Alain Vigneault and Cognitive Biases

Jeff Angus
June 06 2012 01:20PM

Alain Vigneault is far from perfect. He has angered past (Cody Hodgson) and present (Ryan Kesler) Canucks with his comments on injuries and injury recovery. He incorrectly assumed Daniel Sedin’s concussion was minor (let’s remove ‘minor concussions’ from our vocabulary while we’re at it), failing to plan for a postseason without Daniel.

His biggest mistake may have been keeping Roberto Luongo in goal too long in any of the three games in Boston last June, but game three especially.

Vigneault is an innovator, and has been a successful regular season coach with the Canucks, winning five division titles in his six seasons, including two Presidents’ Trophies as the league’s best team.

His postseason record isn’t as stellar – in 11 playoff rounds behind the Vancouver bench, Vigneault holds a 6-5 record. Thomas Drance took this to task back in April, breaking down Vigneault’s postseason coaching history in Vancouver.

The players, for the most part, like playing for him. Vigneault demands effort and consistency, but he allows the players the luxury of running the dressing room, something many other coaches around the league do not. He plays favorites, just like every coach in the history of every sport. However, he doesn’t award ice time based on a player’s pedigree, contract status, or favorite colour. He rewards performance.

After the Canucks were bounced in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings a few months ago, members of the local media (without naming names) clamored for a coaching change. Many in the fan base got behind the movement.

Why, exactly, would people want the Canucks to fire the most successful coach in the history of the franchise? Let’s use some well-known cognitive biases to explain.

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Strombabble: The Threat of an Offer Sheet

Thomas Drance
June 05 2012 02:04PM


While officially nothing has really happened on the Luongo trade front over the past month - Mike Gillis declined to give the Team 1040 an update on the situation just this morning - it seems as if the ground is shifting on a near daily basis. There's a whole whack of misinformation out there at the moment, from Gillis' repeatedly denying that Luongo is on the block, to Yzerman's comments about looking for a goaltender at the draft. Where a week ago we were worried that Gillis had lost the plot between the pipes, recent developments have shrunk the number of available veteran goaltenders on the market considerably, and we think that gives Gillis a tiny bit more leverage. 

At this point, most Canucks fans understand the basic shape of the tricky maneuver Mike Gillis is attempting to pull off with his two star goaltenders. The Canucks are looking to trade an extremely useful player in Luongo, whose toxic contract largely negates his positive value, but they've got to move him in order to convince Cory Schneider to sign a long-term deal with the team. The Canucks would benefit enormously on the "Schneider contract negotiation front" if they were able to handle the Luongo situation at the draft, so you have to think that's the club's preference, certainly we do.

We're likely to spend much of the next month breaking down, reacting to and analyzing bits of idle chatter, radio interviews and columns about the situation in the Canucks net - so we figured we'd launch a series. We call it Strombabble, and today we'll break down the fearsome possibility of Cory Schneider signing a predatory offer sheet in early July.

As always, click past the jump for more.

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Data dumps: Canucks adjusted Corsi/Fenwick numbers

Cam Charron
June 05 2012 11:42AM

Using Vic Ferrari's scripts, I looked at data from here, here and here to determine Corsi and Fenwick numbers for the Vancouver Canucks this season. The Ferrari scripts will differ slightly from Behind the Net's because BtN looks at 5-on-5 data while TOI, I do believe, registers all even strength situations.

Either way, both are solid resources and the charts below will offer us a glimpse into which Canucks were the best at controlling the play when they were on the ice.

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What hockey gods?

Graphic Comments
June 05 2012 09:14AM

What hockey gods?

Yes, if you needed any more reason to become a hockey atheist and disown the hockey gods, this is clearly it. As @SteveintheKT put it last night:

Need more proof? Read on...

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Luongo and the Dwindling Veteran Goaltender Market

Thomas Drance
June 04 2012 03:20PM

Roberto Luongo, he of the immovable contract and the world's best athlete Twitter account, is probably never going to fetch the Canucks much more than cap-relief and a couple of low-value lottery tickets in a trade. About a month ago, James Mirtle compellingly characterized the Luongo market as bearish:

Consider that Luongo has a no-trade clause, which he can use to land in a particular destination or two if he chooses. Dumping him in a market that has little chance for immediate success may not be an option. For another, that contract mitigates his value considerably, as the remaining 10 years at a $5.33-million cap hit will come with some risk given the new collective bargaining agreement is on its way this fall.

I don't need to tell Canucks fans that there are a litany complicating factors in any potential Luongo deal, and anyway, Gillis' repeated denials on the subject speak volumes. We at CanucksArmy still think Luongo will be moved at the draft, the team incurs too great an opportunity cost on the "re-signing Cory Schneider long-term" front if they don't find a home for their well compensated, greasily coiffed goaler. Luckily for Gillis In recent weeks the market for "available veteran goaltenders" has withered, and that's a shift in Gillis' favour. Let's take a look.

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