 years? Nope. Pat Quinn had success because we had that eternal fan favourite Pavel Bure, and a core of players who played team defence. Timely goals and hot goaltending.

    Success only due to the Stellar play of Luongo and Henrik? What about Kesler and Raymond. What about Ehrhoff? What about The return of Daniel and the re emergence of Burrows? What about the team play of Rypien? What about the games that Raycroft sole for us during the injury bug? What about Salo getting the monkey off his back? What about the strong play of Hansen?

    AV knows hockey. Right now he should be getting some accolades in helping the team gel. Look at our record since the Luongo came back from injury. But you wanna change coaches so they have to learn a new system? Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

    VanStanley.

  • VanStanley

    Hmmm…..

    When AV first showed up, he had not much to work with. Defensive first hockey is what wins championships. If you cannot keep it out of your own net you cannot expect to win. That is what he geared the team towards. Getting the core players to buy into that system is what AV did, and it was successful.

    In the past two seasons we have seen a number of changes happen with in the team. The coaching staff puts forth a system and the players are the ones accountable. You look at other tenured coaches in recent memory. Lemaire, Trotz and Ruff all come to mind.

    (Crawford was unable to do anything more than AV has achieved. Sure he got a ring in Colorado, but that was in a different era. Capitalizing on good drafting and shrewd trades from Quebec. Sakic and Roy. Good components to win Cups).

    The emergence under AV of Kesler and Burrows, helping add pop to our offence. Two seasons ago we WERE a one line team, that played trap hockey. Teaching that system to the core, now has us on the brink of being able to win many hockey games by exploiting other squads offensively, hence our near the top powerplay. We have three lines, thanks in part to deals made by Nonis and additions from Gillis.

    For example, sure Wellwood and Bernier are not exactly lighting it up this year, but Raymond sure is. Why? They had an fantastic playoffs. Raymond elevated his play and gained confidence, and it has parlayed into so far, an excellent regular season. That has to be in part attributed to AV.

    The problem with the Vast Vancouver hockey market is that most people have never, and will never play the game. At various times throughout the history of the franchise, the fans have been unable to see when the squad has something good. Gillis recognized this fact and signed AV to a deserved extension.

    To suggest that Crawford could do the job again may be true, but do we really want to recycle someone who also was unable to motivate the squad he had, pre cap era btw, to anything more than mediocrity?

    AV thinks outside the box, and makes his players accountable. Expect deals to be made before his job would be compromised. During a very large injury bug the team played through and won a lot of hockey games when they could have done the opposite. After three years of constant line juggling, which most fans complain bitterly about, he was able to get more juice out of that squeezed lemon. Playing defencemen as forwards, rotating the assignments, do what was needed to get results strengthened the team.

    Fans want the run and gun silver ballet. Has it worked yet in 40 years? Nope. Pat Quinn had success because we had that eternal fan favourite Pavel Bure, and a core of players who played team defence. Timely goals and hot goaltending.

    Success only due to the Stellar play of Luongo and Henrik? What about Kesler and Raymond. What about Ehrhoff? What about The return of Daniel and the re emergence of Burrows? What about the team play of Rypien? What about the games that Raycroft sole for us during the injury bug? What about Salo getting the monkey off his back? What about the strong play of Hansen?

    AV knows hockey. Right now he should be getting some accolades in helping the team gel. Look at our record since the Luongo came back from injury. But you wanna change coaches so they have to learn a new system? Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

    VanStanley.

  • Ramzi

    well put vanstanley!

  • Ramzi

    well put vanstanley!

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