Canucks Army Postgame: You're Having a Better Day than John Tortorella

Dimitri Filipovic
November 30 2013 03:45PM


John Tortorella had the best seat in the house, unfortunately for him.

I hope you enjoyed your Friday night so much so that you slept right through the morning and into the early afternoon. You'd probably be a happier person in that case. "Why on earth are the Canucks and Rangers playing a game at 11 AM PST on a Saturday" was a recurring question in my head throughout the contest, and I don't really have an answer. It doesn't get better, at all, as the Canucks play again at an even earlier time tomorrow morning for some ungodly reason.

Speaking of answers, I wish I had some answers for John Tortorella and his Canucks, who got their butts handed to 'em by a team that played yesterday, and I suspect isn't actually even all that good. I guess you could say this was a prime example of two steps forward, three steps back following Thursday's encouraging showing in Ottawa.

Read on past the jump for a look at what went wrong.

The Positives

-David Booth, who has now put together three very good games since being inserted into the lineup. Knowing him and his luck he'll probably get injured tomorrow, but for now we've just got to enjoy his strong play while we can. Daniel Sedin scored a garbage time power play goal late in the 3rd, but other than that Booth's sweet tally in the 2nd was the lone bright spot for the Canucks:

-Kevin Bieksa's rampage after the final buzzer, as he let out some of his pent-up frustration on Brian Boyle (who has listed at 6'7'', but can't fight worth a lick). In classic Bieksa fashion, he went on to take Boyle's helmet and punt it.. which I thought was particularly savvy, given the fact that the Canucks were down by 3 at the time. Go for the field goal to tie it!

-Alex Edler, for providing us with another GIF of John Tortorella losing his mind. This of course happened after Edler failed to clear the puck out of the zone, resulting in the opening goal of the game for the Rangers. Speaking of Edler, he was reunited with Kevin Bieksa to start (leaving Garrison to be paired up with Ryan Stanton). There was a ton of mixing and matching on the back-end as the game went along, though.

The Negatives

.. everything?
 
-The Canucks came out of the gate really strong, with the Sedin line generating a few quality scoring chances. Cam Talbot was really good, and held the Canucks to another minimal offensive output by stopping 35 of 37 shots. I'd say "oh well, it happens" but this is becoming far too common an occurence at this point to simply brush it off.
 
-Luongo got pulled for the 2nd time this year just 17 seconds into the 2nd period after the 3rd goal. I can't remember whether it was Shorthouse or Garrett who said this, but one of them called it a "mercy pulling", which I agree with. All 3 of the goals came off of nice tips by Kreider and Nash directly in front of the net, so it's difficult to blame Luongo too much for any of the ones that got past him. He has been starting a lot of games lately, and the Canucks play again tomorrow morning, so the move made plenty of sense to me.
 
-While I didn't particularly enjoy the early start time, I think it's a weak excuse for the way the game unfolded. As I mentioned above the Canucks started the game strong, dispelling the "they're asleep" theory. It was just a bad game.
 
-Zack Kassian took a terrible delay of game penalty that led to the goal that made it 2-0 NYR, and at this point it's looking like he's edging closer and closer to becoming a healthy scratch. He stayed out way too long on that particular shift, and then panicked in his own zone and cleared the puck up and over the glass. These sorts of boneheaded players are becoming all too common with him.
 
-I'd say that 2 of John Tortorella's biggest whipping boys last season were Chris Kreider and Michael Del Zotto, who combined for 4 goals (including a Kreider hat trick). Just that kind of day for Tortorella and Co..

The Numbers


Image via Extra Skater

That's going to be it for today. Sorry for the shorter than usual game recap, but I'm feeling very under the weather. We'll be back at it tomorrow, with hopefully more positive things to say.

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 joey
November 30 2013, 04:00PM
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I would not understate impact of early start. The numbers for football where west coast teams play the early game in the east coast are crazy. A good couple shifts in the beginning wouldn't seem to dispel this.

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#2 greydawn
November 30 2013, 06:51PM
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I'm probably going to get downvoted like heck for bringing this up, but can we talk about how effed this team is at this point to even MAKE the playoffs?

Elliote Friedman and David Ebner both reported this month about teams being 4 points back of a playoff spot in November. Only 3 of 32 teams from 2006 to 2012 have made it. We're 3 point back but PHX, who is ahead of us, has 3 games in hand.

Even if you look past the mere 3 points and the statistic from Friedman, if you look at the amount of games we will have to win the rest of the way to make it, it starts to look very difficult.

Ugh...

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#3 NM00
November 30 2013, 07:24PM
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@greydawn

Missing the playoffs might be the best thing for this organization.

Perhaps it would incite a legitimate reset as opposed to dragging out the mediocrity for another 4 years...

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#4 nateb123
November 30 2013, 07:40PM
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@greydawn

I don't know if you just became a Canucks fan this year or have some sort of memory issue but this is what the Canucks have done every year in recent memory, including 2010-11. If they start to improve from here, making the playoffs is easy. I still think people were nuts for not acknowledging that we hadn't truly felt the growing pains under our new coach yet. This is just more of the needed altering of habits and changes in mentality that were inevitable.

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#5 puck-bandit
November 30 2013, 08:15PM
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@nateb123

I would agree with you, just not this year. New coach, new system, and a revised culture has only shown that we have the same team and another year on an ageing core. I am truly a Canuck's fanatic, 3-decades worth, and have seen this before. No point in slamming any one person in our management system, but we have issues in the Ivory Tower. One can only hope that we doubters will be proved wrong?

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#6 PB
November 30 2013, 09:39PM
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@NM00

How do you figure? As you've pointed out yourself, the number of longterm contracts and commitments means that there's a limited number of options that might legitimately constitute a reset.

Or are you thinking that a playoff miss buys us more higher-end draft picks? I doubt it means getting rid of the coaching staff and it's unlikely that the Aquilinis are going to hang this on Gillis.

It may yet happen or the Canucks may get their act together -- I'm really not sure (games like today's certainly don't help). Regardless, I think the Canucks have cast their lot with this group and I'm not sure how they'd be able to reset in the near future given the particular cards they've selected. It's basically this core and the prospects for the foreseeable future. Blowing up the team isn't really an option given the NTCs as well.

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#7 NM00
November 30 2013, 10:23PM
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@PB

A NTC simply allows a player to choose where he wants to live and work.

It undoubtedly reduces leverage but by no means does a NTC preclude a trade entirely.

"It's unlikely that the Aquilinis are going to hang this on Gillis."

Then the Aquilinis are as delusional as a large portion of the fanbase.

At some point there has to be accountability with this management team.

29 NHL teams have at least one of their 2008-2013 draft picks on the NHL roster.

And the AHL team gives you a glimpse into the future of this franchise...

The window has closed.

The sooner this is accepted the sooner the next contending Canucks team has a chance to be formed...

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#8 Origamirock
November 30 2013, 11:52PM
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I like how in the comments section of this postgame only one of the replies is talking about the actual game (and that one's about the early start).

The window has closed on quality Canucksarmy comments.

EDIT: The posts themselves are still great though.

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#9 nateb123
November 30 2013, 11:54PM
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NM00 wrote:

A NTC simply allows a player to choose where he wants to live and work.

It undoubtedly reduces leverage but by no means does a NTC preclude a trade entirely.

"It's unlikely that the Aquilinis are going to hang this on Gillis."

Then the Aquilinis are as delusional as a large portion of the fanbase.

At some point there has to be accountability with this management team.

29 NHL teams have at least one of their 2008-2013 draft picks on the NHL roster.

And the AHL team gives you a glimpse into the future of this franchise...

The window has closed.

The sooner this is accepted the sooner the next contending Canucks team has a chance to be formed...

Everyone is delusional:t he owners of the team, the players, the coaching staff, the fans. But not you, right? Millions wrong and just one who is right.

The thoughts of a delusional man if I've ever heard them.

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#10 FlamesRule
November 30 2013, 11:59PM
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At least the Nucks are going to get a top ten draft pick this year without giving up a "player of the future"!

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#11 NM00
December 01 2013, 12:39AM
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@nateb123

Millions?

Good one!

"The thoughts of a delusional man if I've ever heard them."

Someone needs a hug...

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#12 Samson
December 01 2013, 01:33AM
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I hate to say this but I agree with NM00 here. I want this team to tank at this point. We have the Sedins signed for 4 more years, right? So why not use the first two years to retool so we can have a legitimate push in the last two years? I think If we traded Kesler now while he's worth something and every defenseman not named Bieksa, Hamhuis, or Tanev, we could get the assets to be a real contender again in a few years.

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#13 acg5151
December 01 2013, 01:50AM
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I kind of hate Alex Edler for being terrible. That's all I have to say.

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#14 PB
December 01 2013, 05:06AM
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@NM00

I didn't ask for a definition of NTCs, I know what they are, including the difference between a limited NTC and a full one. We saw how easy it is to move a player with a big contract and a NTC last season. This isn't about questioning the sanity of ownership or the fan base. What I'm asking you is HOW exactly you'd do a reset given the realities that have been constructed for this team -- a core that's all signed for the foreseeable future and that has no movement clauses. Unless you convinced everyone to waive them (unlikely) and the Canucks truly bottomed out (enough to get a lottery pick which doesn't look likely) how exactly would a reset of the kind you're talking about start?

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#15 EGS
December 01 2013, 07:25AM
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nateb123 wrote:

I don't know if you just became a Canucks fan this year or have some sort of memory issue but this is what the Canucks have done every year in recent memory, including 2010-11. If they start to improve from here, making the playoffs is easy. I still think people were nuts for not acknowledging that we hadn't truly felt the growing pains under our new coach yet. This is just more of the needed altering of habits and changes in mentality that were inevitable.

I might have also agreed with you if there was still a northwest division to cruise through, however, there's not, therefore it's not looking too promising at this point. Hopefully they prove us wrong; I'm certainly not holding my breath.

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#16 van
December 01 2013, 08:04AM
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Edler/Garrison becoming really poor possession players - paired with anyone. Trading one of them - like the Kings with Johnson has to be a serious consideration at this point. Corrado is playing well and calling him up would give us a better R/L balance. I reckon Edm would move Yak. Ottowa and Colorado in desperate need of D too.

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#17 ed
December 01 2013, 08:30AM
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a number of rangers had elevated motivation with torts in town....11 am game had to to with with a garden event quickly following the game....rangers suffer from garden bookings on a tight schedule all the time....the ice is better since the recent renovations but that is about it.....i was there to see the twins....oh well and be impressed ....they looked tired...

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#18 saskfan
December 01 2013, 09:50AM
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As a long time canuck fan I can see it's over for us. Time to make plans for the trade deadline and get some good picks and prospects. If we're lucky we'll have a good team in about five years, after the twins are gone of coarse.

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#19 NM00
December 01 2013, 11:32AM
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@PB

For starters, I wouldn't have extended the Sedins until the season played out...

However, what's done is done.

I don't think this organization has any choice but to take a Holmgrenesque risk and trade one or two core members of the team.

Unless the goal is to drag out the mediocrity to preserve job security...

The obvious and simplest transaction would be to trade Edler IF he is willing to waive his NTC.

Realistically, though, trading Edler likely wouldn`t make the Canucks any better. Just different.

If the core shakeup fails to improve the team, blow it up.

None of the paths are particularly palatable.

But there`s absoluetly zero reason to expect this team to get better as it gets older considering the prospect pool is as mediocre as the NHL team...

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#20 PB
December 01 2013, 01:50PM
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@NM00

I would hope that we would never ever take a Holmgrenesque risk with anything to with the Canucks. If Philly is our model for rebuilding then we have no hope whatsoever. Whether it's committing crazy money to a goalie who was completely dependent upon the system in Phoenix and sucked in Philadelphia, trading away their cornerstones in Richards and Carter, dumping Van Riemsdyk for nothing, I have no clue why you'd hold up anything to do with Holmgren as a guide.

Almost all the chips that the Canucks have are unlikely to waive their NTCs, Edler included. The only way to "blow up" the team would be to get the only players worth something on the open market (Sedins, Kesler, Hamhuis, Garrison, Edler) to give up their NTCs and that's seriously unlikely. On a crappy team like the Leafs a few years ago the "Muskoka Five" wouldn't waive them to escape that hellscape -- why would the Canucks players on a far better team agree to do so? The only other way to "blow it up" would be to trade the few decent young players we have (Horvat, Shinkaruk, Gaunce), another terrible idea.

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#21 NM00
December 01 2013, 04:09PM
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@PB

Just because Holmgren's risks have not worked out to date does not mean the Canucks should be averse to risk at this point.

Of course, a shakeup of the core could very well blow up in management's face and make things worse.

Oh well.

Hanging around the middle for another 2-4 years would be the absolute worst thing for this organization.

"Almost all the chips that the Canucks have are unlikely to waive their NTCs, Edler included."

On what are you basing this?

If the organization determines that rebuilding is necessary, it wouldn't be surprising if some of the players with NTCs prefer to move on...

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#22 PB
December 01 2013, 05:28PM
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@NM00

The problem still is that there's limited room to take those risks because of the constraints -- some self-imposed no doubt -- that the Canucks face.

I have no more insight into whether Canucks' players would waive their NTCs than you. My guess is that since most of them are for mid-late career players who are established and have families, they'd be loathe to uproot them to travel elsewhere unless they really wore out their welcome (most likely candidates would be Kesler and Edler but even those are a stretch)

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#23 pdx
December 03 2013, 03:21PM
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Gillis definitely should move on. Unfortunately, when he leaves he will leave behind the worst head coach hire of the 2013/14 season and perhaps the decade. There will be no banners hosited or trophies raised in Rodgers Arena during the Torts tenure. Not that Torst is a bad guy. He is a terrible fit for Canucks. He is unlikely to ever repeat his Lightning success. It would be a huge mistake to assemble a roster for Torts. That is, unless we are satisfied with 4 more years of mediocrity and another 3 or 4 years after that to reassemble a world class team.

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#24 pdx
December 03 2013, 03:23PM
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Gillis definitely should move on. Unfortunately, when he leaves he will leave behind the worst head coach hire of the 2013/14 season and perhaps the decade. There will be no banners hosited or trophies raised in Rodgers Arena during the Torts tenure. Not that Torst is a bad guy. He is a terrible fit for Canucks. He is unlikely to ever repeat his Lightning success. It would be a huge mistake to assemble a roster for Torts. That is, unless we are satisfied with 4 more years of mediocrity and another 3 or 4 years after that to reassemble a world class team.

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