One of John Tortorella’s main philosophies this year has been for his Canucks to lead the league in days off.
It makes sense – because of its location, Vancouver has one of the most grueling travel schedules. Torts also loves giving his stars huge minutes, and he doesn’t want them to burn out come playoff time.
One week ago, Ryan Kesler made a noteworthy comment when talking about the Canucks’ struggles:
“We need to practise. Practice makes perfect and that gains confidence for the game.”
I wrote about how Kesler was calling Torts out, but who knows, maybe it was just an off-the-cuff response to a question.
But yesterday in an interview on the Team 1040, Canucks GM Mike Gillis took it a step further. Asked if fatigue has been an issue for the team so far, he went all-in on the practice sked:
“…I think lack of practice time is a bigger factor. With the new CBA you have to have a mandatory four days off each month, and with our schedule and our travel schedule, fitting four off days in when you have travel days is taking away from practice time.
I think our biggest issue with the power play and with some other aspects of our game is that we’ve had the least amount of practice time we’ve ever had.”
Gillis didn’t hold back, and his response was definitely not a glowing tribute to his coach’s practice philosophy.
If only Torts wasn’t suspended and someone had a chance to ask him his thoughts on practice…
Anyways, maybe the problem with this organization isn’t that it needs more or less practice time, but that it’s key people are not on the same page.
That’s never a good sign.