Anatomy of a midseason coaching change

Cam Charron
March 21 2013 05:18PM

In the last two days, I've written posts in this space combatting some of the discussion about the debate over whether Alain Vigneault is the right man to lead the Canucks. This is a topic on which I take a much stronger tone because it seems like a lot of people think that the coach really matters in the grand scheme of things. A coach can put guys on the ice and make in-game adjustments, but ultimately the style of a team will be determined by the kind of players management acquires.

The first post is a defence of trusting the process. The second is about score effects and sitting back. This one is ultimately my thoughts on the positives and negatives of a midseason coaching switch. Read on the jump.

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Trade Deadline 2013: Finding a Defenseman

Jeff Angus
March 21 2013 01:44PM

I wrote last week about some centers who the Canucks could potentially have interest in (David Steckel was one of them, and he has since been traded to the Anaheim Ducks). Defensemen are the focus of today. The Canucks quite obviously need another defenseman. Ideally a right-handed shooter, but the team could probably use an upgrade regardless of what side they play on.

Who are some defensemen that the Canucks could target?

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Game #30 Preview: Canucks @ Coyotes

Thomas Drance
March 21 2013 01:05PM

The Canucks have been an inconsistent group this season, to put it mildly, and they've underachieved expectations through the first 29 games of this weird lockout shortened season. While the team continues to handle and outscore their opponents at even-strength, the club's special teams have been pretty mediocre and the goaltending has been surprisingly average too. 

Phoenix is in the same boat basically, except even worse. While the Canucks have fallen out of the top-slot in the Northwest, the Coyotes have fallen out of the top-8 in the West and find themselves tied with *gulp* the Columbus Blue Jackets with thirty points in thirty games. Getting quality goaltending has been a staple of Dave Tippett's over-achieving Coyotes teams in the recent past, but so far this season that hasn't showed up for the desert dogs (the Coyotes' 'tenders have an abysmal .909 sv% at even-strength). Worse has been their offensive production as the Coyotes have been shutout in four of their last five games. And you thought the Canucks had a pop gun offense.

Read on past the jump. 

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Does Alain Vigneault sit back on leads? Yes

Cam Charron
March 20 2013 07:18PM

Last night, the Vancouver Canucks nearly blew a 3-0 lead, hanging on for a 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues. They were not the only team to nearly waste such a lead.

Los Angeles had leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but Phoenix pulled to within one on both occasions. Boston lost 3-1 to Winnipeg after taking a 1-0 lead. Washington took a 1-0 advantage against Pittsburgh, but lost 2-1. Buffalo blew a late 2-goal lead against Montreal, only to win 3-2 in overtime. Columbus took a 4-1 lead over Nashville with 8 minutes left in the 3rd but hung on for a 4-3 win. The Islanders had a 3-1 lead over Ottawa, but lost 5-3.

A night earlier, Dallas had a 3-0 lead over Calgary but they pulled to 3-2. After Dallas scored a late goal to make it 4-2, the Flames eventually made it 4-3. Anaheim was up 4-1 over San Jose, but the Sharks made it 4-3 before the Ducks scored an empty net goal. That prompted this comment from fearthefin:

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Afternoon Headshots: March 20th

Patrick Johnston
March 20 2013 06:13PM

Credit Dan Fuggles for this one (seriously, click the link)

This not a family newspaper. This is the internet.

Smylosphere, you're up!

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