Will Alain Vigneault lose his job if the Canucks lose again? (Yeah, probably)

Photo by Don Smith, who clearly understands the narratives at play here and smartly snapped a Getty photo that will accompany them perfectly.

Alain Vigneault coached the Vancouver Canucks to a Presidents’ trophy and Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2010-11, but his follow-up season was about on par with Season 8 of The X-Files. I mean, it retained a lot of the core elements — Gillian Anderson, the Presidents’ Trophy — but all things considered, it just didn’t have the same magic. Plus no David Duchovny.

And, unlike Season 8 of the X-Files, which closed a mediocre season with a thrilling finale, Vigneault’s Canucks were unable to flip the switch towards the end. As a result, a large segment of the Vancouver fan populace demanded that he be fired.

That was unreasonable. The Canucks were still an excellent team, they won the regular-season for the second year in a row, and they got bounced by an LA Kings group that got hot at just the right time and made minced meat of every other opponent they faced after Vancouver. It was a disappointingly quick ouster, to be certain, but Vigneault didn’t deserve to lose his job over it.

When he didn’t, with the club announcing a two-year contract extension for him, those that disagreed turned up the vitriol. The result: this entire season has been filtered through the lens of mounting fireable offences for Alain Vigneault, and we’re not talking about substantive criticism, we’re talking about childish hostility.

Vigneault has had his faults and he’s made some baffling decisions this year. (Using Andrew Ebbett over Jordan Schroeder, leaving Luongo in to get shelled in Game 48, and holding Jason Garrison off the first powerplay unit were all things a Harrison-coached Canucks wouldn’t have done. Although a Harrison-coached Canucks would probably be wildly incompetent for other reasons, so there’s that.)

But while there have been valid points of criticism, there have also been some serious reaches borne from agenda.

One example: starting Cory Schneider in Game 3. Vigneault had two choices there.

1. Ignore the fact that Schneider was healthy and start Luongo. Had he done that and the Canucks had lost, Vigneault would have been ripped mercilessly for going back to Luongo and not giving his no. 1 goaltender a chance to put the team on his back, because what coach looks off his healthy number one and starts the other guy?

2. Start Schneider. Do that, and he would be criticized both for putting in a cold Schneider and for pulling Luongo when the losses weren’t his fault. He did and he was, which was ironic, since Vigneault did the same thing last year when everybody was calling for it under basically the exact same circumstances.

I want to say it was a no-win situation, but there was a situation in which he could have won in Game 3: if the Canucks had won in Game 3.

But they lost. In spectacular fashion. It was awful.

Now the club is on the verge of being swept like so much kitty litter, and it’s a safe that bet that Alain Vigneault is going to take the fall. I’ve been an Alain Vigneault defender for some time now, mainly because firing a guy the year after a Cup Final appearance because he didn’t do it again would have been bone-headedly panicky, but if the Canucks don’t manage to pull off the miracle comeback, this time around it seems like a reasonable reaction.

One first-round exit is one thing. That happens, even to good teams. Hell, the Canucks were one of four Presidents’ Trophy-winning teams to be eliminated in the first round since the 2005 lockout. Not a one of them was reactionary enough to fire their coach that summer.

But two first-round exits in a row, for a team that’s supposed to be a Stanley Cup contender? That’s cause for dismissal.

If seeing Alain Vigneault fired hadn’t been the objective for many fans and media members at the paper that’s easier to hold, he might have gotten credit for some of the adjustments he made to keep this team competitive despite key injuries and get them to the playoffs at all — with home-ice advantage, at that. (They promptly frittered it away, but still.)

All that said, if Alain Vigneault’s tenure as the Canucks’ head coach is over with one more loss, it’s deserved. Eight first-round losses in two postseasons will do that to you.

The Canucks’ window isn’t closed. Not hardly. There likely won’t be major changes in personnel, and they’ll return next year with:

  • An elite goaltender in Cory Schneider.
  • A top-six that, next year, will probably boast Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison on one side, and Kevin Bieksa, Chris Tanev, and Frank Corrado on the other. That’s pretty all right.
  • A forwards corps that has all the components of a Sedin line that’s still quite good and that American Express line you liked so much. (Yes, as I’ve said before, I think David Booth is back. We can argue about that later.)

In other words, it’s just their bottom-six forwards that need sorting out, and they have a goalie that could net them some help there in a trade.

But one change they will make, unless Alain Vigneault buys more time with four consecutive wins beginning tonight — which isn’t impossible, just improbable — will be behind the bench. And if they do, unlike last summer, this summer it’ll make sense.

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43 comments

  1. Cam Charron
    May 7, 2013

    I just don’t think a team with an aging first line coached by a long-time coach with limited playoff success in the past has the ability to win playoff series.

    /cognitive dissonance’d

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    • Harrison Mooney
      May 7, 2013

      Ha. Yeah, pretty much. One of the four Presidents’ Trophy teams to be eliminated in the first round: the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks, coached by this idiot named Todd McLellan.

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  2. kenahora
    May 7, 2013

    ONLY IN VANCOUVER CAN RUBBISH LIKE THIS BE DISCUSSED…LET ALONE PRINTED..!
    IN THIS SMALL- TOWN THEY BURY YOU BEFORE YOUR BLOOD IS COLD.

    THE CANUCKS ….TRUE…CANNOT OUTSCORE THEIR PROBLEMS.

    ITS FRUSTRATING THAT AFTER GOING TO MOST GAME AND WATCHING EVERY OTHER GAME AND REPLAYS….WHERE MOST GOALS ARE SCORED FROM THE DIRTY AREAS AND BLOCKING THE OPPONENT GOALTENDERS SIGHT LINES…WHERE FEW CANUCKS ARE NOT OREPARED TO GO….

    ALAIN VIGHNEAULT IS… N O T …. THE PROBLEM. GUARANTEED CONTRACTS ARE VERY MUCH THE PROBLEM. THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY….

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    Rating: -18 (from 28 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      May 7, 2013

      Jeez. Indoor voice, kenahora.

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      Rating: +26 (from 30 votes)
    • feochadn
      May 7, 2013

      What’s with the shouting? Dude, capslock can come off.
      Also, contacts are the problem? That’s idiotic.

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    • Blueliner
      May 7, 2013

      Jeremy Jacobs, is that you?

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    • Andrea
      May 8, 2013

      He certainly is the problem! He elected to go with Cory Schneider even knowing what Joe Thornton said..that he was happy to have Cory in net over Roberto…which he is basically saying that Cory was easier to score on. And Cory is! He goes down far too much and comes out to play the puck which he has no business of doing because he isn’t a good stickhandler like, say, Ron Hextall or Billy Smith or Grant Fuhr. He went with Cory because Cory was the so-called MVP over Roberto who had a fine game in relief of Cory’s shelling in game 3. And he has a bad habit of micromanaging a team that already knows how to play. You can tell that they were forced to play a game that they weren’t comfortable with…the Canucks weren’t allowed to skate like they did when they went to the Finals in 2011. that is why Alain SHOULD BE FIRED!!!!!!

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      • Daniel Wagner
        May 8, 2013

        Yes, because players always tell the truth during the playoffs and never say anything to get under the skin of their opponent.

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        Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  3. kenahora
    May 7, 2013

    Overpaid…non-performing players….talented but unable to finish…DON’T BLAME THE COACH…MEDIA CHURNS THE BACK STABBING…ALWAYS DID…

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    • Diehardnuck
      May 7, 2013

      MEDS – TAKE THEM!

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      Rating: +18 (from 24 votes)
  4. Kyle
    May 7, 2013

    You know, if the Canucks lose the series, I don’t think that’s a reason to fire the coach.

    However, ff they lose the series (which seems likely at this point), the fashion in which they’ve lost warrants a firing. His system – or team – isn’t producing offense or even scoring chances. AV keeps stubbornly going back to a composition that isn’t getting the job done.

    The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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    Rating: +19 (from 25 votes)
    • Cam Charron
      May 7, 2013

      They are producing scoring chances. They were an inch away from tying the series in the second game, and then they’d be down 2-1 as opposed to 3-0 right now and while they’d still be in tough, they wouldn’t be dead in the water.

      The Canucks have shot about 4% on their shots in the last 13 or so playoff games. Forget what the exact number is, but they’re basically shooting a lower percentage than most defencemen do on outside, uncontested, unscreened efforts.

      So… that’s probably not sustainable. Even if changing heads behind the bench doesn’t guarantee a change in percentages, it at least gives the local media something to feast on without actually having to change much of the core, which is still… oddly good.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        May 7, 2013

        Yep. Tough to be the voice of reason after a game like Sunday’s, but it’s not quite as dire as it’s been made out to be.

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      • ktownfan
        May 7, 2013

        I’m curious, you don’t think two straight 1st round exits, especially if they are swept tonight shouldn’t be the basis on AV and his staff losing their job?

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        • Neil B
          May 7, 2013

          Honestly, no. Why?

          Because, should the ‘Nucks be eliminated, the problems are personnel-related, and not a result of bad coaching.

          It was known, going into the season, that Manny was probably done here. No Plan B acquired (and there are plenty of 3/4 liners who can play 10 minutes/game and win 55%+ of their faceoffs. Hell, Washington has 3, one of whom is probably going to be unemployed next year).

          It was known, going into the season, that our 2nd & 3rd lines lacked scoring depth. No movement.

          It was known, going into the season, that we had 4 left-shooting d and only two starters shooting right. No movement.

          I’m not counting the goalie situation, because it seems that most GMs with goalie issues are waiting us out, hoping for a buyout that allows them to sign Lui for cheap without giving up anything. But taking a loss on Ballard to acquire a Jay Beagle-type 4th liner surely wasn’t outside the realm of possibility.

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          • ktownfan
            May 7, 2013

            Why? Because he isn’t that good of a coach. Only 1 year that he has been here have the Canucks ever been anything but middle of the pack in team Fenwick. Despite having the best squad this franchise has ever iced, and one of the best ones in the NHL over that time, what has he done with it? 1 year in 7 past the 2nd round. He has ridden one of the best goalies of his generation to a record padded by playing in a weak division. How does a team that comes in at 49.28 fenwick close coast to a division win? A goalie that posts top 5 sv% year in and year out.

            He refuses to make adjustments inside a series other than blindly juggle lines, like a monkey throwing poop at the wall. The opposition figured out the Canucks PP two years ago, yet he makes no changes to zone entry and puts a forward at the point instead of the guy with a cannon brought in for that role.

            He has an injured Bieksa and inconsistent Edler, pairs them together and gives them more ice time than Garrison and Hamhuis.

            Need I go on?

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            • Daniel Wagner
              May 7, 2013

              Don’t know where you’re getting your numbers. Canucks had a 51.68 Fenwick Close this season, 51.44 last season, and 53.45 in 2010-11.

              But yes, getting within one game of the Stanley Cup is clearly a sign that he’s a bad coach. I’ve disagreed with his decisions more this season than I have in the past and it’s certainly understandable if he gets fired, but re-writing history to say that he’s been bad all along is ridiculous. Plenty of teams loaded with talent don’t win Presidents’ Trophies and don’t get to the Stanley Cup Final.

              Vigneault is the one who put Burrows, a third-line checker at the time, with the Sedins, elevating their game and turning him into a legitimate first-line forward. Vigneault is the one who helped develop Kesler into a Selke winner and two-way second line centre. Vigneault is the one who innovated with the Sedins’ and Malhotra’s extreme zone starts and coached the Sedins to back-to-back Art Ross trophies. Carefully ignoring these types of things and others like them and insisting that it’s all Luongo is absurd.

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              Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
              • ktownfan
                May 7, 2013

                You realize those were middle of the pack right? Team fenwick close in the Av era

                2013 12th
                2012 8th
                2011 4th
                2010 18th
                2009 18th
                2008 21st

                So sorry, two years they have been in the top third, but looks like I under estimated on the bad years as well no? 5 out of those 6 they won the Division title, twice with a team fenwick ranked 18th in the league.

                I’m of two minds on his zone start strategy as it has not worked in the playoffs and the Sedin’s have struggled in every series the opposition had a stud #1 pairing to put out against them. Even on home ice there is no guessing or quick reactionary changes needed by the opposition coach. Dzone start put out the checking line and #1 pairing because the Sedins will be on.

                I don’t think he is a horrible coach, but I think he gets undo credit. He has had elite roster with an elite goaltender for most of his tenure and 1 year in seven had some post season success.

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              • Daniel Wagner
                May 7, 2013

                I know where those numbers are, yes. Their Fenwick Close went way up at the same time Vigneault gave the Sedins their offensive zone starts.

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      • Unknown Comic
        May 7, 2013

        How is this sensible post supposed to help the majority of fans who need to rant due to their inabilities to regulate their emotions?

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      • akidd
        May 7, 2013

        the canucks are shooting 4% because they’re not creating good chances. pdo (along with its corsi brother )is such a misleading stat. hard accurate shot taken from a scoring position? puck goes in. inaccurate muffin from the outside? puck stays out.

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  5. D
    May 7, 2013

    Not relevant really, but I did smile when you compared this season’s team to season 8 of The X-Files. The truth is out there.

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  6. rsen9
    May 7, 2013

    I think AV for the most part has done fine with what he has to work with. Someone wrote something about AV missing key ingredients that GMMG went out to buy so he just made a goulash? (I think you guys wrote that? It was great whoever did.)

    I love the D-core you have listed in the article. Alberts hasn’t been terrible either, maybe he would stick around again as the 7th d-man.

    I’ve loved whenever Hansen & Higgins were put on the same line- preferably the 3rd line and are versatile enough to move up and down the 1st 3 lines as well if injuries have effected some players or filling in slots temporarily right after PPs & PKs.

    Nothing wrong with the Sedins imo. I think they just need someone who’s a little more inclined to shoot for them on their line. Kassian will learn from this half-season and hopefully next time he will show what he we know he is capable of consistently. Having a healthy Kesler and Booth all season would be a huge bonus for us. Let’s not forget about Burrows who signed with us for far less of what he could be making elsewhere.

    I’m a huge fan of Lapierre and I hope we resign him but I have this looming feeling he’s among the few that are going to be let go at the end of this season. Weise is great too for what he’s assigned to be doing.

    Also on the goalies, MAYBE and just because it’s VANCOUVER, we all see a Schneider trade out of no where just because that’s how we roll.

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    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
    • kenahora
      May 7, 2013

      Iain Macintyre has no clue of the big picture…and easy to pick on Laprierre…etc.

      Hey where is any scoring…anywhere…?

      Also AV puts the Sedin line on the ice for the last two minutes. These players are spent beyond measure…at that point. Intelligent …yes…but they can’t clear the puck…throughout the last entire season.

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      • rsen9
        May 7, 2013

        -Lappy can do it all I think. He was decent when he filled in for Daniel on injury and has been pretty dependent overall defensively. If he can decrease the amount of minor penalties he’s been drawing lately, we’d probably see the Lappy-From-The-Last-Chicago-Game-This-Season.

        -I don’t think Canuck Fans are giving enough credit to Niemi. He’s a great goaltender who has definitely improved over the past couple of years. Maybe it’s just me but “crashing the net and looking for rebounds” is not the strategy to use on him as he seems weak against anything going top corner.

        -Throwing the Sedins out on game 2 should have been a good idea. The Sedins are great at puck control which is what I’m pretty sure they were attempting to do like they did that one Dallas game when Roy(I believe) took a penalty with 2 minutes left in the game. An empty net is just a huge gamble very well worth going for I think but unfortunately we saw what transpired.

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        • ktownfan
          May 7, 2013

          The Canucks haven’t made Niemi work for anything. No screens, no tips, no making him work thru traffic to see the puck, very few odd man rushes. He has had a very easy go of it this round.

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          • rsen9
            May 7, 2013

            I’ll agree to that. The Sharks shots on net have definitely had more quality and effectiveness.

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  7. Origamirock
    May 7, 2013

    Lets say we do get rid of AV, Newell Brown and the whole coaching staff (but not Melanson for the love of Smyl). Lets say we do all that. Then what? Who do you being in to replace them? Is the new person going to be as fancystats-friendly? Meanwhile AV lasts all of 5 minutes on the free agent coaches market and goes off to give away all of our precious secrets to a potential rival.

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    • rsen9
      May 7, 2013

      *An Alternative Universe That Is Still Very Closely Related To Ours*

      ‘AV to coach the Sabres’

      *Hodgson: DAAAADDDDDDDD!

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  8. Andrew
    May 7, 2013

    Thats two kitty litter references today, and its only noon! Impressive!

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    • Harrison Mooney
      May 7, 2013

      I had to change the litter box this morning. What I saw haunts me still.

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      • Tom 1040
        May 7, 2013

        How many cats do you have?

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  9. Tom 1040
    May 7, 2013

    Well, I think Gillis might resign (or say he offered his resignation) and runaway and not have to fire AV.

    Actually, I hope Gillis and AV get fired. They deserve it.

    AV should get fired simply for all the absolute BS he spews to the media and by extension fan-base.

    I often feel I am in a time-warp and listening to Marc (gag) Crawford telling us that ‘Big Bert’ played his best game of the year every game. This is when Bertuzzi was invisible.

    He really does insult the fan-base with his comments.

    And, as for coaching issues, he should have been fired 4 years ago for getting out-coached by Quenneville (sic?) 2 years in a row.

    Keeping Luongo in in Boston too long in 2011 cost the team a Cup.

    And, more…

    BYE, AV!

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  10. akidd
    May 7, 2013

    well, i’d like to say that AV hockey has been about the best hockey i’ve ever watched! when erhoff edler and the sedin line were out it was like magic. perfect pinches and puck movement. seemingly whole games spent in the o-zone. and when the puck did get into the d-zone the canuck d-corps moved it out quickly with perfect, efficient passes. man, that was exciting hockey!

    but i’ve had enough now. not much has changed. and it’s all too predictable now. and if it’s predictable for the fan it’s predictable for the opposition. i’d like to watch another system now. i’m a little bored with the same ol’, same ol’. just watching the shark pp(i know av is not the canuck pp architect) i get pangs of jealousy mixed the thrill of watching the puck go somewhere that i didn’t expect it to go. it’s fun.

    so ya, selfishly, i just want to see something different.

    that’s the beauty side. on the winning side, the team needs a fresh voice for sure. they are stuck in their ways. need a fresh start. need to be less comfortable. no way fans or team can take another year of the same routine.

    as far as mistakes. ya, AV makes them. but it’s not so much the isolated decisions like leaving lou in but the process of his decision-making. he ignores chemistry. a combo shows some promise(roy/higgins; schroeder/hansen/ raymond) and he breaks them up. sure he’ll go back to the well l5-10 games later but by then the moment has passed. and chemistry took a different turn.

    also he is concerned about winning each game that he doesn’t see the bigger picture. for ex. i wonder what kind of a season/confidence kassian would have had if he had been allowed to continue the early roll he got on with the sedins. surely a confident kassian would have paid dividends later(now) in the season. he may regressed anyway but he may have kept rolling. pretty important on a team with very little up and coming talent. cultivating the youth. stuff like that.

    but mostly i just want to see a different system. an attacking system of course. hitchcock types need not apply.

    already a long post but i want to get all the egg and my face nice and ready here before the canucks go on their 4-game tear :) so i think edler has to go. trade him. i remember watching him get walked early this season and thinking ouch, if that weren’t the flames and this were a playoff game this edler guy is going to cost em the game. and sure enough….too many mistakes. he needs a fresh start. trade him for a 1st line scoring winger.

    love the sedins. love henrik as captain. but rinse and repeat…? i dunno. looking at their arc they may be more of a second line and assistant captains at this point. or not. new coach first i suppose. see what he comes up with.

    booth( r u serious, harrison?!?), ballard, raymond all gone. keep alberts. if lappy accepts being paid as a 4th-liner keep him too.

    the needs are: 1) first-line scoring winger to play with kesler on the top line. 2) 3rd line centre who is rock solid and wins faceoffs. and that’s pretty much it. d-corps rests(minus edler) goalies: schneider and lack(if healthy.)

    okay, now canucks, just go on a tear and make me eat my words.

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  11. ikillchicken
    May 7, 2013

    “Ebbett over Jordan Schroeder”

    Eh, I’d say it depends on the line he’s playing on. Ebbett on the third line with the likes of Hansen or Raymond? Definitely a mistake. Ebbett on the fourth line though? The right call. In that role neither guy is going to score and other than that…well both are small, soft players who struggle in the faceoff circle. So while Ebbett is hardly a good option, Schroeder is no better. And at least Ebbett is a veteran presence who has playoff experience.

    “Had he done that and the Canucks had lost, Vigneault would have been ripped mercilessly for going back to Luongo”

    So he should choose based on what will make him look bad? You’re right that some people would have found a reason to criticize him regardless and that’s unfair. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t still a right and a wrong choice. You pick whatever goalie gives you the best chance to win and given how he looked in the third, that obviously wasn’t Schneider. If he’d gone with Luongo and we still lost and people complained…it still would have been the right choice.

    “In other words, it’s just their bottom-six forwards that need sorting out, and they have a goalie that could net them some help there in a trade.”

    Really, I think its just our 3rd line center that’s a particularly big question mark. Kassian has gotta find a spot on the third line at least or higher which would push Higgins down to round out the third (or Burrows on the off chance Kassian clicks with the Sedins). Wiese and Sestito are RFAs and will in all likelihood be back to fill out the fourth line. Lain seems like he’s being groomed to take over that fourth line center spot (or maybe Gaunce?) assuming Lappy either leaves or moves up. So yeah, give or take a few depth players, the only real question mark seems to be the 3C spot. Is Lapierre the guy? Maybe. But I’d really like to see some more consistent offensive production if that’s gonna be the case. Or do you do with a non-checking third line again with Schroeder? Maybe. Or do you try and keep Roy (probably not if Booth stays) or go to free agency to get somebody? Who knows.

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  12. ColbyD
    May 7, 2013

    Maybe this is a blessing in disguise? We all love AV, but history doesn’t lie and if we want this team to succeed maybe we need to go through a few coaches. If the Canucks had made it to round 2, it would of been status quo next year.

    Maybe a new coach can re-invigorate the Sedins? With AV at this point it’s more of a “It’s not you, it’s me” sort of thing.

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  13. Matt
    May 8, 2013

    Can we just cut the crap? AV once again doesn’t go thru the handshake line (classless), Henrik is talking about how they have to “be nice” to the referees and whining about the calls and non calls AGAIN, the whole team makes excuses and seriously thinks everything should just be handed to them…and on and on and on. The fact is they never got over getting their asses handed to them by the Bruins (and make no mistake, they got their asses handed to them in more ways than one in that series…they were lucky it went to 7 games) and the fact that they felt they were somehow “robbed” by any number of league conspiracies (all while talking about how they “played well” after losing by a combined score of 12-1 in games 3 and 4). Last year they were just spent after the short offseason, and this year they just didn’t have the guns. They have $25 million worth of #3 and #4 defensemen (MAYBE Hamhuis and Edler could be a #2), zero forward depth, zero true leadership, and most importantly at this time of year, NO FRIGGIN BALLS. They are an unlikable bunch of whiners and complainers, and about the only thing AV has been successful in is implementing the disgraceful Montreal Canadiens mentality into the organization (whine, dive, cry, bitch, moan, weasel, and cheap shot at every opportunity). I was pretty disgusted with the team’s antics after the 2011 Finals, but I think I’m more disgusted now because they didn’t learn a damn thing from two years ago…they still think they got jobbed, when in reality, they just got beat…beat up, beat down, and beat to a pulp.

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  14. Chris the Curmudgeon
    May 8, 2013

    I never minded AV, but I do think it is time for him to go. The effect of a coaching change can often be dramatically refreshing to a team, and for all the talk about this team being old or slow or whatever, keep in mind most of the players are mid-prime and they were able to completely take over physically a couple of the games in this series until the ridiculous officiating curbed that side of their play. In other words, the tough, physical and aggressive play that everyone lamented the lack of vs Boston was present, it was special teams (a strength two years ago and largely impacted by coaching) that was missing.

    Some personnel moves are also necessary, but most Canucks fans seem to be anticipating (and dreading) a major rebuild with years of mediocrity, and frankly that seems very doubtful to me. Ballard, Raymond, Roy and Luongo won’t be back, Booth is a maybe, Lapierre may be back but must be slotted onto the 4th line, and I hope that one of Bieksa or Edler is dangled as trade bait. Kesler is hard to predict, as my gut tells me he’ll be back but he may also be the big piece to move in a re-tooling effort. But in return for those player movements, the team will get cap space, it will get younger and hopefully it will fill some holes that have been glaring since last season and which ultimately cost the team big time: replacements for Malhotra and Ehrhoff, and a bona fide top 6 winger with playmaking ability. A new coach may also have more success making NHLers out of Schroeder, Jensen, Corrado, Lack, possibly Sauve and before too long Gaunce, and furthering the development of Tanev and Kassian. So close your Provinces, give Ed Willes and Skeletor a mental middle finger, and realize that this ouster is a blessing in disguise for a bright near future for the Canucks.

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  15. gsmonks
    May 8, 2013

    The problem with the Canucks is that they look great against weak teams, against whom they rack up their playoff points, but suck against tight-checking teams that get the job done. By the time the playoffs arrive, the fans, dazzled by all the cycling pyrotechnics against weaker teams, have conveniently forgotten the Canucks’ Achilles’ Heel- their losses all season long to teams that are tight-checking and get the job done. These are the teams that make the playoffs, not with as high a ranking as Vancouver, but with the right stuff for chewing teams like Vancouver up and spitting them out. Vancouver is not the first team to suck in this department. I’ve been watching hockey since the 50′s and have seen this pattern repeated endlessly. The bottom line is that if you want to win the Challenge Cup dedicated by Lord Stanley, you must have a winning strategy. The Canucks don’t. What they have is smoke and mirrors that fool everyone until things get serious come playoff time.

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  16. paul wodehouse
    May 9, 2013

    …i’m sooo tired…it’s been two days and i just can’t SWEEP ANYMORE !!!

    what’s the expression? there’s always next year?

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  17. seethruhead
    May 9, 2013

    so ……….. no “I watched this game” for game 4?

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  18. mb13
    May 10, 2013

    So what was the Canucks CORSI in the end? Rank pretty high? Is there a trophy for that?

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  19. BS
    May 23, 2013

    Defending AV just shows how little the writer knows about the game. I often read this blog for a laugh and wonder what game the writer was watching, now I know they closed their eyes. AV needed to pay for his huge coaching mistakes (for example who would put a Sedin out in the last minute of a playoff game when you have a 1 goal lead). Dont even get me started on his inability to get anything out of the Sedin’s in the playoffs. A real coach adjusts his strategy given the players he has to work with but AV didnt.
    Unfortunately he was only about 40% responsible. He can only work with what the GM gave him and in that department Gillis failed miserably. He gave out stupid contracts (lou), handed out no trade contracts like tic tacs (half the team), failed to move a goalie when he ought to have known he needed to get a big center since last year (never mind the way he handled Malhorta), acquired a tiny runt of a center at the deadline, traded Hodgson for Kassian (ROTFLMAO) rather than telling his coach to give him some ice time…I could keep going but that would clearly be over the heads of the writers and most of the readers of this rag

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