CANUCKS ARMY GDT# 11 – CANUCKS @ COYOTES

Can you believe the nerve of the Stars last night? 10 straight Nickelback songs in between whistles? They clearly don’t know Canadians well enough. We would have played their ENTIRE discography. Maybe the Coyotes can up their music game. Richard Bachman will start this evening for sure…right? Game nine is on the horizon for McCann and Virtanen, will this be the defining game?

BROADCAST INFO

TV: SPORTSNET VAN

RADIO: TSN 1040

PUCK DROP: 7PM

LINEUPS

As Brandon Prust and Dan Hamhuis are out, we get to see Brendan Gaunce again and possibly Alex Biega as well. “Big Country” and McCann’s deadline day looms, but they seem to stay relevant each game. Slick Rick Bachman SHOULD start but at this point who really even knows, I sure don’t. With Yannick Weber in the lineup, the Canucks PP is instantly better if only because it’s another reliable option on the back end. Edler, Weber, and Hutton are all decent choices to fire the puck and that might make their man advantage start to sting for defenses.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff:

The next wave of stars are emerging all around the league and in Arizona it’s no different. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair are getting the pub the young stars get and before you know it we’ll be calling Max a Canuck killer. Get in line kid, there’s a list. Brad Richardson faces his old team this evening, but he didn’t win a Cup with the Canucks so I doubt he cares a whole lot. 

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Mike Smith would be the starter you’re hoping for. He’s all kinds of spazz that guy!

Arizona Coyotes lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff:

REASONS TO WATCH THIS GAME

  • Mike Smith dive bombing after a meaningless nudge is television you can’t afford to miss. We’ve seen too much that the next one will also be spectacular.
  • It’s not a Young Stars game, but there are a TON of rookies in this game. Domi, McCann, Duclair, Virtanen, Gaunce, Hutton; this might be the odd game where we can quit our complaining and just enjoy 60 minutes of what we’ve waited for: the next wave.
  • I could say that Fedex Kinkos is reviving their #1 commercial about Phoenix and it will play during the game but it isn’t and I don’t even know if Kinkos still exists. Here’s the vid. But, since you will be glued to your television you might as well cheer for the Dorsett/McCann/Gaunce line to somehow take over and produce 7 combined points. (Mini-prediction)
  • There are a few Canucks that look like they are growing this year: Jannik Hansen seems to have hit another gear and is really edgy this year and its great. Chris Tanev I’m convinced is ready to break out and score maybe 4 goals this season and the Sedins are complete badasses! This is not your slightly older brother’s Canucks. What we’ll see next will probably be just as unpredictable. 
  • Alex Burrows has really impressed me so far this season. He hasn’t been the bright star he once was but his maturity has brought the kids a new mentor; the one that doesn’t always do the right thing on the ice but shows that dedication and hard work will do wonders. Always a place on my Canucks for Burr.
  • If you missed the shootout, the Canucks are gonna be in one tonight. Its a Nucks/Yotes thing for some reason. I’m calling it.
  • Almost forgot, from one army to another @TronArmy will be hosting their first official photoshop competition judged by The Province’s Jason Botchford, who is also the theme. So if you need a side project, this is it. 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING


MY TAKE

We’ve seen what we’ve expected thus far and despite how they have got here, it’s been half fun. With this game being the finale of the back to back and Bachman starting (maybe) it will end up being a higher scoring game but it will end in a shootout. Canucks win it and that’s all I feel comfortable predicting. You’re starting to see why I’m terrible at hockey pools.

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  • Spiel

    If the coach is going to continue to not trust the kids then send them back to junior. Seriously. He gets a nice lead last night with the kids then he benches them for the third and loses in OT. Awesome. Send the kids back and let them develop properly. Maybe even fire the coach!

    • wojohowitz

      So lets say last night WD changes his mind and plays the kids in the 3rd period and they end up blowing it anyway. Every last key board warrior would be screaming “Willy was wrong, he should have stapled the kids to the bench and let the vets take care of business. SEE, the kids aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility, might as well just send them down already.” Same result, same narrative.

      WD made it clear in his press conference the other day when referring to McCann that he doesn’t want the kids to have their confidence shaken to the point where they cant play in the NHL any more. If it had been the kids on the ice for the collapse, who knows what it could have done to their psyche. Besides, it’s not their responsibility to protect a lead, it’s the responsibility of the guys who have been there a few hundred times before.

      At some point people have to realize that Dallas is actually a really good team, score effects really do exist, and those things can happen to any team on any night to any opponent.

      The Canucks have not lost by more than a goal this season and the games they lost in OT are coin flips. With a little luck they are 7-2-1 instead of 4-2-4 and everybody would be praising WD for the excellent job he is doing.

      Everything is going to be fine the kids are going to be fine and the coach is doing a great job easing a bunch of teenagers into the NHL. We are 10 games into the season, there is no need to start flipping cars.

      • Spiel

        Kinda gotta disagree. I think a good way to teach is to let them do. So, if the kids get played and blow the lead then maybe send them back down for more seasoning.

        I would also agree if Willie slowly lets them play more in key moments. Ease them in.

        The concern here is they have so many rookies and 1st year guys. It might be a bit too much for ‘Vets-Only-Willie’.

        • wojohowitz

          No wonder you are so quick to fire the coach, your ready to fire the players after one blown game! So send the kids back down after one blown game, how the heck does that build their confidence? “Sorry guys you screwed up once, back to Junior you go.”

          The best seasoning isn’t back in junior its right there on the bench with the team. And you are rigth, ease them into it. In a tight 3rd period shorten the bench and give them a few sheltered shifts with one or two tough shifts and see how they react. By leaving them on the bench they can watch the collapse (or clutch game winning shut-down third) happen and they can learn (for better or worse) by watching the vets go about their business. The worst thing the Canucks can do right now is put these kids into situations where their confidence gets crushed, that’s a one way ticket to Oilers Nation.

          WD is constantly being bagged on for being a career junior coach who is “clearly not ready to coach in the NHL” but everybody is so quick to forget that he helped develop a number of very good hockey players before he came to the NHL. He knows what he is doing.

          This process requires a lot of patience, something the Canucks fan base isn’t exactly known for. We are 10 games in, give it some time.

          • wojohowitz

            Hey, good job twisting my words!

            I actually said the opposite of what you accuse me of saying. I want the kids to play some critical minutes and not get benched. If they’re going to get benched, I’d rather they go back to junior and play in all situations.

      • wojohowitz

        Hmm. Not sure I quite agree with everything you said…

        Especially your statement of:

        “at some point people have to realize that Dallas is actually a really good team, score effects really do exist, and those things can happen to any team on any night to any opponent”

        Ok, so yes Dallas is a pretty good team, but two things. So you’re saying you should lose every game you have the lead in the 3rd b/c of score effects? Sure sometimes it’s gonna happen, but don’t you think it’s been happening a bit too much already this year?

        2nd. Shouldn’t WD ateast TRY to let the kids play in the 3rd, consistent to how he plays them in the 1st and 2nd? His 3rd period approach clearly isn’t working. I certainly would welcome a different approach in the 3rd even if it didn’t provide the result of a win. At least then I knew WD was paying attention and seemed as though he was trying to solve something that clearly is an issue.

        Overall I’m pretty pleased with the team this year. If you remove the 3rd period collapses (which I believe is mostly on WD) in my eyes they are performing above expectations. Fix this 3rd period nonsense (stop being so stubborn WD), get that power play going and this could be a fun year!

        • wojohowitz

          I’m not saying you should lose every game in the third. I’m saying that collapses like what happened last night happen all the time and the chances of it happening are higher against a really good team like Dallas.

          They have blown 3 third period leads this year, lost one in regulation and two in overtime and they were against Detroit, Washington, and Dallas – two of which are very good teams. I don’t see how the blame can be placed solely on the coach. WD could be hollering like a baboon on the bench and it doesn’t make a difference if his players decide to turtle. The collapses are as much on the players as it is on the coach. They seem to lack the killer instinct and that is something that cannot be coached. It’s early in the season yet, lets wait at least another 10-20 games before we see if this a fundamental system (coaches) problem or a player problem.

          WD’s main goal is to get the kids feet wet in the NHL and put them in a position to successfully transition and succeed in the NHL. His third period apporoach is working perfectly. In the game against Montreal when it was clear Montreal wasn’t coming back, WD played the kids a bunch and allowed them to go out there and just play the game. BUT in those minutes there were a lot of mistakes, mistakes that cannot be made in a tight 3rd period. So last night he pretty much benched the kids in the 3rd except for a few sheltered shifts to keep them in the game but he didn’t put them in a position to fail, he didn’t put them in over their heads. Remember, the goal is to protect their confidence and bring them up in a positive environment. If the kids had been out there and been a vital part of the collapse there is a good chance it would have gotten into their heads. Then they start worrying about making mistakes, they start second guessing themselves, they start gripping the sticks tighter, they lose their confidence.

          One of the reasons Baertschi lost his confidence in Calgary is they would throw him in over his head then bench him or send him down after one mistake. It nearly destroyed him. WD didnt make those mistakes with Horvat, and he will not make those mistakes with Virtanen, McCann, and Baertschi (again). Putting the kids development at risk for the sake of winning one game does not any sense.

          • wojohowitz

            Well I guess it’s all up for debate (hence why we’re here).

            The main point I’m trying to make is WD’s 3rd period approach doesn’t seem to be working too well. Nobody said anything about the coach yelling, and I also didn’t say that it was ALL on WD, just most of it.

            And I don’t think it’s such a bad thing for a youngster to learn from a mistake or two. You can’t just watch and learn – sometimes ya just have to buck up and go out there and try. If your confidence gets so shattered after a couple mistakes, maybe you’re not quite ready for the big boy hockey league yet. It’s also how the coach reacts to the mistakes. If he chastises you and belittles you for it, well that’s not good. Use it as an opportunity to teach them. I have no clue how he handles these situations. He seems to be well liked and respected though.

  • wojohowitz

    Who should the Canucks use on the 3 on 3? Someone with good speed but also really good puck handling ability. Maybe that guy on the end of the bench the coach keeps ignoring. That`s it; Baertschi. Then someone with some hockey sense who knows when to attack and when to defend. Either Burrows or Vrbata. Lastly a defenceman who can skate. Weber, Hutton or Bartkowski. Can Willie figure it out or will he go back to Edler and the twins or will he play favourites like Horvat and Tanev?