In case you haven’t noticed, Vancouver fans and media can be a fickle bunch. The Canucks’ struggles over the last several weeks have everyone on edge, looking for the slightest provocation to heap scorn and ridicule on the boys in blue and green. (For instance, if your psyche is the least bit frail, I don’t recommend reading Tony Gallagher’s recent columns, as they will likely send you into a funk that is funkier than Bootsy Collins on bass).
For Alain Vigneault, however, the vitriol has been aimed his way all season. According to some fans, Vigneault is hanging on to the Canucks’ coaching job by his fingertips and every single one of his decisions is a foot smashing down on his fingers. According to these fans, if the Canucks don’t make it to the Western Conference Final, Vigneault should be fired. If they don’t make the Stanley Cup Final, Vigneault should be fired. If they don’t win the Stanley Cup, Vigneault should be fired fired fired.
Into the sun.
Now, such declarations are all a little absurd, as the accomplishment of each of these goals is dependent on so many variables outside of a coach’s control. Everything from injuries, to bounces, to running into a hot goaltender can derail a team’s Cup hopes, to the point that it has been argued that the best team wins the Cup only 22% of the time. Unfortunately for his detractors, Vigneault’s sterling record with the team has earned him a slightly longer leash than they would like.
The most absurd moment in Vancouver’s imbalanced-towards-hate, love-hate relationship came Tuesday morning, when news came out of the morning practice that the much-maligned Mason Raymond had been promoted to the top line to play with the Sedins. Twitter erupted with irate fans calling for Vigneault to be fired, that somehow a line combination that had only seen the ice in one practice was the last straw and grounds for immediate dismissal.
Never mind that Vigneault has previously experienced wildly unexpected success with an out-of-left-field linemate for the Sedins — the new line combination had yet to even play a single game together and Vigneault’s head was already on the chopping block.
Considering that Mike Gillis didn’t fire Vigneault when he first was hired as the General Manager as the Canucks, despite most new GMs bringing in their own coaching staff, he didn’t fire Vigneault when the Canucks missed the playoffs in 2008, and he didn’t fire Vigneault after their 8 game winless streak in 2009, it seems unlikely that he will fire him for trying out a new line combination in practice. Yes, Vigneault decided to use that line combination on Wednesday against the Coyotes and appears to be willing to try it again on Saturday against the Blue Jackets, but that still wouldn’t be a good reason to fire him.
If you’re looking good reasons to fire Alain Vigneault, PITB’s got you covered. The following 16 things would be completely legitimate reasons to fire Alain Vigneault:
1. Gave the access codes for the Caprica military computer network to a Cylon posing as a human woman.
2. Instead of sending Keith Ballard to the press box, ripped out his still beating heart from his chest like Mola Ram.
3. Was responsible for the well-being of the horses on HBO’s “Luck.”
4. Cackled like a madman when it was suggested that Wellwood was “playing like a man possessed” because he is an actual demon that was possessing Wellwood and really appreciated the irony.
5. Is actually D.B. Cooper.
6. Continued to investigate X-Files even after the FBI closed the division and reassigned him to Federal background checks.
7. Borrowed Mike Gillis’s laptop and downloaded 15 Internet Explorer toolbars.
8. Released rage-infected monkeys out into the public.
9. Humiliated Roberto Luongo with new powerplay formation that places him in front of the opponents’ goal “because that’s how teams score against us.”
10. Is the man responsible for bringing former Alcatraz inmates into the future and unleashing them on San Francisco.
11. Tried to write his name in the moon with a laser.
12. Was recently unmasked as the ghost haunting the abandoned amusement park. He would have gotten away with it too, it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.
13. Refuses to take down his Christmas lights.
14. Recently became a vegan and is soooooo self-righteous about it.
15. Accidentally e-mailed Mike Gillis a copy of his movie script about a savvy French Canadian coach and his super-stupid boss who used to be a player agent.
16. Always caught chewing gum, but never brings enough for everybody.Tags: Alain Vigneault, Blogs are for lists, Questionable Comedic Content