If you believe the internet (and who doesn’t?) then you believe John Tortorella will be the next coach of the Vancouver Canucks. The opinions on this potential move vary from ‘worst decision ever’ to ‘might possibly work’. But I’m yet to find someone who thinks it’s the perfect fit.
There are a lot of reasons for that. Mostly it comes down to the fact that the man who coached the New York Rangers appeared to be a ranting lunatic. He yelled at players, he benched stars and loved to openly hate the media.
Do you honestly see Ryan Kesler taking well to being torn a new one? Or being benched? I definitely don’t. Could tough love work on Roberto Luongo? If he doesn’t start to cry, his overprotective fan base definitely will. (I know, I know he won’t be here, but still.) Most importantly Kevin Bieksa has come out and said “I don’t think we need somebody to come in a crack the whip.” Torts is a notorious, public whip cracker.
So does Gillis and Aquilini you take the risk here and tell the team ‘you don’t know what you really need’ and give them Tortorella anyway? Based on what? His strategy? Let’s take a look at that too.
With the Rangers, Torts relied heavily on Lundqvist. Too heavily. A goalie can’t carry a team on his shoulders. We’ve seen that fail time and time again. And the last thing Vancouver needs is a coach who comes in and lays it all at the feet of the starter goalie. Who is our starter next season anyway? And blocking shots? Vancouver isn’t made up of young bendable players anymore. It’s mostly mid-career, breakable players (I’m looking at you Ryan Kesler) so standing in front of slap shots isn’t the smartest move for this team. And this team has too many strong goal scorers… who aren’t scoring. We need a coach that can fix that problem, not one that gets Henrik Sedin to lay down in front of a shot.
I’ve always thought that the Canucks were an overly emotional team. They need a coach that can harness that and focus that, not one that adds even more unfocused emotion to the room and the bench. Dan Bylsma was able to do that with the Pens when he first got there, although he seems to have lost that magic touch. Torts, in my opinion, can’t do that.. Sure the Canucks seem to do well when they think the hockey world hates them, but I don’t think they’d do well thinking their own coach hates them.