The people versus Alain Vigneault: a case study in terrible ideas

You have to give the Canucks some credit. In just two short seasons, they’ve managed to reduce the Presidents’ Trophy to nothing. Last year, this team proved that clinching it doesn’t guarantee a Stanley Cup win; this year they’re on the brink of proving that neither does it guarantee even a single playoff win. That’s impressive.

But Canuck fans are not impressed, and with the number one seed in danger of being swept by the LA Kings, you can understand why they’re looking for somebody to blame right now.

I’d blame Duncan Keith, who knocked Daniel Sedin, Vancouver’s only true elite winger, out of the lineup on a dirty, predatory hit in the season’s final stretch. Considering what it did to the team’s line combinations, powerplay, and overall identity, I’d say Keith is a pretty good target for derision.

But to hear Canuck fans tell it, the real problem in this series is that Alain Vigneault is being outcoached as usual. I am gobsmacked by the thoughtlessness behind this line of rhetoric.

First, let’s go backwards, because I fail to see which recent playoff elimination you could pin on coaching.

Most point at the losses to the Blackhawks, which were somehow the result of Vigneault being outcoached despite the fact that those Chicago teams had arguably the deepest and most talented rosters of any group since the lockout. But nope, it had nothing to do with an imbalance of talent, even though when the depth swung the other way in 2011 the Canucks took the series. Vancouver would have won all 3 matchups if Vigneault wasn’t outcoached.

Just like the Stanley Cup Final last season. Nevermind that the Canucks went up against a fabulously underrated and mostly healthy hockey team with superior forward depth. Nevermind that Vancouver lost pretty much everyone important to injuries along the way, including their entire second line and three of their top four defencemen (although Ryan Kesler, Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler shot themselves up with enough painkillers to play through their crazy injuries).

Nevermind that Claude Julien basically had a full chessboard, and Alain Vigneault had his rooks, a bishop and several pawns. Vigneault was the problem there.

They say hindsight is 20/20. For Canuck fans, it isn’t.

But we don’t look at the present all that well either. Is coaching really the issue in the LA series?

I mean, granted, it was a terrible coaching decision to allow Daniel to get tracked and elbowed in the face by Keith. Vigneault should have known better than to expose his best winger to a concussion and, I suspect, unreported neck problems. That’s on Vigneault. And Vigneault should never have built the powerplay around players that could get hurt. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

If Daniel Sedin’s in this series, the Canucks win at least one of the three games, maybe two. I’d argue for different outcomes in games 1 and 3, and talking to Greg Wyshynski, he felt Game 2 stood out as one that would have gone the Canucks’ way with Daniel in the lineup.

I know you’re not supposed to use injuries as an excuse, but that too is among the most nonsensical lines of rhetoric in sports. You build a team, and when players are removed from that team, it gets weaker. Is that not how it works? Apparently not in the playoffs, where common sense is abandoned.

It’s a completely different series with Daniel Sedin, and unless Vigneault can somehow use coach magic to make Jannik Hansen or Mason Raymond into some kind of surrogate, he’s stuck running his team with a gaping deficit.

And Vigneault really can’t prevent Alex Edler from serving up unforced errors at will, can he? Sure, you could take him out of the lineup, but he’s a pretty integral part of the core. You sort of need him to play well.

I know that many are still upset over trading Cody Hodgson, and there’s this bizarre argument that this was entirely Vigneault’s decision and he strong-armed everyone into it because he hated Cody’s offence for not being defence. This is, of course, crazy talk. Mike Gillis made that deal in consultation with his staff. He wasn’t bullied into it by some crazed coach with an agenda and the fact that it’s been tacitly spun this way is little more than irresponsible reporting. From the sounds of it, nearly everyone in the room approved of the trade.

Sure, it would be nice to have Cody Hodgson’s “clutch” goal scoring in this series, but one wonders if the games would even be as close as they’ve been with Cody in the lineup, considering the Kings forecheck and transition, as well as Cody’s weaknesses in that regard — weaknesses that people seem to think no opposing coach would ever notice or exploit. (Amazingly, Vigneault’s recognition of these weaknesses has been considered bad coaching.)

But even if Vigneault’s not to blame for these playoff eliminations, many feel he should still be fired because, in effect, he hasn’t been fired yet. Fire Vigneault just because. That’s a good way to run a team. That’s basically what you’re saying when you claim a coach should go just because he’s “reached his expiry date” after 7 years behind the Canucks’ bench despite coming off his two best seasons here.

Who, praytell, will replace him? Who’s the upgrade?

In pretty much every other case, Vigneault’s the upgrade. Even the people running the campaign to rid him from the city will be quick to admit that he’ll be back in employment within a week or so. Montreal is the destination most name, largely because Vigneault speaks French and his haters seem to think so little of him that it will be his bilingualism, not his standout coaching ability, that keeps him at the NHL level.

If Mike Gillis does indeed choose to make a coaching change (and I hope to heaven he doesn’t), Vigneault will be snatched up immediately for the same reason you snatch up a $20 bill when you see it on the ground. Because you can’t believe someone was thoughtless enough to drop it.

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150 comments

  1. Wyatt
    April 16, 2012

    I love how my article has become the poster child of firing AV. Did you read my article at all? Or are we just latching onto a headline?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      April 16, 2012

      I read it, although I started writing this piece before I did so — it’s not written as a response to you in specific.

      I understand that you weren’t actually calling for AV to be fired, but merely looking at the argument. Still, it’s the most recent piece representing a sentiment that drives me mad, and it went up quite a while before mine, so I felt compelled to acknowledge it.

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      • Wyatt
        April 16, 2012

        Fair enough. It just seems that it looks like the center piece of a movement I am not a part of. I just know the Fire Av! crowd is out there and it was interesting enough for me to write about.

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        • BLOGWARS
          April 16, 2012

          ROUND ONE:

          FIGHT!

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          • Chicky
            April 17, 2012

            Pillow Fight!

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      • iceman
        April 17, 2012

        I’ve been also hearing “Fire AV!” chant for the past several years, mostly from the asylum known as – you guessed it – CDC. Some of the posters over there were so obsessed with firing the team’s winningest coach, which made me wonder if AV had refused sharing his chewing gum with them.

        Anyway, I ended up reading through the TLOB article as well and I have to admit: At least the author raises some very thought-provoking points, if not entirely valid. I’m almost always with PITB’s stance on pretty much everything hockey related, but I do believe every coach is subjected to an expiry date when he/she signs with a team. It’s a fact of life in any professional league and not necessarily always relative to the number of wins or playoff appearances. More often than not, believe it or not, coaches are let go simply because… it’s about time.

        Yes, AV is a great coach with excellent track record especially while his stay here in Vancouver. Yes I think those people are idiots who pins our playoff losses on AV, including this year’s (whenever the inevitable happens). And yes I know there are teams who will snatch AV as soon as we let him go, and there”s a very good chance the coach may put up even better records wherever he ends up.

        From the pure coach-player relationship standpoint though, one of the following two things is bound to happen when a coach spends 5+ years with the same team and the same group of players (Heck, even both may happen) :

        1) Disrespect:
        Players begin to tune him out because the coach’s been bad and they have heard enough of all the things their coach preaches – plus they rarely work anyway. You don’t pay to much attention to what the coach says… because you already sorta know.

        2) Complacency:
        Players begin to tune him out because the coach’s been good and they have heard enough of all the things their coach preaches – plus they usually work. You don’t pay too much attention to what the coach says… because you already sorta know.

        It’s only my theory but you see a point I guess we all know which one is the case for Canucks. 7 years is a long run coaching the same team. I take nothing for granted as to what AV has achieved here and how close his team was from delivering us the Cup.

        It’s just, as I said, about time to turn a new page to rekindle the excitement…

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        • peanutflower
          April 17, 2012

          I guess Babcock has passed his expiry date too then?

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  2. blip
    April 16, 2012

    I wish there were more Canucks fans on the internet like you all.

    A+ post.

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  3. Scott McKenzie
    April 16, 2012

    What I don’t understand is, this team was built to outscore people, yet decided to become a defensive team at some point a couple months ago. Why? The coaching change mentality comes from the reality that this team is too talented to be down3-0 in the first round of the series.

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  4. Scott McKenzie
    April 16, 2012

    *playoffs, not series.

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  5. V
    April 16, 2012

    God, thank you for this. If AV goes, he’ll get snapped up by Montreal in seconds, and I think we’d be much poorer for it.

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  6. scla
    April 16, 2012

    I’m glad someone wrote a reasonable rebuttal to the “Fire AV” hubub. While he may not be the best coach to watch in a press conference, he has done wonders for this club. The idea that the team has won “in spite” of his coaching is pretty silly and gives very little credit to a coach’s job.

    Part of me wonders if the crowd that wants him fired is listening to a certain radio station and reading certain reporters articles and taking them at face value. Many of these reporters are outspoken of their dislike of AV’s limited interaction with the media. They have some petulant tweets about how useless he is in a press conference. And then they write articles about how he’ll be fired . These are treated as truth despite the transparency of their dislike of the man rather than the coach. Thanks PiTB for writing an intelligent take on the situation.

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    • peanutflower
      April 16, 2012

      Of course that’s what’s happening. Most of the Canuck fan base — yes, I’ll go that far — has not enough grey matter to actually analyze any writing and be objective enough to point out any fallacies or perceive any sarcasm or detect anything at all, for that matter. And writers and radio guys and even bloggers wanting to get a read or a hit or a call will just write the worst crap to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Right? It’s such a pile of shit.

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  7. cableguymike
    April 16, 2012

    I’ve never been a fan of AV. I don’t like the way he handles players for 1. You don’t call out a heart and soul player with a cracked vertebrae for not playing and make plugs like Rome your favourites who can seemingly do no wrong. The other issue I have is that AV and his coaching staff are ridiculously poor at adjusting their game strategy on the fly. Or even year by year it seems. They seem to prefer to stick to things like the drop pass on the power play or to trying to throw pucks net and crash over trying something like moving the puck east-west or from behind the net to get a goalie like TT or JQ moving side to side where they are more likely to over commit and open up the top of the net. It’s frustrating to watch. If as a fan I can see that their bang their head against the wall approach isn’t working how can’t they???

    That being said, you’re right in terms of who else do you bring in? That I don’t know. But then again I, like most fans, don’t spend time scouting coaches. That would be management’s job.

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    • cableguymike
      April 16, 2012

      It also blows my mind that they seem to refuse to overload one side the ice on the PP to outman the aggressive LA Kings PK. Seriously. Overload, win the battle, move the puck.

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    • SeattleFan
      April 16, 2012

      This is pretty much what I was going to say, but much nicer. One thing that wasn’t mentioned is coach fatigue. If you have the same coach for a long time, no matter how good they are, you eventually see players tuning them out. Especially if they are not the favorites or can never do anything right (like poor Ballard). I don’t get the sense that AV had a strong advocate in the room, especially when guys have a good think going like the AMEX line and right before the playoffs he’s still messing with line changes. I understand the first line due to injuries, but why mess up something that is working? I personally wouldn’t want to piss off Kesler, especially Beast Mode Kes.
      I do believe in Gillis, and I agree with others he won’t make a change without someone lined up. And if they are just as good but bring fresh perspectives, is that really a bad thing?

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      • cableguymike
        April 16, 2012

        Based on the first line combinations they were throwing out there the Canucks didn’t look like they were even preparing for the possibility of life without Daniel. I would call that a major coaching staff fail but what do I know.

        Let’s blame the players for that one.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          April 16, 2012

          You’re right, it’s really, really easy to figure out who the best possible player would be to replace an Art Ross-winning winger. That’s an easy decision to make.

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          • cableguymike
            April 16, 2012

            Yeah. And it’s really, really easy to think that player might be Andrew Ebbett. Come on!

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            • Daniel Wagner
              April 16, 2012

              I know I was being sarcastic; I’m not sure if you are doing the same.

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  8. Dave
    April 16, 2012

    From what I’ve seen, GMMG doesn’t do half-measures. If he fires AV, he’ll already have a replacement lined up. And if he’s got a replacement lined up, it’s someone he thinks is as good as AV. So my guess is, it all depends on whether someone else at that level comes available. (Can we trade AV to the Sharks for McLellan? Could be good for both teams….)

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  9. Q
    April 16, 2012

    Great read! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Come down off the ledge Vancouver. IF we end up losing this series (Yes I still have hope) then lets make some deals. Wiese, Alberts, Ballard, LU or Schneids, Malhotra, possibly Higgins or Hansen, Raymond, get some weapons and a top 3 D-man back in return and take another run.

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    • Frank
      April 16, 2012

      Really? Have you even watched Canucks games this year? Malhotra wins tons of face-offs. Higgins has ben their most consistent forward all year, and Hansen got closest to scoring a goal last night.

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  10. cableguymike
    April 16, 2012

    Ok. Last comment. I just realized the reason I dislike this article.

    It takes the exact same hard headed, I’m right you’re wrong stance as the article’s it seems to be in response to. In both cases, the facts have been built around the premise which was all ready pre-determined rather than looking at it from an objective point of view and from there coming to a sensible conclusion.

    Just more noise in the conversation.

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  11. Carson B.
    April 16, 2012

    Really tired of the hate on a coach who has been the best the franchise has had. Situational sh*tiness aside, such as player injuries and a team with plethora of luck, AV has done the city proud and people should be more aware of it. Thanks Mooney for just reassuring us there is some sensibility still there for this hockey team.

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    • cableguymike
      April 16, 2012

      In fairness, he’s had the pleasure of coaching arguably the most talented teams (from goaltender out) in franchise history.

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      • peanutflower
        April 16, 2012

        Well, that could be argued too. And a bunch of good players doesn’t necessarily make a good team, right? So I’m not sure you can reduce AVs role in the team’s success by saying he couldn’t help but be successful.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          April 16, 2012

          There are teams every single year that are good on paper and terrible on the ice. Having good players does not mean the team will be good, but Vigneault doesn’t get credit when the team succeeds.

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          • Cableguy
            April 16, 2012

            Give me one comparable to Vancouver.

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            • Warpstone
              April 16, 2012

              This year? How about Anaheim for starters?

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  12. Karen
    April 16, 2012

    Wow. I’m an AV supporter, I think he’s done a great job with our team. I am on the side of wanting him to stay with the team. But there is no need to disrespect another blogger for their opinions, especially when there are some good arguments on the side of bringing in new blood. Leave that to the crazy fans who don’t have all their tools in the shed. You’re better than that. And when you respond directly to the person in question that it’s not him you’re tweeting about, yet you choose to write this article directly calling him out, that IS passive aggressive behaviour. Next time have the balls to say, “yes, I’m talking about you”. Or better yet, don’t make the comment in the first place.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      April 16, 2012

      Two things:

      1. If I wanted to call someone out, I’d have every right to. If I disagree with an idea someone else has put on the Internet, I’ll say so.
      2. If I were calling someone out, I’d have quoted him.

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      • cableguymike
        April 16, 2012

        Two things:

        1. I didn’t read anywhere in her comment that she was saying you couldn’t call someone out. Everyone agrees there I would think. So not sure what that has to do with anything.

        2. You linked directly to the other guy’s article dude. So really you did kind of call the guy out and then say you didn’t when he asked you about it.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          April 16, 2012

          1. “Next time have the balls to say, ‘yes, I’m talking about you’. Or better yet, don’t make the comment in the first place.” Seems to me like she’s discouraging making the comment. So yes, she was suggesting I shouldn’t call him out.

          2. I link to lots of things. That doesn’t mean every link’s a call-out. Wyatt’s piece wasn’t even directly saying fire Vigneault, it was presenting other peoples’ arguments. I also disagreed with earlier pieces by Willes and Gallagher and the general sentiment on Twitter last night and into this morning, not to mention the radio. It was not directed at him and I’ve spoken to him and several other people to clarify this.

          Good grief. If I want to “call someone out”, I’m not going to tiptoe around it like a coward and leave it open to guesswork. That’s never been my way. Chill.

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          • Warpstone
            April 16, 2012

            Gallagher always wants to fire AV though. I don’t know why, it’s his personal hobby-horse. I can only guess it’s because AV’s arrogance really galls him. It’s as if he expects AB to open up up about how troubled he is about issue x, y or z when his team is sitting in the top 3 of the league!

            When you’ve won back to back President’s Trophies, I think you get to be arrogant, especially to curmudgeons who can’t hide their personal distaste for you.

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          • Karen
            April 16, 2012

            I was referring to the earlier twitter conversation where you said “Watching Vancouver attempt to run the best coach in franchise history out of town… there are no words.” and in response to someone asking who: “Diplomatically, I’ll say… individuals at the other paper.” to which there was a reply, “Are these some passive aggressive words towards me?” and you answered “Not really. You’re hardly the only one.” Then like an hour later you came out with this article.

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            • Harrison Mooney
              April 16, 2012

              Ah. Well, as I said to Wyatt privately, I had already begun writing the article when I saw his piece. Then it seemed disrespectful to act like I hadn’t seen it, even though it wasn’t what I was specifically responding to.

              But this post was hardly a pointed attack at him. It was directed at the Fire AV viewpoint that’s been going on all year and picked up steam over the last two months, spearheaded by Gallagher and Willes at the Province. This morning, it was everywhere. I think even Richard Loat had an article on it over at Canucks Hockey Blog.

              As I said, if I meant to challenge him directly, I would have.

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              • Karen
                April 16, 2012

                Fair enough. By the way, I’m not pissed or heated over this. Just have always been one to call a spade a spade. Perhaps today I mistook a rake for a spade?

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          • hockeyispretty
            April 16, 2012

            Harrison has called out everyone from the Princess Bride to the whole cast of Firefly through his many links. He’s a killer. That’s why he’s had my thumbs-ups on the above posts here. Also because he’s right.

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          • biznow
            April 17, 2012

            Wait….. so when you guys linked to High Fiving White Guys, you weren’t calling them out? This changes everything.

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  13. Kate
    April 16, 2012

    The mob demands a sacrifice! Don’t get what some of the media’s problem is with AV, he can be jolly (in the regular season) and as far as the lack of information he divulges…isn’t that pretty standard?

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  14. Cam Charron
    April 16, 2012

    Coaching is the reason for missed nets.

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    • JDM
      April 16, 2012

      Do I detect a hint of sarcasm? It’s misplaced. If a coach is capable of doing anything it is pointing out where the net is.

      SHOOT THERE! EDLER! SHOOT THERE!

      NOOOO, DON’T DROP PASS IT TO KOPITAR!

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      • peanutflower
        April 16, 2012

        Well, that little example just sort of says it all, right? A coach can be the best in the league, but if the players are going to get rattled and lose their brains at crucial moments a la MF drop pass what’s a coach to do? You have to play with the marbles in your bag, right?

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    • cableguymike
      April 16, 2012

      The Canucks have had 40+ in the last couple of games. Hitting the net is NOT the problem. Those missed shots were all pretty low percentage to begin with. It’s where they are trying to get those shots from that is an issue. And that, to an extent, falls at the feet of the coaching staff and their strategy.

      If it’s not the strategy that’s the issue, then we have a much, much, much larger problem on our hands with players either not buying in or not wanting to buy in.

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    • cableguymike
      April 16, 2012

      Since my comment got called out on twitter I will answer it here in terms of the coaching staff not considering a strategy that, say, gets the goalie moving east-west. There are two examples that lead me to the conclusion that the coaching staff has not in fact looked to make adequate adjustments believing that it wasn’t strategy that was the issue but execution. Which I disagree with.

      1.) In the SCF the Canucks were continually quoted as saying that they had to stick with the plan and keep getting shots to the net rather than trying to adjust their game. There was this belief that on a goalie like TT that you could throw pucks on the net and crash the net to score (ignoring the fact he comes out 30 ft from his crease and doesn’t allow many rebounds). We all saw how well that worked out.

      2.) The Canucks PP has been struggling for months now. Rather than make adjustments to their PP strategy they continued to believe their strategy was flawless and preferred to instead make personnel changes instead. Hell, up until game 3 they STILL continued to use the in effective drop pass and it burnt them badly in game 2. I’m waiting for them to finally figure out that you can put defensemen on their offside for a one-time attempt.

      Maybe I’m not giving the coaches enough credit but I can guarantee that you’re giving them too much. That’s why no coach stays with a team for ever. None of them are omnipotent gods just because they’ve been around the game.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        April 16, 2012

        Ha. I would also assure you that that tweet wasn’t a shot at your comment. We had a bunch of people tweet that at us and e-mail us. Just made me chuckle is all to see so many people with an answer that the coaching staff had clearly considered.

        And I’m positive there were quotes from the players about getting Thomas to move side to side during the SCF. The game-winner in game 5 was scored on a set play with that in mind.

        But I’ll agree that coaches aren’t omnipotent gods. I just think the argument for firing Alain Vigneault is weak. You want to see an argument for firing a guy, check out Pierre Gauthier’s body of work as GM in Montreal this season. Or Ron Wilson’s tenure with the Leafs. Those were deserved firings.

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  15. Mack
    April 16, 2012

    The reason they lost the finals was the sudden utter lack of goal-scoring. 8 goals in 7 games. Doesn’t cut it. So after rolling with 3 scoring lines the first half of the year and having an effective 2nd powerplay unit which was able to mask the 1st unit’s problems, management inexplicably decides to restructure the team into a defensive one. Two scoring lines, and two checking lines, much more traditional. The idea being that two tough minute checking lines would enable the first two lines to score more. Except for that didn’t happen. Scoring went down. Sure, they might get 40 shots on goal but how many of them are high quality scoring chances? Everyone told me that Pahlsson would enable Kesler to step up and deliver the offence. Well how did that work out?

    Not saying it’s all on Vigneault, but you do agree that the coach has a pretty big say in how the team is structured/what kind of systems are utilized right? It’s pretty obvious that at some point before the deadline he told Gillis what he felt the team needed, and he clearly felt the team needed to become more defensive. The team being on the verge of being swept after finishing first overall reinforces the notion that this was very much the wrong move.

    He has the kind of players he wants. The team is playing the system he wants. I don’t see why he shouldn’t get blamed.

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  16. landend
    April 16, 2012

    Nucks twitter just twit Daniel is heading to LA today! I don’t know, but it sounds like a desperate rush recovery to me. Is it really worth it to risk his health or even maybe his career just for this game, especially knowing every King will try to get at him if he plays? What if he gets slammed like Henrik did in Game 3 or get a Burrows sandwich… I don’t feel good about this.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +29 (from 31 votes)
    • Bobee
      April 16, 2012

      No way I am convinced Daniel is 100%, not experiencing symptoms. You mean to tell me he miraculously recovered just over the weekend? If he was close, why didn’t they just tag him along on Saturday. It’s one thing if the player says he’s fine, it’s the coach’s responsibility to decide whether to let him on the ice. To me, AV’s out if I ever find out the coaches know Dan is still severely concussed and still let him go out there.

      AV should give Kassian a clear job, if Dan gets harassed in any way like Hank did, go and Take Them Out. No, not a face wash or wrestling match, Go In and Take The Freaking Guy Down! Carkner-style! No it won’t turn into Bertuzzi 2.0 if you do it like in boxing and don’t grab onto the guy.

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      • Crystal
        April 16, 2012

        It’s a pity Daddy Mac Kass doesn’t have anyone on the team to take pointers from. The D’s learned from Salo, Burrows developed with the Sedins, the other guys got Kesler, the Sedins learned from the likes of Naslund and Trevor Linden.

        He came out in the first few games hitting anything that moves, but then AV starts telling him to restrain. So now he’s thoroughly confused, he thought they traded for him was so he could throw his body around, and when he got to doing it, they are telling him to back off.

        Remember Schneider said in his AV impression that he always says, “Well boys you know what to do.” No wonder now he looks like a lost puppy on ice, no one gave him any directions. There’s no one else on the team who serves the space that he’s suppose to fill. If only Torres is still here, he could tell Kass what to watch for.

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        Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
        • Kate
          April 16, 2012

          It seems like the problem for Kassian is he doesn’t always know where the line is (similar to Torres). He had a few big clean hits in a few regular season games, but the very first playoff game he gets a charging penalty, so of course the coaching staff tells him to reign it in a little, but you are right, he needs some guidance in the right direction, I have faith he’ll get there.

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    • Brent
      April 16, 2012

      My feelings exactly. No need to rush him back into what is, for all intents and purposes, a lost cause.

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  17. akidd
    April 16, 2012

    sensitive times. i don’t see what coaching has to do with this series. would canuck fans would rather watch sutter hockey or hitchcock hockey than AV hockey? i know i wouldn’t. the league is obviously trending towards defense-oriented hockey. i doubt that any of the offensive-oriented teams will make it out of the first round this year. so you might as well fire quenneville, babcock, mclelland and bylsma while you’re at it.

    it’s back to deadpuck as far as i can tell. and personally i would rather just change the channel than watch a sport that doesn’t put an emphasis on offensive creativity. do we want to become Wild fans from back in the day, cheering every dumpout? not me.

    it appears that puck possession hockey is done. stick a fork in it. so if you want a winning coach/gm how about keenan? he can choose his team based on weight and height like he did last time around. more size? less space on the ice. that would be as thrilling as it was the first time.

    sure it would be fun to win the cup as a concept. the reality though doesn’t look ‘fun’ at all.

    and harrison, it’s getting a bit dull agreeing with you all the time recently. so let me add that coho would be a better asset in these playoffs than kassian has been. his knack for scoring in tight would very probably have come in very handy. and you wouldn’t have to worry about his defense because the LA ice has the defensive side covered. kobe bryant may have enjoyed watching the round, rubber thing bouncing on the staples centre floor but i sure didn’t.

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    • Warpstone
      April 16, 2012

      Actually, the Kings are great at puck possession hockey. They’re incredibly under-par at shooting, but that’s in part due to design (better to hold on to it than risk a bounce that leads to an odd-man rush the other way).

      The reality is that the rules change in the post-season. Interference is not called the same way (if at all). If you’ve got a team that relies on technique, you either need the skating or power ability to deploy that system in the playoffs.

      The Canucks are good, but clearly we’re seeing know that there is a certain “grinder” style of team that they really match up poorly against–how wonderful would it have been to draw SJ instead, eh?

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    • Micheal
      April 16, 2012

      “the league is obviously trending towards defense-oriented hockey.”

      I’m sorry but who cares what is trending… are the Canucks followers or leaders? If you follow you are always one step behind.

      “i doubt that any of the offensive-oriented teams will make it out of the first round this year.”

      Philly?

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  18. PeeSeeGee
    April 16, 2012

    I agree with all this logic. I don’t think any of this comes down to coaching. It’s early days yet. There is a (slim) chance we bounce back. However, you fail to answer one question for me (or maybe I missed it). What do we do differently next year? Hope everyone doesn’t get injured in the last week of the season?

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    • PeeSeeGee
      April 16, 2012

      Sorry, by all this logic, I mean your logic re: Hodgson and Keith and firing AV not changing that.

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  19. warren
    April 16, 2012

    Well said Harrison. Most posters on sports items, even here at pitb, show a glaringlack of experience in competitive sports at more than a child’s level. AV is a fabulous coach that is able to get “teams” to buy-in. MG works in the same way. For the Hodgson trade to even be mentioned in a negative way, is pretty well absurd. The kid wanted out, you cut the cancer out, you protect the heart of the team.

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  20. Misha
    April 16, 2012

    I just hate when people bring up stats (province article) and insinuate some conclusion without actually drawing a logical link. I can play this game too – in the last 20 years:

    1) No team with a coach named “Alain” ever won the cup
    2) No team won a cup with twins on its roster
    3) No team won a cup who’s Selke winner posed nude for a magazine
    etc…

    Silly, silly, silly….

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    • Shand
      April 16, 2012

      It’s all true..

      No team named “Canucks” has ever won the cup !

      WE’RE DOOMED

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 16, 2012

        Yet, one team named “Canucks” won the first playoff series with three losses out of seven, within the last year. We’re not quite doomed!

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  21. TheFalconer
    April 16, 2012

    I think this is fantastic. I’d like someone to tell me exactly how you measure “coaching” during a game. Come up with some kind of advanced stat to PROVE to me that AV’s been “out coached” and that the players on the ice haven’t been out played. Down 3-0 in round 1 sucks, but blaming it on our almost perennial Jack Adams nominee, rather than on the very accountable players on the ice is just the type of knee jerk reaction this city and it’s fans are famous for.

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    • cableguymike
      April 16, 2012

      Whoa whoa whoa. So it’s the players fault for being outplayed when we lose but AV’s a perennial Jack Adams trophy nominee when we win because winning is all about the coach?

      Your logic is massively flawed.

      AV has had the luxury of coaching arguably the most talented teams in Canuck history all way from the goalie out. Let’s not forget that.

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    • Micheal
      April 16, 2012

      Seriously!!! I’m so sick of hearing AV has been out-coached. We get it… you can’t stand the sound of him sucking on his losange. I myself, find it soothing.

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      • peanutflower
        April 17, 2012

        Well, I’d like someone to explain to me too what “out coached” really means.

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        Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  22. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 16, 2012

    “I’d blame Duncan Keith, who knocked Daniel Sedin, Vancouver’s only true elite winger…”

    “many are still upset over trading Cody Hodgson…Mike Gillis made that deal in consultation with his staff….”

    Indeed, it is not AV who should be fired by any stretch of the imagination. Hopefully ownership can send Gillis packing before he even gets the chance. The problem with the team isn’t coaching. It’s an abhorrent lack of scoring depth, coupled with some boneheadedness on defence.

    Yes, Cody was playing largely “sheltered” minutes…kind of like the second unit power play, where he had excelled, and which gift-wrapped a couple of goals for the Kings in game 2. Harrison, somehow, visions of one play with Abdelkader outmuscling Cody have completely tainted your memory of just how much there was to be positive about re: the kid. You take the good with the bad, and the good was strong playmaking ability and good nose for the net, which are SORELY lacking on the roster that’s getting beaten by LA. And before anyone says “oh, well Cody wanted a trade”, I think any GM that’s going to let his personnel decisions be influenced by the whims of a 20-year-old rookie (or, more likely, his pushy player agent) is not fit to be GM.

    Save AV, Fire MG.

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    • Warpstone
      April 16, 2012

      That’s incredibly optimistic regarding Hodgson. Sure, he could chip in a few goals, but he would also be good for giving up several against a hard forechecking team like LA (or PHX or STL…).

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    • canuckistanian
      April 16, 2012

      Re Cody Hodgson:

      Two words: Kyle Turris. When a rookie demands more ice time and hints he will not be easy to re-sign, then you trade them for an asset before they develop into a liability.

      I loved Cody and hope he succeeds in the future, but he did seem to not realize there is no ‘i’ in ‘team’.

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 16, 2012

        There is a “me”, though, if you unscramble it. Actually, there is an I. It’s lowercase, and you have to use the negative space in an uppercase A and be creative with your font, but it’s there.

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      • BS
        April 16, 2012

        Hard to get a fair shake when the coach claims you are faking your injury. Clearly Cody wasnt going to ba a favorite pet of AV’s like Lou or the Sedins or Beiksa. Had Hodgson scored every shift AV would have complained he lacked defensive skills (who else does that sound like?

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    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      I think the only member of the coaching staff that needs to go is Newell Brown. AV is capable of implementing a new strategy and hopefully a new philosophy to the team, like he has done in the past transforming us from a trap team to an aggressive puck possession team.

      MG has made his mistakes… he is not so infallible as he was a year ago this time. I think alot will depend on how his prospects, including Kassian, turn out over the next several years. Jensen seems to be doing well, so that’s a plus.

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  23. Abby
    April 16, 2012

    This man speaks da truth.

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  24. RG
    April 16, 2012

    Firing AV would be like thinking it’s a good idea to trade Trevor for Messier.

    Sure Messier is a HOF’er, but there are things that Linden possessed that made the Canucks his. And the 2012 Canucks are AV’s. The players in the locker room are still listening to AV, and his systems evidently work. Things are not firing on all cylinders, and that falls on the players themselves, not AV.

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  25. Embrace Change
    April 16, 2012

    I am happy to have AV stick around as he is mostly good. I’d say change isn’t always a bad thing if there is an upgrade out there, it really depends on who they had in mind as a replacement, and to really plan ahead in this respect to make sure they have the best possible environment for the new person to succeed. Just firing a coach without a well thought-out plan doesn’t make any sense at all. Either way, I believe in Gillis and his management team, and they will make a thoughtful well analyzed plan with the best interests of the club at heart.

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    Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
  26. Ron Ball
    April 16, 2012

    Fire him for the wildly undisciplined play that this team has shown over and over in the playoffs.

    Seriously, their unrelenting targeting of Dustin Byfuglien after he potted a hat trick in 2010 should have been enough to can AV back then. Buff lights them up so they go after him the very next game… over and over. What happened?

    Toews gets a hat trick with all the glorious power play chances. Series OVER.

    It’s a team stacked with talent that are nothing but front runners. The coach has to take heat for that chronic behavior of “oh shit, we’re losing and we’re getting frustrated… lets act like assholes”.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -5 (from 19 votes)
    • Anonymous
      April 16, 2012

      Oh yeah this comment reminded me of another reason people are so ready to jump on the Fire AV! train. The manner in which we’ve spectacularly lost in the playoffs over the past few years and not seeing ridiculous over the top reactions from AV. We don’t have Torts screaming and gesturing theatrically or Laviolette punching a player in the head because he’s yelling at his team so heatedly

      People want him to be your conventional coach who calls timeouts to rally the team together with a passionate speech but that’s just not who he nor the team is.

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    • BS
      April 16, 2012

      Far to much logic for the homers on here who dont know jack about the game

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      • Chicky
        April 17, 2012

        *sighs* Dear BS, your village called, they’d like you back. Boston is sorry for leaving the gate open again.

        Shoo now…

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  27. Zach Morris
    April 16, 2012

    I think people expect coaches to be like the actors in sports movies who make inspiring speeches.
    Look at Alain Vigneault. He’s not Al Pacino.

    I don’t know if it’s fair to expect a coach to do more than roll lines and tell the players what they’re doing wrong.
    The playres have to motivate themselves.

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  28. Anonymous
    April 16, 2012

    Well said. There’s no better option out there and like your 20 dollar bill comparison, if AV does get fired you know how fast a team like Montreal would snap him up. He’s done great things for our team and he’d do the same anywhere else.

    However one thing I think is the biggest thing that fans go crazy over is his line ups. We know most times he just throws everyone in a blender at random and if it works he sticks with it (that’s how we got the Burr and Sedins top line), if not he throws someone else there. Take the end of the regular season for example, with Daniel out he switched things up and moved Lappy up to the top and it worked. But then come playoff time he ignores that and throws different players like Mason Raymond in game 1 and Jannik Hansen in game 2 there. Wasn’t the regular season the practice for the playoffs? Why is he moving players around and in and out like this during the big playoff games? It doesn’t seem like strategy like his smarter line deployment adjustment with Kesler-Kopitar was. Any Bulies have any thoughts on this?

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    • peanutflower
      April 16, 2012

      Well, let’s hope the Aquilinis and GMMG don’t cut their proverbial noses off to spite their proverbial faces. I would hate to have one of the unemployed floating coaches that cycle around and around the NHL. God, Crawford. Can you imagine? NOoo… TOO MANY MEN. TOO MANY.

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      • peanutflower
        April 16, 2012

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  29. Anonymous
    April 16, 2012

    Also I feel really dumb for saying in a PITB post that defensive players are better for the playoffs than offensive players given how this series is turning out…

    CONSIDER ME HUMBLED, HOCKEY GODS!

    And I truly don’t know about the powerplay and what happened to it for the majority of the season. PITB/Bulies what are your thoughts on “Newell Brown being figured out/canned”?

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    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      Re: Brown. Can you find another reason for our lack of slot scoring chances on the PP this series? Why has the Kings been so completely able to box our guys out from in front of Quick? Either 1, we do not have the personnel, or 2, our guys are not trying hard enough, or 3, we do not have the appropriate strategy. I think any semi-educated Canucks fan can deduce to reason 3.

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      • Warpstone
        April 16, 2012

        I think #1 is largely at play. Burrows and Kesler are not the proto-typical jammer in front of the net. But as we keep seeing, LA is a tough matchup: they’re big all throughout their roster. We had the same problem against Boston.

        David Booth was our new “power” forward. He goes hard to the net of course, but he’s not the sort of guy who parks in front of the net though.

        Ideally, this is Kassian’s job in the near future.

        Regarding #3, well, I don’t disagree. But who’s left to use? Kassian and Lapierre. Not great hands on either for the tip-in, so you have to rely on the shot getting to Quick AND producing a rebound. Neither seems very likely at this point.

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        • peanutflower
          April 17, 2012

          I’m just not sure about Booth yet. He’s a way strong guy — hugely strong judging from a few pics on the Canucks site, but to me he just seems like a stronger Raymond — all plow to the net but not enough finish. I dunno.

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  30. Warpstone
    April 16, 2012

    AV is probably one of the best coaches the Canucks have ever had.

    But let’s not absolve him of any errors either. Just like it doesn’t make sense to single out Edler for stinking up the joint this series, it’s never one guy who gets you bumped out of the playoffs. The coaches on this team are involved in the successes and the failures. Certainly the disintegration of the PP and the constant inability to find any stability on 2nd line is in part the coach’s responsibility?

    It’s criticism, but it’s not damning. Unlike most coaches, AV is in a strange position where his players dominate and then can be “found out” in at probably the worst points of the season. It’s like Luongo having a spectacular failure while Tim Thomas is providing perhaps the best postseason goaltending ever.

    Clearly, Sutter has done far more with less than this series than AV. Yes, he’s down Daniel, but look at how smartly the Kings shut down the Canucks on the forecheck in games 1 and 2. The Canucks d-men were rudderless under that pressure and neither AV or Bowness were able to adjust. This is why AV gets heat. When he fails to adjust to an opponent (be it due to his mistake or his player’s inability to execute), it is usually pretty glaring (i.e. an inability to get in the crease of either Thomas or Quick; the drop-pass zone-entry; failure to control the emotions of his players).

    If the Canucks get bounced on Wednesday, AV shouldn’t be fired. But he will deserve criticism for his part in a rather stunning post-season failure.

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    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      Amen my friend. Amen.

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    • BS
      April 16, 2012

      Thanks for some thoughtful comments. I disagree with most of your points but at least you showed knowledge of the game unlike many posters on here. The biggest reason AV would be a shoe in in Montreal is because he speaks French, not because he is a good coach. I dont think he could lead a team out of a wet paper bag and certainly hasnt motivated anyone

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      • peanutflower
        April 17, 2012

        really, your “no one knows what they are talking about on this blog” schtick is a little underwhelming. please come up with another tag line k?

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  31. Ron Ball
    April 16, 2012

    So you want to keep this coach based on what Montreal would do if he were to hit the market?

    Arguing a decision based on what Montreal would do. That is incredible.

    Lets all just react based on Montreal’s moves because they’re just a model franchise right now.

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    • Zach Morris
      April 16, 2012

      Actually, I believe the argument was that Vigneault would be prized by other teams because people believe he’s a good coach.

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  32. timmy t
    April 16, 2012

    If the Canucks get swept by the LA Kings…

    I will still forever be a Canuck fan!

    GO CANUCKS GO!!!

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  33. wheres my stick
    April 16, 2012

    every year NOT TOUGH ENOUGH
    play offs r a different game
    these girls havnt got it

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    • Krispy
      April 17, 2012

      Grammar and spelling are wonderful tools. Please learn to use them, instead of just being a tool.

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  34. J21
    April 16, 2012

    I am a fan of Vigneault, and would not want to see him canned, but there is an argument to be made in favor of it, and I think it’s unfair to discount it completely.

    The Canucks have consistently had trouble scoring in the playoffs now in spite of being, ostensibly, a high-scoring team. Part of that is the obnoxious fashion in which the NHL has multiple sets of rules, but part of it is the Canucks getting shut down once the same opponent sees them enough consecutively. The fact that Los Angeles could do this literally from the opening whistle is either a testament to their scouting, or a wake-up call of how much this team needs both Sedins to keep their forward lines balanced.

    But you can realistically argue that in a lot of playoff series the Canucks have played under Vigneault, they have gotten steadily worse from start to end. They have won several of these, thanks largely to last season, but in all of them momentum began shifting. This is true for all three Chicago series (illness is what led the Hawks to tie it back up last year, this was obvious at the time and the fact that people won’t acknowledge it is baffling, but it was still scary, especially after what happened in 2009 and 2010), it was true for the 2007 Dallas series, and even for the Nashville and San Jose series last year where they didn’t go the full 7, but were somewhat fortunate not to. And obviously the Finals last year was a pretty prime example.

    I think that’s where the accusations of “being outcoached” come from, especially vis-a-vis Joel Quenneville. YMMV on the truthfulness of it, but I think the “getting worse throughout a series” thing was a consistent trend that rankled a lot of people.

    As to Montreal snapping him up — which I agree they would (and should) — remember that value is specific to a given purchaser or seller. Even if Vigneault was measurably the best available coaching candidate for Montreal (or any other team), there could be many reasons why the Canucks would still want to let him go. I don’t really agree with the coaching carousel in pro sports, but I get why it happens.

    Plus, the “who’s better?” argument (which is brought up literally 100% of the time when fans contemplate a coach firing. I have literally never, ever not heard someone say this immediately, as though there is this permanent list of great unemployed coaches which is temporarily unavailable at that one moment) is a red herring. New blood comes from everywhere all the time, and different guys fit in well for different reasons in new contexts.

    Was Dan Bylsma “better” than Michel Therrien at the time he replaced him? In what way? Why would the Penguins think so? They wanted to axe Therrien, and Bylsma was the guy they settled on, that’s about it. When Dave Tippett started out his NHL career, he had coached 0 NHL games (by definition), and yet someone gave him a chance, and he has excelled.

    For that matter, there were coaches with higher pedigree than Vigneault when the Canucks hired him, but that doesn’t mean you don’t give him a shot. If we always took “who’s better?” as reason not to act, the only time new coaches would come into the league is with expansion, since technically speaking all present NHL coaches are “better” than all possible alternatives if it was that measurable.

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    • J21
      April 16, 2012

      Also wanted to add: that while my above point is that there are reasons in support of wanting a coaching change, one of these should not be: “the team couldn’t make it past the #th round!” whatever that number happens to be in a given year or set of years.

      That one is so tiresome because it’s such an obvious failure to understand positional goods. (Rebel Sell FTW!) There are 8 strong Western playoff teams, but 4 of them have to be eliminated after one round (also known as “ZOMG! First round exxxittt!”), another 2 have to be eliminated after the second round (also known as “All they got was one measly series win!”) and another in the Conference Finals. Then potentially none of them win the Cup. This has to happen no matter how good the teams are.

      Yet every single fanbase, having seen the best that their team can be, fails to comprehend that 50% of teams involved in any playoff series must fail by definition. So they regard it as some massive choke when the overwhelming odds beat their team and it does not fulfill its potential-in-a-vacuum, as though all teams could win if they just “showed up” or “wanted it enough”. But that’s not how positional goods work. The nature of advancement is that someone else loses. If Detroit gets knocked out by Nashville, does this perennial powerhouse now “suck”? No, one of them had to get knocked out, even if they’re the two best teams overall. It’s also why the Sharks’ reputation as playoff chokers is unfair — they have been knocked off by inferior teams once or twice (Calgary in 2004 is the obvious one), but it’s not like that’s what usually happens — usually it’s a pretty good team beating them, whose fans would also say it’s a “choke” if their team were to lose to SJ.

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      • Warpstone
        April 16, 2012

        Well said.

        I would say though that one difference between Detroit getting knocked out and Vancouver is that they have so far not looked as mentally rattled as Edler or as cheap as Kesler.

        You’re right, it makes no difference in the end. However, so much of hockey is perception (i.e. player is/isn’t “clutch”) and not sober analysis. Just look at the Fleury hoopla in good or bad years.

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        • peanutflower
          April 17, 2012

          But the other problem is is that it seems it’s more about firing the coach than getting another one — there is such a small pool out there that’s just a cycle around and around and it’s sort of like voting someone out rather than voting someone in, if you get my drift. That just seems like a knee jerk reaction that should be avoided. New assistant coaches or special teams coaches can assist with that rather than starting from the top down.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      “The Canucks have consistently had trouble scoring in the playoffs now in spite of being, ostensibly, a high-scoring team.”

      I have always found it baffling that, last year, Anaheim was scoring against Rinne and the Preds at will, then round 2 came and we could barely score on him. Then later Tampa was having scoring success against Boston, and in the finals we could hardly get the pucks by Thomas. All this despite the fact that we were the highest scoring team in the league, by quite some margin.

      Perhaps someone can provide in depth analysis, but on the surface I can’t help but think that this is our coaching staff’s fault.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
  35. BS
    April 16, 2012

    Then Let me break it down for you Bullis because I have been calling for AV’s head for 2 years. For starters, the press, much like most posters here, really knows little about the game. Some of us actually played at a high level for many years. In my case until junior, then I reffed for 10 more and still coach.
    If you go back to the Nashville series last year (the canucks managed to win in 6 games) the coach had no answers for Nashville’s tight checking. He kept putting the Sedins line out for 20 minutes a game despite the fact they had nothing and couldnt even get shots on net, never mind goals. Kessler lift the team on his shoulders and carried them but he didnt eat into the Sedins ice time at all. Does AV coach with his eyes closed? Split up the Sedins (hey they still put points up when the other is hurt) or try to not use the neutral zone drop pass or give them a big rugged winger rather than a yappy French Pug like Burrows. AV had nothing against the Preds.

    Boston just took the body every chance they had and beat the canucks up. AV had no answer to the Bruins physical play and he kept going to the Sedins despite the fact it was clear they could do nothing but run away and hide. AV didnt lesen their minutes.

    Chicago came back from 3 down and nearly won it. Why? Luongo played like crap yet AV said he was his guy. He said the same against Boston as well. He would wait until Luongo gave up 6 goals and the game was out of hand before he yanked him despite signs far earlier Lou was not going to perform as required.

    Basically AV was a lot like the homers on this sight. He knew nothing and wouldnt recognize a sign if it punched him in the face 6 or 7 times in rapid succession.

    So please, before you go defending AV pull your head out of your as$, quit being a homer and bring some critical thought to what has been going on

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -17 (from 33 votes)
    • BS
      April 16, 2012

      I forgot to mention the horrible lack of discipline. AV should have punch Lapierrie in the mouth last night in the second period rather than continuing to put him out. Same with Kessler and Burrows these days. A little more effort on the game and less whining and bitching would go a long way. A team takes on its coaches personality when it comes to discipline

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -10 (from 28 votes)
      • peanutflower
        April 16, 2012

        You do know there is no “Bullis,” right?

        It’s pretty clear what kind of hockey you played. I hope to god we never get a team like there here. You should probably pick either the Flyers or the Bruins. They sound like teams you’d enjoy way more. Coaches too. And just because you play the game doesn’t mean that those of us who have not do not understand hockey and it doesn’t make you any better than those of us who have never played hockey, so just get off that little hobby horse right now buster.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +19 (from 23 votes)
        • BS
          April 16, 2012

          joel I called for it last year after the playoffs. No need to wait

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: -7 (from 9 votes)
        • BS
          April 17, 2012

          As a matter of fact the Flyers and Bruins are my teams. Skating, hitting, sound defense and when you need to send a message you send it and make it clear what is being said. The canucks havent sent a message to anyone the past 2 years other than punch us in the face with impunity and when you start hitting we’ll collapse like a paper bag in a rainstorm.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: -11 (from 13 votes)
      • Daniel Wagner
        April 16, 2012

        Gotcha. Less innovative system of zone starts, more punching players in the mouth. Nice to hear from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

        VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +24 (from 26 votes)
    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      AV has issues but wow your reasoning is as shallow as how 16 year old boys look at girls their age.

      For one, Chicago won 3 in a row mostly because the Canucks skaters went to sleep. Gap control, remember? I can go on….

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  36. Joel
    April 16, 2012

    This is ridiculous. BS, you’re full of BS. Wait till the series is over before you go calling for the coach to be fired…it ain’t over till the fat lady sings…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 14 votes)
  37. wheres my stick
    April 16, 2012

    wimpy canuck fans
    r u not tired of ivy league
    hockey? Across canada hockey
    is played by men with guts not
    babies with boo boos

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -25 (from 29 votes)
    • Brent
      April 16, 2012

      I think you should go buy a Don Cherry dog and a loud suit.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +16 (from 16 votes)
    • John in Marpole
      April 16, 2012

      Across Canada only 2 teams are still playing. The rest are playing golf. But they’re playing that golf with guts, right?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  38. LuonGOLD
    April 16, 2012

    Thing is, PITB, while AV is a great coach… I don’t think Aquilini will tolerate a first round exit at all. Someone has to go. I know he’s going to be employed at least one week after being canned.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
    • peanutflower
      April 17, 2012

      Nah, he’s otherwise occupied right now making sure that Canucks actually stay under his ownership and not his ex-wife’s.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  39. Jeff
    April 16, 2012

    Sorry, I can’t buy that. If the team fails because one player is injured, it wasn’t a well-built team. The Sedins were in a terrible slump BEFORE Daniel got mugged. They would have continued, because the whole team hasn’t put in one honest, hard-working game since February. They are out because they don’t deserve to even be in the post-season except as cannon fodder. They defaulted into the President’s trophy through no effort of their own. Good bye, Canucks. You’ll mostly be playing somewhere else next season. And I won’t be watching.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -5 (from 11 votes)
    • John in Marpole
      April 16, 2012

      General managers build teams, not coaches.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
      • Jeff
        April 16, 2012

        True enough. I wasn’t faulting AV at all. The underachieving players are the problem.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  40. seethruhead
    April 16, 2012

    Tony Gallagher comes off to me as a guy who hates AV out of jealousy. I’m not sure what he is jealous of, but I hear green-tinged envy and peevishness whenever he talks about AV.

    The personal attacks on Mooney in some of these replies are ridiculous – eerie how their stridency seems to mirror the unreasonable attacks I’ve heard Gallagher mount against AV.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  41. Snepsts
    April 16, 2012

    Only 99 comments? And not a bitch in one? Oh, wait. Why would heads roll after a first round exit? AV had issues getting certain key players motivated and a lacklustre power play. So, maybe good-bye key players and good-bye Newell Brown. Maybe not. But if you look at the relationship between AV and the Sedins, Burrows, Hansen, Lappy, Hamhuis, Bieksa – he clearly garners respect from them. Especially the way Henrik stepped up. There is a core group that is with AV that can easily be salvaged with a few trades, if necessary. AV isn’t going anywhere. Chill out, enjoy the next game whatever happens and be thankful for a mostly entertaining season.

    Almost forgot: you can’t fire a coach who coached the most road wins in the NHL this season. At least not in my opinion. This series against the Kings has been an anomaly. 115 SOG in three games and only four goals? Not to mention blocked shots? It’s insane. Thank goodness that even if Quick is immortal, so is Henrik Sedin. I respected that man a great deal already, and after that hit and his second shift thereafter, he is now officially a Nordic god.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +15 (from 19 votes)
  42. akidd
    April 16, 2012

    ‘there is a certain “grinder” style of team that they really match up poorly against.’ yup. there are four teams:kings, preds, blues, and preds that fit this description. all four might make the second round. it’s not a case of being unlucky not to draw the sharks. a successful run in the west would have to go through at least two and maybe three of those teams.

    my point is that defense-oriented coaches and teams have the decided edge. hitchcock talks about loading up 3 and 4 players for certain puck battles. grind, grind, grind. it may be a superior strategy but it is ugly, stifling hockey. when compared to how incredible canuck/hawk or wing/hawk. canuck/wing hockey has been over the past few years . (some of those tilts are the best hockey i’d ever seen. absolutely stunning sport. something you could hold up to barca soccer, put in a bottle and store in the cellar.) it pales.

    it’s all perfectly fair of course. teams can deploy any strategy they like. if i were a salesman though i’d think the exciting stuff would sell a bit better. if i were the league i’d think the same way and maybe provide incentive for teams to play that way.

    and ya, a shark series woulda been sweet(sigh.)

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  43. Don
    April 16, 2012

    Hey Harrison,

    I’m one of those who is saying that the coaching is to blame for the Canucks’ woes. I’ve been shouting it out loud for over a year. I was surprised that we made it to the cup final last season.

    Something you fail to mention in your post is that AV’s style of coaching is one dimensional. Ride the cycle to wear down the other team and the goals will come. As the Bruins highlighted last season and Detroit has been especially good at it as well, once you pin one of our players to the boards and over load those with the puck, a turnover is almost guaranteed. Where I think AV has failed as a coach is not having a secondary plan of attack. Since the finals, word has gotten out that the Canucks have only one plan of attack. The cycle is one of the easiest styles of play to defeat once you figure it out. When I coached in college we absolutely murdered teams who played the cycle just the way the Canucks are these days.

    Another example is the power play (for the last say 130 attempts)- if you watch the other elite teams in the playoffs the teams are breaking out of their end as a unit while the Canucks are still trying to connect on cross ice passes to the far blue line or a lazy drop pass. The other teams are just taking away the passes and overloading the puck handler forcing the turnover (Edler is extremely culpable).

    If you doubt my analysis I suggest you go back and re-watch the Flyers comebacks and take notice of how tight the defensive breakouts are. They are a five man unit and gain the zone allowing their elite players a chance to score. The Canucks are consistently breaking in as a single or pair and if they do get their shots on goal they are low percentage shots from the perimeter, not to mention that Quick is standing on his head.

    I’m not a Sutter fan but the Kings are buying into his system and it’s paying off. The Canucks are playing the way Av wants them to play but his system just isn’t good enough in the post season.

    Cheers.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +11 (from 15 votes)
    • Michael
      April 17, 2012

      ” I was surprised that we made it to the cup final last season”. Sheeeit son. After reading your pro couch coaching, I’m surprised that you didn’t go have yourself a stroke last year.
      Sorta along the lines of–
      “See, they’re losing”
      “Nope, they won”.
      “They’re gonna lose this time”.
      ” Okay, they pulled it out”.
      Until four rounds in–
      “I told you so! Totally called it! Honey, get me a bag of Fritos and a vat of Vasoline. Curmudgeon Mike’s coming over”!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  44. Micheal
    April 16, 2012

    Why does someone have to go if we lose four in a row?

    First of all the Kings are a very good team. Second of all, the Canucks are frigging tired….. They have been playing non stop hockey since September 2010 it seems like… they not only sustained but played through and likely worsened massive injuries less than one year ago (in the midst of this long stretch)… Kesler likely came back too soon… We lost two very good players in Torres and Erhoff. I would even surmise that Gillis looked at this team at the shape it was in at the deadline and decided this year was a write off. I probably would have. Everyone was expecting some sort of miracle. I’m amazed the canucks have the fortitude to badly outplay the Kings despite all these shortcomings (not to mention missing their best offensive weapon)… Oh and lets not forget the idiot fans who jeer Luongo everytime he takes his eyes off the puck. Yes, I’m sure the team wants to win for those jackals.. the same morons who pay exorbant amounts to sit on their hands durring games and feel they know more about being a goalie than the man on the front line.

    Golly, I don’t know if I’d have the motivation to win or to lose in front of these fans in this fairest of cities. Maybe the players have tuned the fans out for once. Maybe it’s us who should be ‘fired’. Just a thought.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
    • peanutflower
      April 17, 2012

      Well said. It does seem like they’ve been play hockey forever, doesn’t it? Kesler is just not the same guy. Salo hasn’t been the same since January. Last year’s playoffs were just plain killer. Was there a single uninjured Canuck? How could a coach stick with any plan when most of the players were playing hurt.

      Someone posted above about hockey styles, and I’d rather see the team I’ve been watching since day 1 in 1970 win playing the wide open skills passing game any day than a stifling defence first game. If that means no Cup, so be it. The game should be beautiful and fast, not ugly and slow. I’d like a season where the Canucks and the Wings just play each other over and over…Maybe in the TV breaks Kassian could have a few chats with Big Bert on how to play.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
    • Michael
      April 17, 2012

      Although you are unable to spell our name properly, I still agree with your points. Millions of dollars in salary does not in fact buy fresh blood, muscle and endless willpower.

      I’ve lied.
      I have bags of blood in my fridge. And a steak, I simply refuse to share.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  45. Micheal
    April 17, 2012

    “I’d rather see the team I’ve been watching since day 1 in 1970 win playing the wide open skills passing game any day than a stifling defence first game. If that means no Cup, so be it.”

    I couldn’t agree more… I’d rather our first cup win be memorable and won with skill and hard work, not boring, forgettable and “grinded out”. I fell in love with this team at the tail end of the 90′s (Bure was my favorite player) and for over a decade this team (save for a blip in 2006-2007) has been all about entertaining the fans. (there’s a reason we’ve had so many consecutive sell-outs) I’d rather we win the cup our way. Not cheating off some other teams blueprints for success.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  46. slimboy
    April 17, 2012

    Does anyone remember Vigneault was FIRED by the Canadiens? Sheesh what’s the matter with you experts? How many coaches are there in the history of the sport that rehires a head coach after previously firing them?

    Furthermore, as a Canuck fan I don’t blame Vigneault for anything this year. What we were upset about is how Vigneault did nothing when Luongo was letting in horrendous goals and continued to play him in the playoffs the last 2 years. It was a very safe choice and if the team failed Luongo would take the fall.

    The Kings are playing better and the Canucks are getting beat. No whining or complaining here. But Duncan Keith sure did the Kings a favor.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
    • Daniel Wagner
      April 17, 2012

      The Carolina Hurricanes fired Paul Maurice in 2003 and was re-hired in 2008.

      Also, Alain Vigneault last coached in Montreal in 2001. The Canadiens have had two new General Managers in that time and are about to hire a third, so the person who fired Vigneault is no longer employed with the team. If Vigneault is available in the summer, it would be almost unthinkable for him not to be considered for the job in Montreal.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  47. Gimmic
    April 17, 2012

    As we’ve already seen this year, the reality is someone has to take the fall. Many coaches have been booted because of under performing teams. It’s sports and it’s life, the root issue is never addressed and the fall guy gets cut. It happens in business every day, the CEO resigns cause of controversy or plummeting stock prices – It happens in sports when teams are either constructed incorrectly, or players fail to perform.

    With Canucks, they are not constructed correctly. They’ve been a great regular season team, and despite leading every category in the league last yr, failed to bring the Cup. This season Gillis has made trades that have left GM’s around the league giggling withe excitement, “oh look, he traded their 4th leading scorer 1 month before the playoffs start. How smart of him! he he. Our road to the Cup is now easier. Snicker snicker”.

    Not only has he made bad trades, he’s left this team with a weak farm system. Rated as having some of the leagues worst prospects, the Canucks don’t have options of bringing up their leading scorer from the farm. Unless you want Mancari in the line up. No thanks. Gillis has failed to integrate new young players into the lineup, failed to draft good players and failed at making trades this year – all will cost the team the cup this year and in future.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -1 (from 5 votes)
  48. Michael
    April 17, 2012

    “They’ve been a great regular season team, and despite leading every category in the league last yr, failed to bring the Cup”. Like twenty nine other teams this and last year. And the year before… never mind.
    “oh look, he traded their 4th leading scorer 1 month before the playoffs start. How smart of him! he he. Our road to the Cup is now easier. Snicker snicker”. I’m in love watching Buffalo rock the playoffs.
    “Gillis has failed to integrate new young players into the lineup, failed to draft good players and failed at making trades this year – all will cost the team the cup this year and in future” So much frenzied typing of this kind may end up with you snagging a job on the Province editorial board.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
  49. bergberg
    April 17, 2012

    Wow. I have never been so glad to not be living in Vancouver. I can avoid all of this media driven mess. Canuck fans are really starting to sound like a bunch of spoiled brats. Maybe it’s just living in Ottawa, where expectations for their team is low, they are just happy that their teams played good in a game that they ultimately lost. Why can’t we just be happy for our teams successes over the last couple years, despite a potential (nothing is written in stone yet) early playoff exit.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  50. Stephen
    April 17, 2012

    What about Dave Tippett? No contract beyond this year… think he’d like a crack at coaching an elite team willing to spend to the cap, for a GM and owner who will buy him any advantage he wants? Might be intrigued. He’s the only “available” coach at this point I can think of that would be on par with AV. Do not really want to see McT at all…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  51. Amor de Cosmos
    April 17, 2012

    Yeah. It used to be like that here. Getting into the play-offs was viewed as a cause for celebration, not an expectation. I’m not sure exactly when that altered — possibly around the time social networking was invented. In any case the sense of entitlement that a lot of “fans” seem to possess is more depressing than anything on the ice. Part of me hopes it ends tomorrow so the players can have a few months to recover, physically and emotionally. It can’t be fun playing here at the moment. These playoffs, and not just the Nux/Kings series, have been utterly joyless so far. It’s not a good time for the sport at all.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  52. VanFan85
    April 17, 2012

    I’ve always been a fan of AV, he is a very smart thorough coach. But since the playoffs last year I’ve begun questioning some of his decisions. He is too rigid at timed – bound and determined to “stay the course” and “stick to the system” and everyone should play well on any line no matter what – well that always doesnt work. Different players have different skill sets, it doesn’t matter if they stick to the system or not, some players will not gel, take Kesler and Booth for example. Kesler is no longer a playmaking center, he plays more like a winger. Booth is a scoring winger who likes driving the net. Both players are selfish with the puck and like to take matters into their own hands. AV’s system might dictate that one of them has to be a playmaker but neither player is a playmaker by nature so it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that unless AV put a dedicated playmaker with Kesler and Booth that the 2nd line isn’t going to be as productive as it could be. Thats why they were so success full when Higgins played with them. Now here within lies another problem. The Kings are out manning Higgins along the boards and he alone is not able to fish those pucks out to Kesler and Booth (or Hansen and Pahlsson) like he did in the regular season. This is where AV has to change his system to adapt to the Kings style of play and he is either too stubborn or too proud to change.

    Mike Gilles brought in Zach Kassian to be a Todd Bertuzzi/Dustin Byfuglien type player and he gave up a huge asset to get him. We all know that AV has no patience for guys who make mistakes and will basically bench anybody he doesnt like or trust (see Oreskovich, Victor or Ballrd, Kieth). Whenever Kassian is on the ice – which isnt much these days – he looks like he is playing timid and afraid to make a mistake and that’s because he IS afraid to make a mistake becasue he is always one error away from being benched. This man is 6′-4″ 220 lbs he should be in front of the net causing problems. Look what Chicgao did with Byfuglien. They took him off Defense and parked him infornt of the net and it worked out pretty well. Vancouver has no net presence – espcecially on the PP – and that big body of Kassian could be the difference maker. But AV (I know the other coach handles the PP but ultimately the decisions fall to AV) refuses to put Kassian there – a role for which he was specifically brought in for simply because he doesnt trust Kassian.

    When AV first came into Vancouver he had a defensive-style team built by Burke and AV was brought in to coach that way becasue thats the way he liked to coach. But when Mike Gilles came in he knew how the Red Wings have had success for 20 years playing a fast, skilled, puck possession-type game so the right players were brought in and AV changed his coaching style – a paradigm shift – to play that style of game. It was a perfect storm for the Canucks, they still had all of the defensive traits they had learned from years passed and now they were freed up to play the high-flying offence that we saw last year. Now this is where things turned south. The Canucks became predictable and teams found ways to neutralize them because AV was too rigid to change his system and adapt on the fly. So instead of making tweaks and changes to his systems he decides its time for a paradign shift back to the defensive style they played before,when a simple switch of Hodgson and Kesler on the 2nd and 3rd lines would have been sufficient to provide AV with 2 scoring lines a Shut Down line and an energy line.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that each shift, each game, each series has its own life blood – it’s own ebb and flow and as a coach one has to be flexible enough to roll with whatever any team throws one’s way and I think that AV is too rigid or stubborn to change his approach to the game on-the-fly. Don’t get me worng, that can be a great attribute becuase when things are oging well why should you change the game plan? You are forcing other teams to play the game your way and they can’t beat you at your own game (last season) but when things are going south and your team is struggling and teams are starting to beat you at your own game, the coach has to be flexible to make the nessecairy changes on the fly and AV just isn’t that kind of coach.

    Keeping or letting go of AV is a complicated issue. It one sence he has been one of, if not the best coach in franchise history – his team is something like 190-3-8 when leading after 2 periods and he has coached this team to alot of wins, and I’m all for keeping him. However, it appears at times that the players have lost the incentive to play their best night in and night out, and when that happens it is time to bring in a new coach and each player can start off with a clean slate and they have the incentive to play their best for the new coach. I know the fan base will be out of patience if “the miracle” doesnt happen and there will be many calls for his head (I’m looking at you, Cam Cole and Tony Gallager) but if the players still belive in him and the players still want to play their best for him then there is no reason to let him go. They started this paradigm shift to model the team towards the 2007 Ducks – just for AV, firing him now – half-way through – would seem like a waste of time. Embrase the change to bigger, grittier, defensive style. Move the appropriate players and bring in the appropriate players to make it happen over the off season. They rolled the dice on the Red Wing style and it didn’t work, and wasn’t working anymore, and the Defensive style hasnt worked this year because its only half-done. Give it a full year next year and see where we stand.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    • Frank
      April 17, 2012

      Thanks, but no thanks to that defensive style of yours!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • VanFan85
        April 18, 2012

        It’s not my defensive style, it’s AV’s. Personally I think this team has forgotten how to play defense. They cant buckle down and play mistake-free shutdown defense like they used to so I think a slight shift back to a defensive system will benefit the team in the long run. Make the main priority keeping the puck out of their own net first and get back to the hard working defence to shut down other teams like they did last year and 3 or 4 seasons before that. Frustrate other teams with stifling defence and wait for them to get frustrated and make a mistake and then capitalize on that mistake. Thats how they were so dominant in 2010-2011. This season they forgot how hard they had to work to shut other teams down. Shifting back to a more defensive style is like hitting the reset button, and it will hopefully bring the team back together and make them work as a team again instead of a bunch of individuals.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Chako Mika
      April 17, 2012

      Interesting thought about switching Kesler and Hodgsen and while I don’t disagree, I think the calls for AVs head would have been way louder had he done so. Don’t forget Kesler scored 41 goals the season before, and I think the coaching staff and fans were hoping and expecting that kind of production to happen again. Plus, they were winning games, so it wasn`t very necessary to look outside the box, so to speak.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  53. Chicky
    April 17, 2012

    I had to sleep on this one. Literally sleep on it, because I do like AV. I also think that he’s a damn good coach. The one question I have is, has he lost his effectiveness with this group? What changes, part of the group in the off-season, or the coaching staff?

    I do think that he’ll be here next year. Much as there’s tons of people looking for that scapegoat given how the situation is currently looking, but in reality, I see the owners giving him another shot. However, I think that last chance will have serious strings attached to it. Big time. I don’t think that they’d be pleased with early exits from the post-season two years back to back.

    I also think that the owners have already been keeping an eye out there on what’s available coaching wise. They’d be on top of that for sure, and watching the movement happening on that side of the fence.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  54. Mushmouth
    April 17, 2012

    Concerns about AV’s coaching? Sure. H

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  55. Mushmouth
    April 17, 2012

    I’ll try that again. How about his bizarre refusal to accePt that Raymond will never contribute offensively and has no business being on the first line? How about that despite some impressive results late in the season, AV refuses to try Lappy on the first line again? How about the inexplicable decision to suddenly scramble the D combos as the playoffs began? How about the fact that the team was quite obviously not prepared, talking mentally or psychologically here, to play playoff hockey? How about the fact that Torts and Laviolet both used early timeouts to good effect when their teams seemed overwhelmed yet somehow it never occurred to AV to hit the reset button when the Nucks were so OBVIOUSLY rattled in Game 1 and most of Game 2? So yes I do think there are some valid concerns about AV’s role in where we find ourselves going into Game 4.

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  56. John Andress
    April 17, 2012

    I agree entirely that the popular sentiment towards firing Av is insanity but insanity which, unfortunately, seems to be all too typical of Canucks Nation. Having said that, though, I do have one coaching /management related question. Not criticism. Question. When we saw the signing of players such as Byron Bitz, Steven Reinprecht and Steve Pinizzotto we were told that it was to make the bottom six bigger, tougher and grittier in response to the physical pounding the team took in the SCF. A pounding which those who chose to ignore the total lack of goal scoring in the series blamed for the Canucks loss in the finals. Aaron Volpatti and Victor Oreskevitch were included in those conversations. As the season wore on Dale Weiss and David Booth were added to the mix, both big bodies. At the trade deadline Zach Kassian was added and again, size and belligerence were cited as part of the reason behind the move. In the closing stages of the season many permutations were tried, many aimed at finding a fourth line that could eat up some minutes and counteract any advantage in size and belligerence the opposition may have. Or be imagined to have. Now the playoffs are upon us and AV seems to have gone back to a three line configuration. Ice time for a fourth line and the names listed above is as scarce as hen’s teeth. Why? What’s gone wrong? Did we choose the wrong guys? Can the players chosen not play? I understand that injuries and suspensions have affect some of the individuals but I have no idea why we cant play a fourth line and why despite the addition of all this size and truculence, we are still perceived as being push around and physically manhandled. Ideas? I have none that appeal to me.

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  57. Dave
    April 17, 2012

    Harrison, you can’t that this series, much like the Boston series, has seen AV refuse to change up his lines or make any considerable alteration to on-ice strategy in order to overcome the Kings defence. For the first two games the Canucks bludgeoned themselves against the Kings obviously well prepared anti-Canuck defence without even a smidgen of alteration in personnel or tactics. Lappiere, during the first line scoring drought, was the only player to join that line to inititate success, and AV has refused to play him on the first line. Edler has been the most dissapointing player on the ice, but AV keeps him out there hoping he’ll get it back. Perhaps its time to sit Edler for a power play, or a shift or two, make him really think about how bad he actually is playing. Against Boston, granted AV did not have the personnel that the Bruins did, but over and over again we saw the same line up, the same personnel on the ice for the Canucks. Is is the coach’s job to assess the opponents, and make appropriate changes to the line up in order to overcome the defence being presented. In this series, the only change to the line up we’ve seen is Cory. You are probably right in saying there are no real alternatives in the coaching market to replace AV, however, you are incorrect in your assessment of his coaching. AV has been dissapointing as much as Edler and our team. Leadership starts from the top.

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  58. James
    April 17, 2012

    Maybe AV doesn’t deserve to be fired. But there needs to be a solution to the problem that the Canucks cannot either adapt their game to beat aggressive, physical, hardworking teams. They can only play their one style: skilled and deliberate. When teams get up in our faces, we struggle. Is it personnel or coaching? Probably both, but it’s easier to change one.

    Also, totally disagree with the Daniel comment in the article. That’s going to be the scapegoat, that we didn’t have Daniel. We weren’t exactly lighting the league on fire when Daniel was available between January and the concussion. The problem is playing style. We just can’t handle it when the game gets nasty.

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  59. Tom
    April 17, 2012

    This is Hilarious. Is this serious? I mean, I don’t want AV fired, but I don’t go around telling those people that do that they don’t know what they’re talking about, then blame Duncan Kieth for us losing. LOL!!!

    It’s called depth. You have to build a team with depth to be able to handle the inevitable. Injuries.

    Now quit blaming a player who doesn’t even play on our team, LOL, and start giving the LA kings and Sutter the credit they deserve. We are being outplayed, out coached, and just plain beat in the last three games.

    Man!! This town really needs some real hockey fans.

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  60. Brent
    April 17, 2012

    AV will likely take a lot of the blame for this logically or illogically. There is always a desire for a scapegoat in these types f situations, and he is likely the easiest one to find.

    I think he is a great coach, but as people have mentioned about, he is somewhat predictable. My opinion will be firther modified as to who he dresses and what he does in the next game. Edler need to sit. I know he is hoping he is going to come out of hus funk, but it ain’t happeneing. Not sure what the problem is but he is hurting us WAY more than he is helping. Rome althouh boring is a nice safe kind of boring and has a physical presence. If he is going to dress Kassian, he needs to use him. Get him to go to the front of the net. Pahlsson scored when he was there and it is a good use of his size. And you might as well give Dale Weise more minutes because the guy is going to give it his all, watching him on the bench at the beginning of last game, he was vibrating with excitement. Don’t want him too excited…..

    I guess I just want to see him do something different to get some good quality scoring chances. Lots of shots last game, but few really good scoring chances. Lets make this series respectable!

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  61. andrew
    April 17, 2012

    Heres the problem I anticipate if AV remains at his post.

    Will the team ever return to their previous form?

    Or will they continue to play as they did in the second half, often unprepared and at times downright disinterested, having difficulties scoring in spite of having a healthy line up, and completely reliant on outstanding goaltending?

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  62. Vic
    April 17, 2012

    The only reason why I think we are being outcoached is less about the rehetoric that he’s not good with the media and more of the lack of preparation, predictablity and inability to adapt. For example in the game 2 Edler drop pass giveaway, Kopitar’s body language showed that he was expecting the drop pass was imminent and pounced on the loose puck. Either the Kings were getting alot more (out) of the video sessions leading up to game 1, or their players are great students of the game within a game, soaking in all the nuances of the canucks players and tendencies. Comparatively, we have yet to see any real panic on the Kings side even when we dominated them in their zone, seemingly like “we will play it the way we have always done just because we had success in this last spring”. Playoffs is all about adjustments and counter-moves, not just intra-game, but from game-to-game, where I feel AV has solely relied on keeping to the “process”, without “adapting and overcoming”. This year, I do feel that Darryl Sutter – who has always been known as a hard on the forecheck, high pressure PK type of a coach, perhaps have been lucky to inherit the coaching position with the Kings who seem to have the right personnel for his style (Richards, Brown, Stoll) – it seems that AV has difficulty adapting to it with a quick transition counterattack, catching the forecheckers up ice.

    I do admit that I’m not a big fan of AV but have accepted his regular season resume as proof that he knows what he’s doing for the regular season, but I don’t like how he will ride his trusted horses – that they can do no wrong – Edler, Bieksa for example on defence, perform some boneheaded giveaways with the puck, but will be out there for the next shift, while Ballard can make one bad giveaway and not see ice until at least 2 games later. He has always characterized as an ice-time reward type system, but he does have his favourites.

    I’m aware that Edler is their top PP point shooter, and asking for him to be benched for extended periods of time isn’t the way to go, but perhaps Edler is only brain-cramping due to fatigue from his high average time-on-ice of 24 odd minutes per game. In the playoffs, the best players have to be the best players however, alot of times they are facing their best checking opposition. And in years past for championship teams, there has always been a 3rd or 4th liner who picks up their game, which I feel the canucks coaching has not been readily fostered or even utilized. I do believe the team is attempting to win via the “Detroit model” of skill and puck possession, but it is the foot soldiers, grinders and muckers that will need to step up and score timely goals, provided they are given every opportunity to succeed.

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  63. andrew
    April 17, 2012

    In the three previous seasons (and occurring almost twice last year) the Canucks have had this terrible habit of getting of to promising starts in a round and then in the end they end up getting embarrassed, giving up 7 or 8 goals at a time in some games.

    This is probably where a lot of this “out-coaching” stuff comes from. Vig has proven inflexible many times, inept at countering the adjustments made by his counterpart, and it gets to a point where it becomes laughable.

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  64. VanFan85
    April 18, 2012

    Its amazing to me that Vic and Tom get thumbs down for telling it like it is, I guess thats not what people want hear. The Canucks have been out worked, out played, and out coached so far in this series . The Canucks have become so predictable that the Kings know what they are going to do before the canucks players themselves know. With 15 games left when the Canucks were in th emiddle of thei rsleep-walking I was saying that thye need to kick it up a notch becasue if thye go inot the playoffs playing like this, and they meet a hungry team that is battle-ready they are going to be in trouble. The Canucks lost the first two games because they didnt have thie rlegs they didnt have any intensity, in short they werent prepared. That seems to be the biggest issue with the Canucks this year is they arent prepared mentally or physically for most games. As easy as that is to blame AV and the coaching staff , the preparedness of a player ultimately lands on the player himself. The Coaching staff can only do so much to ensure their team is ready to compete. These men are proffessional athletes, it’s their job to show up ready to play and the onus ultimately falls on the players shoulders to be ready.

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  65. James
    April 18, 2012

    What if AV’s over-reliance on advanced stats actually works against him in the playoffs? In the regular season you win because you have an edge over 82 games against different teams. Against the same opponent in the playoffs you get had unless you are NIMBLE. You need to think on the fly, often minute to minute. That’s why people say we might benefit from a more creative and less ‘brainy’ coach. Just a thought.

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