Canucks Postgame: Another visit to San Jose, Another Demoralizing Result

Back to the drawing board for Tortorella after this one, no doubt. (Image via James Guillory)

It had been 149 days since the Vancouver Canucks last played a meaningful game heading into Thursday night’s regular season opener against the San Jose Sharks. As you’re all aware of, that game took place in the same building as this one, and I’m sure many a Canucks fan was still dealing with the trauma brought on by the Sharks’ prolific power play back in May.

Well, it was a similar result this time around as the Canucks fell to the Sharks by a score of 4-1, but they did so in a different manner; San Jose had 8 power play opportunities, including a 2-minute 5-on-3, and failed to register a single goal. Yet they still managed to handle the Canucks with relative ease.

So what went wrong on Thursday night? Here’s a hint: more things went wrong than right. Read on past the jump for some quick thoughts. 

In the 1st period, the Sharks out-chanced the Canucks by a 5 to 1 margin at even strength (and 8-2 in total). The shots were 16-7 in that frame in favour of the home team, yet somehow the Canucks managed to hold a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission. That somehow is Roberto Luongo, who was fantastic.

He made a handful of big-time saves, with probably the biggest one coming at the expense of Joe Pavelski who found himself going in on a breakaway with his team down a man. He also got some help from his teammates, too, as Alex Burrows pretty much stopped a point blank shot with his face while Luongo was out of position.

The 2nd period was a weird one, as I thought the Canucks actually played a much better 20 minutes of hockey overall. They won the scoring chance battle 7-3 at 5-on-5, and even managed to get through a full 2 minutes of 5-on-3 hockey against San Jose’s potent power play unscathed (thanks in large part to Joe Pavelski, who failed to convert chance after chance from ‘The Steven Stamkos Spot’). Unfortunately, none of that really mattered as the Sharks scored 2 goals in the frame to take a one goal lead after 40.

Nothing much happened in the first 14-15 minutes of the 3rd period, honestly. The Canucks registered 2 scoring chances, but realistically, the only actual chance they had to tie the game up was on a Chris Higgins opportunity right in front of Niemi. It wasn’t a great stretch for Higgins to say the least as a brutal turnover on his part led to San Jose’s 3rd goal, essentially putting the game away. They scored a 4th one just a minute later to put a cap on things.

I should point out that John Tortorella did his best Alain Vigneault impersonation in this one with his line juggling. As the game went along, he moved David Booth up to play with the Sedins, while utilizing a 2nd line of Burrows-Kesler-Higgins, and a 3rd line of Santorelli-Richardson-Hansen. You’ll notice I didn’t really mention the 4th line. That’s because Tom Sestito, Zac Dalpe, and Dale Weise all played less than 12 minutes combined. 

On a positive note, everyone and their grandmother felt vindicated when Jason Garrison scored on a beautiful setup from the Sedins to open the scoring on the man advantage. Speaking of the Sedins, they were dangerous as always in this one, creating a handful of legitimate opportunities off of the rush. 

I’m not sure what the worst part of the game was, though.. the team’s 2nd unit power play – which failed to register a single promising moment, while gifting 2 golden shorthanded opportunities to the Sharks – or Dan Hamhuis, who was uncharacterstically terrible. It’s difficult to get on his case considering how consistently efficient he is, but he seemed to be skating in quicksand all game long. Strange performance from the team’s best defenseman.

But hey, at least Alain Vigneault’s new team, the New York Rangers, also lost 4-1 in their opener, too. Plus.. it’s only Game 1 of an 82 game schedule. There were some disconcerting things in this game, sure, but nothing that can’t be fixed over time. 

*As you’ll notice, this isn’t the game recap format that you’ve probably become accustomed to if you’ve been a loyal reader of Canucks Army over the past few years. This year – at least initially – we’ll be posting some thoughts as quickly as possible after the game’s conclusion, so that you guys have a platform to discuss – whether it’s in the form of ranting, complaining, celebrating a victory, or posing questions – via the comments section. The morning after we’ll do a more in-depth post which takes a deeper look at the numbers from the game the previous night. So at least there’s that to look forward to.

  • argoleas

    For me the worst part was some of the brutal pinches that took place by our D. They looked out of sorts and at times it didn’t look very challenging for the Sharks to get behind them, or create odd man rushes. There was very little back end support.

    The good, Lu and our penalty kill. Without those two going it gets nasty. We had our chances, but no finish at key points but I can’t say I felt that it cost us anything after watching the third.

  • argoleas

    It wasn’t pretty. But I wasn’t expecting pretty when they hired Torterella and left the team untouched from the last 2 seasons.

    The same issues they had last yr and the yr before are the same issues they’ll have this yr.

    Weak bottom 6
    No 3C

    More things change, the more they stay the same….. till Gillis gets canned.


  • argoleas

    Actually, by the numbers a promising start –
    (I had chances bit closer)
    Sharks are elite team.
    Nux held their own 5 on 5
    Tied & Close ~50% each
    The difference was the PP dif. can’t win giving up 7 PP after 2.
    Nux are not getting a fair shake in Power play diff. vs Sharks – crazy over last 5 games ~35 to 20 or so..
    Nux showed more grit more pressure on puck
    Your write-up missed the underlying story.
    However, Nux NEED a 4th line that can play!

    • argoleas

      I actually agree with you. I think there was some very positive things to come out of this game.

      1) Luongo was very good. Uncharacteristically so for this time of year.

      2) Hamhuis was awful, we know this isnt a trend that will continue. Ditto for Higgins.

      3) The penalty kill was stellar, and the Sedins look very good doing it.

      4) The team is learning a new system, and it was very obvious, especially on the defensive side. Ill timed pinches, no one covering, tons of odd man rushes. I can see this getting addressed.

      The biggest issue last night was the penatly problems. You cant get into a game offensively if you are playing half the game short handed. The Canucks had zero rhythm.

      I dont see why people are surprised by Torts line juggling. He is more infamous for this than AV was.

      On the 4th line, we dont know if the 4th line can play if they dont get a chance to play.

  • argoleas

    I’m still shocked at how an average team like the Canucks have been in the last two seasons can still play the same way in this first game. LOL. I mean, when is Cinderella going to show up and go to the dance? Fragmented team, no real offensive brains, no defensive brains, Leaky Luongo and his one crap goal per game, the whole team running around like a bunch of desperate headless chickens… I can’t wait to hear what excuses Gillis will come up with this post season. He’ll probably try to throw Torts under the bus. Don’t worry Canucks, take your sweet time. Give this core ten more years and Luongo another 10 year contract. Fans got all the time in the world and people live forever. LOL. The Vancouver Train wrecks. I bet torts is slowly starting to see what Messier saw when he came here.LOL

  • argoleas

    Canucks looked overmatched tonight. The Sharks came in waves and it looks like if the Sedin’s can’t put the team on their back every night the canucks will have trouble creating anything. The forward depth this team once had looks eroded. The 4th line sat on the bench the whole night. LU made some good saves but 4 goals against won’t cut it. I’ve been a canucks fan my whole life and the way i see it, we’re a wildcard team at best.

    • argoleas

      And why would Canucks management want to do that? For over 40 years they’ve been comfortable with mediocrity, why would they want to seriously start now at trying to build a real winner when the dumb-dumbs keep paying money to see the team play like garbage? If I were a businessman and I sold inferior quality goods to folks who insist on buying it year after year after year, why would I stop doing that?
      People who have no standards (ei Canucks coo-laid drinkers) deserve low standards. You can’t expect to get Mangoes if you plant dandelion seeds.

      • Hodog16

        Too true…..being a canucks fan is heartbreaking……

        we need more prospects like kassian, learning from the twins and kes… we got nothing until 2014/2015 at the earliest when horvat and shinkaruk are ready for their rookie seasons maybe. By then the twins and kes will definitely be past their prime…..regardless of what anyone wants I think this team WILL be terrible and miss the playoffs, if not this season, then definitely in 2015.

        Gillis is an incompetent gm…..corrado’s a fireable offense IMO. A year of a prospect’s ELC has been burned for what? He’s not even ready this year, so it’s not like he was on the cusp.

        • argoleas

          Yes, true. Youngsters have to be molded and developed. Asking them to attend training camp and pre season games is not development. You don’t get real experience until you get real experience. This franchise has always been about making money now first, despite what they may tell fans, the proof is written all over the stale pudding. In other sports disciplines such as track and field, gymnastics, run by other countries such as Russia or China, there is always a plan of succession. The team and or country comes first. Many athletes are considered over the hill once they pass 25 years of age,and the ones who make it to their late 20’s are the rare superstars. In these countries there is always a plan of succession, younger players should always be able to beat the older experienced one’s who have slowed down and lost some of their legs. For some reason I find that in the NHL the youth are not fully pontentialized. ( if that’s even a word, lol )

          In the NHL it seems like they try to draft talent, then watch to see if the kid is NHL ready, if not then he’s stuffed back into the juniors. You see, the common logic does not seem to apply here. Example, if you have a young tennis talent you train who’s younger, fitter, faster, and more consistent than Federer, what can Federer do to him? What can you do as a tennis player if the other younger guy can run down and get back all of your shots? I don’t care how talented you are, if the your opponent is faster and more consistent than you, you’re not going to beat him. Look at Djokovic and Nadal now. I don’t think Federer will ever win a Slam with them around anymore. federers weakness is that despite his talent, the other players have exceeded that bar of speed, fitness and consistency. The same with Tiger Woods, great golfer, but he hasn’t won a slam for a while. He hasn’t gotten worse, he’s still just as great. The problem with Tiger is that his strength is now his weakness. tiger burst into the golf scene and he was a level better than everyone else. And every golfer took note after and learned, either they exceed that bar that Tiger has set, or never win a golf tournament again. So it’s not that Tiger is playing bad now, its that the rest of the field has caught up.I don’t care how good you are, you can only control so much in golf. The rest you can’t control, the wind, the grass, the trees, and most of all, chance and luck.

          Going back to hockey, they don’t see youth that way. They see youth as something that can’t compare to a veteran. I mean, if you train a kid who’s faster, stronger, and more endurant than say, Crosby…then what can Crosby do if you put him on the ice against Crosby? How is Crosby going to score when you have someone next to you , who can chase you down, win the battles and last longer than him? That is the benefit of youth and physical development. Look at how less effective Gretzky was when he was older and when most of the newer players where bigger, fitter, faster and stronger than him. Youth should in most cases beat out the veteran if the talent is developed properly…not just tossed back into the juniors and left there to fend for himself.

          • Hodog16

            How is any of what you say different than what happens in baseball, the only other sport in which 18-year olds are drafted in to the pros? A lot of kids simple aren’t ready to play with fully developed men, who understand the game a lot better than th kids do.

            I bet a lot of people here are impressed with San Jose’s Thomas Hertl. But it should be noted he was drafted I’m 2012 and spent a year developing in the Finnish league.

            This is not to defend Gillis who I believe has really oversold, time and again, his plans as GM, but it is to say that expecting 18-year olds to be ready to play is not realistic.

          • Hodog16

            Not all sports are exactly the same. There are pure sports, like running and weight lifting- who can go the fastest, longest, etc. Then there are sport-games, like hockey and football and soccer, pro badminton, pro tennis etc. Then there are game sports where there is much less physicality like golf and lastly there are pure games like checkers. If you look at golfers, its more game than sport, this is not hard to argue as one can tell by looking at most pro golfers mid sections. Baseball has more physicality than golf but you can hardly call most of baseball players pure athletes. I’m not saying baseball doesn’t take skill, but it’s safe to say that in baseball, cardio and other athletic skill sets will take a backseat to the power and skill of hitting with a bat or throwing the ball.In the case of baseball, before you run, you have to stand and hit the ball. This is where there youth and physicality plays less of a role. For example, you can take the tri athlete, put him on the base, he can bat all day log, but he may never be able to hit the ball or hit it out of the ball park. You reverse that and put a baseball player in a tri-athlon, and he would vomit die doing the first mile. Hockey, like Tennis, badminton, football, soccer are sports games which require a ton of athleticism and conditioning. Not not sports or sports games are the same, but where athletes gain advantage over other athletes will always be in speed and power and endurance. When a body gets to a certain age, it slows down, simple fact of life. You’re never going to be as healthy and fit as when you are younger. People who are at their prime when they’re 30 have been training since their youth. There are always a few exceptions but being a lazy 18 yr old and working out when you’re 30 and saying you were fitter at 20 than 18 is somewhat of a falsehood. the physical prime of any animal on earth is when they are younger, not older. I’m talking about “life force” as well. Name me one person if given the choice would go back to being 35 instead of being 18 years old?

            Take Federer now, it’s not that Nadal or Djokovic is more talented or has better shots…it’s that they are faster, more consistent, more endurance and have just as much power if not more. Federer could not win for the longest time a slam because the other have raised the tennis bar. If Federer can’t keep up foot speed and endurance wise? how can he win? How can you hit a shot you can’t get too? how can you hit your best shots when your opponents are so quick they give you no time. It’s not easy to hit great shots when the other guy is running you around the court like a dog, doesn’t matter how much skill you have, if you can’t keep up with the other guy, you’re dead meat. i think deep down inside Federer knows this. Had he trained even more harder years before he would have beaten back the Nadals and Djokovvic’s. Experience comes with age but once you get passed a certain age, you can never get fitter than you already are. This is Federer’s wall he cannot climb. The days of winning a tournament becasue you can hit the occasional big shot during a big point is over. Today’s tennis requires you to hit those shots at every point in the match, while having to keep up foot speed wise with the other guy. If you can’t keep up with Nadal, forget it, the ball isn’t going to return itself for you.

            This is why training youth is so vital. Because if you DON”T train the young kids, they will languish down in the juniors until the pass the point of no return. Last point, you mention experience. Ok, what kind of experience does a player have when you send him down to juniors in hockey? He has junior experience. He has no NHL experience because he isn’t playing in the NHL. Ho can you get NHL experience if you don’t compete in the NHL? I’m not saying all young players should be in the NHL, but you have to make it a plan to develop players there. It reminds me of how many employers say in the adds they’re looking for a so and so worker, must have experience. When I was younger, I thought to myself, well, how on earth do I get the experience for the job if i don’t get the job to begin with? LOL. It’s like a dog chasing its tail.

            ” Wanted for hire, hockey player to play in the NHL. Must have NHL experience.” LOL That’s fine if you’re a veteran but how are you going to find NHL players once all the NHL veterans die off? LOL Youth is always the key, if you know how to utilize it properly.

          • argoleas

            Bottom line, if a kid doesn’t know how to use that speed and strength advantage (which no 18-year old not named Eric Lindros has ever exhibited) then what is the point of putting him in the league?

            These guys need a chance to get better. Right now, they aren’t good enough to play.

          • argoleas

            They’re not good enough because they aren’t trained in the NHL. You can’t be good enough for something if you aren’t allowed to do it. If the veterans are good enough, then where’s the cup, I don’t see it anywhere here. You give these old cougars so many many chances and what have you gotten in return? I don’t see the Stanley cup here.. Oh but you want to give those guys another forty years, right? Forty more years when your what, ninety yrs old and then they’ll come through, right? LOL Dream much?

          • Hodog16

            Yes, asking 18 year olds to play is unrealistic….so where are the 20-22 year old rookies/prospects that Gillis has brought in to learn the game under the twins and kes? Remember the twins came in and learnt the game under Naslund for a few years before they started emerging as stars in their own right.

            We have a 3 year “Gillis gap” in our line-up….Jensen, Gaunce, Shroeder, they’re not legitimate top 6 players. Maybe Jensen can be a bubble 2nd/3rd line player like Hansen/Booth, but that’s as far as he’s projected to go. We swapped Hodgson for Kass, that’s an even trade maybe, one prospect for another.

            We’re playing in the Pacific division now, with the big boys and an emerging Oilers team. When the twins and kes start slowing down, it’s going to get real ugly….maybe as soon as 2014/2015 season, unless Horvat and Shintaruk are able to step in next year and be Calder candidates right away.

          • Hodog16

            Don’t forget that Roy won a Stanley Cup in his first season. You may not win with youth, but it is crucial to develop them into being potential winners. You can’t develop someone if you don’t develop them. You can’t say to a teen, look, your not ready for dating until you are ready. Well, when are we as human beings ever ready for anything? Experience has to be gained. How do you gain experience if you don’t have a chance to play at the level to mature you skills? You’re not going to be able get experience boxing Ali if you’re not boxing against him, right? So what do you do, wait till you think he can beat Ali before you send him to beat Ali? That goes back to my point, how do you know the guy can beat Ali if he never fights Ali? How do you know so and so isn’t ready tp play one full year in the NHL if he isn’t allowed to play one full year in the NHL? It’s as if we say to ourselves that we are not ready for a lifetime of marriage until we are ready. HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE DON’T GET MARRIED? LOL

          • argoleas

            “Yes, asking 18 year olds to play is unrealistic….so where are the 20-22 year old rookies/prospects that Gillis has brought in to learn the game under the twins and kes?”

            Excellent question…

          • Hodog16

            I also don’t expect 18 year old to win the cup but what have the Canucks got to lose? They aren’t winning any cups with their veterans for over 40 years, so why not give some youth a chance? Why not develop them for once? For the future. The Canucks like most team don’t have any money left over once they pay all those salaries to even train one young player for a week. Too many big salaries, too many egos, too much of all that will always lead to putting winning and the future of any club down in the list of priorities. If all the fans demanded that they win a cup in one year you can bet the Canucks management will be sweating bullets. They have absolutely no sense of urgency, not a care in the world about winning the cup..and it shows. The results in the clubs history speaks for itself.Management won’t do anything as long as the money keeps flowing in. Why would any heroine addict quit when you’re giving him or her free heroine all the time?

          • argoleas

            They haven’t won a Cup in 40 years so why not give the kids a chance? You have taken two completely isolated thoughts and mashed them together like a pooh sandwich in order to make no point at all. Digest that for a bit.

            And what about development? Have zero players ever benefitted, or at least performed at a high level by playing as an 18 year old in junior hockey? What about guys like Mike Richards and Jeff Carter? Or how about Jerome Iginla?

            Just because a guy is a first round pick and has the potential to be a star doesn’t make him ready three months after being drafted by a team.

          • argoleas

            You have no idea what the guy is takhing about ,man. The junior league is to train juniors. That’s where you train, against other juniors. You don’t get to spar with nhlers if you don’t play. Against them. You want NHL ready players but you stick them in some bush league and expect them to get better? If you were a boxer do you think you’d improve if i stuck you in some bush league boxing club instead of the pro league? These juniors aren’t babies, they’re adults. What is so hard for you to understand , bro? Wy dont you take up football and play your whole life in some shat league and than see if you’re good enough for the pros then? The NHL is there for money first, training second. You go to Russia and if you’re in their national gymnastics program, they train you 27/7, feed and house you and you train with the best and compete in world circuits to get real experience and better. They don’t stick you i n some crap bush gymnastics league and expect you to get better while you’re fending for yourself. Only in the NHL is where old cougars are considered in their best form. And like I said before, what have the worthy Canucks veterans done lately…or for the matter, forty five years? Looks like the Canucks aren’t even ready to compete, never mind their damn juniors

  • Big Cap

    The problem with this game (since it will be a microcosm of the season) has nothing to do with penalties, defenseman pinches or Tortorella.

    This team is far too dependent on players in their unrestricted free agent years (27 and older).

    Aside from the fact that these players are in their prime earning years, the potential for upside is limited as well.

    Sestito (26), Lack (25), Weber (25), Weise (25), Stanton (24), Tanev (23), Schroeder (23), Dalpe (23), Kassian (22)

    Scan the rosters of the other 29 teams…

    There is not a single NHL roster with as limited a group of players in their team controlled years.

    Not one.

  • argoleas

    The good: Lou, PK, Garrison on PP, good energy for stretches of the game

    The bad: (really) lacked the fluidity of the Sharks

    The ugly: Team often reverting to bad habits

    Final impression: Torts still has lots of work to do on this team so it plays his game for 60 minutes, but I expect this to get better. Sharks looked very impressive, and are doing a better job of integrating youth. So far, this Shark team is looking very good, and so is Niemi.

    • Hodog16

      “doing a better job of integrating youth.”

      Get used to seeing that from every opponent the rest of the year.

      The idea that the team was actually going to have a meaningful reset and begin integrating youth this season was laughable.

      1. The cap space was never there to acquire proven commodities like Clarkson, Horton, Cullen, Grabo & Gordon no matter how many fans believe in the magic of cap wizardry…

      2. Aside from maybe Corrado, it was a stretch to believe any of the prospects were NHL ready.

      Is this management group actually willing to live with the growing pains inherent with young players as the window with the Burke/Nonis core rapidly closes?

      Or are they going to continue to be dependent on older, limited upside players via free agency…

    • Hodog16

      Another thing I that I have liked so far is the forward pressure on the forecheck. We had it going nicely a couple of times and you could see how it keeps the other teams D back deeper in their zone. The benefit being they have to stay back and defend as opposed to joining the rush and becoming an extra attacker. I like the concept and what it does.

      In our own end we are starting to collapse nicely and take away lanes. One thing we’ve lacked over the last couple, and something every team that has had success has been able to do with fluidity.

      I’m not going to bother pointing out too many negatives since there is enough of that being written around here and it doesn’t require much thinking. But for me the big ugly was watching our D play around in no man’s land. We did not defend the offensive blueline well and in turn that gave SJ free reign on the neutral zone, hence speed into the attacking zone. All were guilty at times.

      • argoleas

        Yes, the forecheck was one of the main positives in the game, and you could see that it did unbalance the Sharks. Good amount of turnovers. Look forward to how this will impact the Oilers.

        Torts did stress that his main problem during the pre-season was the team’s play away from the puck, and that was evident here. The team still needs to unlearn lots of bad habits, and I suppose it was good to play against a very good team like SJ to make it abundantly clear that there is lots of work left here. I may thus be a ‘good’ loss.

        And I agree as well that there is too much hyperventilating. They lose one game (which was score-wise close until late 3rd) and now its doom and gloom. But what would we be saying if they, instead, won 4-1? Would we be praising Torts as a genius and sweeping aside all nonsense about lack of youth? Of course not. We would say it was just one game, and we will reserve judgement till many more games are played.

        So, after this loss, we would say it was just one game, and we will reserve judgement till many more games are played.

        • argoleas

          “So, after this loss, we would say it was just one game, and we will reserve judgement till many more games are played.”

          Yes it’s one game.

          But the Canucks don’t have the horses or the upside to beat San Jose or LA.

          There’s little reason to believe Tortorella or Gillis can throw fairy dust on Sestito (26), Lack (25), Weber (25), Weise (25), Stanton (24), Tanev (23), Schroeder (23), Dalpe (23) & Kassian (22) and turn it into the next wave behind the Burke/Nonis/BC-born defenseman core.

          Sure, the Canucks should do well enough against the Oilers (until their top 2 centres return) & Flames.

          But what exactly does that achieve aside from prolonging the mediocrity.

          It’s a good thing JP Barry is the agent for Daniel & Henrik.

          The worst thing this organization can do is to give raises to the same mediocre group and try again…

        • argoleas

          This just makes too much sense. There has to be a stat or some numbers somewhere that will kill your spirit. Just kidding, nice to have a few people around that are willing to talk some Hockey and be civil about it. Thanks.

          • argoleas

            >> There has to be a stat or some numbers somewhere that will kill your spirit.

            Well, to some degree there are: the result of the last two seasons. Although I believe that there is some chance that the coach reset may help significantly, at this point I’m yet to be persuaded that it is anywhere close to enough. But I am a fan, and will hope for the best.

            >> nice to have a few people around that are willing to talk some Hockey and be civil about it. Thanks.

            This is my hope always, and to agree to disagree without harsh language. Personally, I welcome disagreements based on stats and good arguments. But if anyone does use harsh language, I have the most human of all reactions – I ignore it.

  • Big Cap

    The Canucks are gonna be EXPOSED this year. They no longer will beat up and pad their stats on a weak NW Division.

    Tell us again about the amount of back to back games you have, the tough travel schedule, or having to learn the system of a new coach. Because NO other team has those exact same issues.

    The Window has Closed in Vancouver

    • Big Cap

      I got news for you man. the Canucks were exposed a long long long long time ago. The two choke teams NY and Boston won their first cup in decades only against the ultimate choke team, yes, the Canucks.

      And PS, the window was never truly open. LOL

  • Hodog16

    Let’s be a tad realistic here: this was a game against a good team’s home opener. A win would have been great, but this was always going to be a tough one. Now, if they lose like that to Edmonton at home, then I am going to start worrying.

  • Hodog16

    The Canucks were manhandled by San Jose? What a shocker.

    Wait, no, what’s the opposite of that? Oh yeah. A normal Canucks hockey game against San Jose. That’s what I meant.

  • Hodog16

    All of the Canucks are going to be injured this, blocking shots , playing too many minutes.

    Asking players to drastically change their ways is going to end up in disaster.

    • Hodog16

      Change is good if the change is in the right direction. The undisciplined penalties, that’s AV’s legacy. Sides, what do they have to lose by changing? Can it get worse than 2 years of first round early exits? Can it get worse than humiliation in the finals and all those other years they lost to Chicago? If they don’t make the play offs that’s even better, there’s no point in cheering for guys who can sign up for the singing contest but can’t actually sing.

      Right now they can’t even block shots properly. They sure as hell can’t score, can’t kill penalties properly. That is what AV left you guys. What other choice do they have, more of the same from last year? Do any of you really want to see that again? This team pure and simple isn’t good enough. Above average at best, and to expect anything else is like expecting Kanye West not to be a ego-narcissist.

  • argoleas

    OK I have to agree with the comments about youth being faster and needing to get them experience. What I think some of you are overlooking is that with experience little things get easier because you are doing them right. Position and hockey awarness are definatly not exclusive to vets but vets seems to have more of it. If your in the right position you dont have to skate to it, if you know where every one is then its easier to hit them with long pass. It’s like wisdom it develops differently in people but usually older people have more of it. Moving a player up to get 4 minutes a game at an NHL level is not as good as 18 – 20 minutes in the AHL. That being said there has to be a better development plan but don’t discount experience, and don’t panic too much because we lost to a cup contender while we are still figuring out our system.

  • orcasfan

    Unfortunately, I think the Canucks have become another victim of what I call the “Canadian syndrome.” It’s been 20 years since a Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup. Since that time, it’s been the Canucks who have had the best records, while making the making the playoffs on a consistent basis. And that is where the problem starts!

    When a Canadian team looks like they have a shot at the playoffs, they feel compelled to be active at the trade deadline, usually by sacrificing draft picks generously. And for those GM’s, it’s their markets that demand this gamble. The result, year after year, is a diminishment of their prospect depths. Which, then, reduces their future hope of success.

    Calgary has been a perfect example of this folly in the last few years. They waited way too long before committing to a rebuild. Of course, there is no guarantee that getting high draft picks year after year will garner results. The quality of management also counts. Toronto anyone? Finally, that team looks like they may be surfacing after long years in the wilderness. Will Edmonton put it together soon? Who knows?

    Actually, the team that has done the best job of handling this “syndrome” is Ottawa. Their re-tooling only took a few years, and, voila!, they are looking very promising. Good management, good drafting and good coaching combined! If they were a cap team, who knows where they could go?

    But back to the Canucks….NMOO and others have lamented endlessly about Gillis giving away the team’s future with his deadline draft pick dealing. In my mind, the past season would have been a perfect time for Gillis & Co to become sellers at the deadline rather than buyers. And I’m not talking about Luongo! They should have had the smarts and courage to recognize that the season was already lost, despite getting into the playoffs (thanks to NW division weakness). Going by the team’s mediocre play during the short season, as well as all their injuries, it was obvious that a deadline rental was not going to make much difference. So, Gillis should have bitten the bullet and dealt players like Raymond (who they knew was not returning anyway). But,
    no, Gillis, like most GM’s in Canada, felt the pressure to make a show of it!

    Like a lot of fans, I really don’t have high hopes for the team this year. We are still missing a 3rd. And when you fill the bottom six with other teams’ rejects, what do you expect? I expect we’ll be a playoff bubble team. And we’ll see if Booth has a decent season or not. If not, he should be dealt at the deadline. Actually, I think he would make a fine 3rd liner, but is way overpaid for that!

    Unfortunately, I don’t have much faith left in GMMG. I have grave doubts that he can make those tough decisions, come deadline. We know he can pull the trigger. The question is whether he can resist the urge!