Apr 012014
 
With the Canucks outside looking in on the playoff race, there has been plenty of speculation around the Tortorella coaching regime, to add more fuel to the fire, former Canucks' coach Alain Vigneault returns tonight with his post-season bounce New York Rangers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

While the Canucks are outside looking in on the playoff race, there has been plenty of scrutiny around the Tortorella coaching regime, to add more controversy, former Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault returns tonight with his post-season bound New York Rangers.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

With only 6 games left in the regular season, the likelihood of our Vancouver Canucks making the post-season sits at 0.3%.

If you’re the most optimistic of fans, then yes, absolutely, there’s still a chance at a miracle finish here. But the reality is, the injuries, the inefficiencies on the power play, the inability to protect leads, especially in the third period, everything that has plagued them this year, have caught up, and we’re left to grind about the many questions facing this team the rest of the season, and in all likelihood, the off-season.

With the New York Rangers in town tonight, and coach Alain Vigneault returning to Rogers Arena behind the visitors bench, perhaps one of the most prominent questions is, was AV really the problem?

In Av’s time here, he led the Canucks – with the same core of players as John Tortorella has – to six Division titles, two Presidents Trophies, a Stanley Cup Final appearance, and a 313-170-57 record. Obviously, they struggled in the post-season in his last two seasons – the Los Angeles Kings, who barely clinch the 8th and final playoff berth in the West, beat them in 5 games in 2012, and the San Jose Sharks swept them last season – but hey, at least they made it. I don’t think this was entirely his fault, and in fact, you can argue he got the best of whatever Canucks roster he had – even made them Stanley Cup contenders – and he’s doing the same now with the Rangers, who have much of the same players that Torts had. On the other hand, the Canucks, under Torts, have done worse, much worse, this season. Regardless, the consensus last year was that the Canucks had gone stale and that they needed a new voice.

Was the coaching change the right call? Maybe. Did they hire the right replacement? I don’t know, and maybe, that’s the better question.

  • Pivot

    The Vancouver team AV built isn’t fit to play Tortarella grind it out, 1 goal games. Blocking 20+ shots per game and throwing 30 hits is not how AV built this team. The defenseman are all wrong for Torts high stakes hockey approach. They need good skating big shutdown defenseman. A couple bottom 6 Centerman that’ll kill penalties. Even a couple wingers that’ll kill penalties too and at least 2 top end, shutdown defenseman that he trusts in all situations. 5 on 5, 5 on 4, & PK. They have some pieces to trade for players to fit around Torts. I doubt he gets fired. They still owe AV money. Now they’re gonna fire Torts with 4 years on his deal, and hire (and pay) another coach? Torts has won everywhere he’s went. Wether it was an immediate change or change over a couple of years but he will get results. The personnel let him down. The Calgary debacle was just him protecting his players. He may be hard on them but no one else is allowed to.

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