Canucks GM Mike Gillis was asked on the radio Thursday why the Canucks are having their recent success. One of his reasons:
“I’m seeing some offense being generated from some younger guys that are helping us out.”
Then his team responded by losing 3-2 in overtime to the Avalanche. Why? Read on…
1. Torts goes tone deaf once again
Nicklas Jensen (Gillis’ main “younger guy”) has been amazing. He’s been a beacon of light in a dark Canucks season. He’s been a defibrillator to Vancouver’s dying playoff dreams. And he’s moved John Tortorella’s head coaching job Canucks from terminal back to a much safer comatose rating.
So in typical Torts fashion, the coach demoted his young star to the fourth line to start the game against the Avs.
Jensen’s reply? An incredible pass to set up Vancouver’s first goal of the night.
And would Torts reward him by moving him up in the lineup? Fat chance.
Instead, he benched him for the third period because of a giveaway the youngster made in the second.
Lesson received loud and clear, coach. Hope it was worth the loss.
2. Torts is tone deaf – exhibit 2
I’ve been a supporter of getting Jordan Schroeder in the lineup to see what he can do offensively. He’s got some real skill and he hasn’t been given a chance to show it.
But slotting him onto the fourth line over Zack Dalpe?
Dalpe’s been great in those limited minutes. He skates hard and fast every shift, he stays awake through prolonged periods of being stuck on the bench, and he’s versatile since he’s used on the PK too.
Staying involved in the game and being sharp as a fourth liner isn’t as easy as people might think.
Playing Schroeder in Dalpe’s spot is asking Schroeder to play the role of someone who’s done it well, when it’s a role that’s entirely unsuited to him.
As could’ve been predicted, he failed – costing the Canucks the tying goal when he wasn’t able to clear the puck near the end of the first period.
3. Still more Torts…
@omarcanuck difference between coaching to not lose vs coaching to win. Coach to win dammit!!! Score goals please!!!!
— Sean Holmes-Smith (@holmes156) March 28, 2014
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) March 28, 2014
Oh, and one of the guys he continued to play over Jensen:
@omarcanuck he is also the guy that left Barrie alone in front of the net being over aggressive on Duchene.
— Phil (@CaribooLou52) March 28, 2014
4. Bounces are a funny thing
After Vancouver’s 5-2 win over Minnesota Wednesday, Daniel Sedin was asked about his goal.
“It was probably my worst game out of those 23, but I was able to tip it in. It’s nice. Hopefully it can get me going in the right direction.”
Sedin was standing in the right place and managed to deflect Dan Hamhuis’ shot just enough, and just like that, his 23-game drought was over.
The Canucks were outshot 31-19 against the Wild, yet the 5-2 score would indicate they dominated.
Jared Spurgeon botched a pass, setting up David Booth right in front of the net; Alex Edler snagged Zack Parise’s game-tying goal right off the line; and Zack Kassian had the puck fall in front of him after the faceoff (he did have to battle for position), which he flung towards the net for his goal.
All were fortunate bounces.
Earlier this season, the Canucks often outworked and outshot opponents, but saw none of the luck they got on Wednesday.
And on Thursday, they outshot their opponents again – 31-28. Those seeing eye shots from Booth and Kassian were replaced by saves and misses, and the “finish” wasn’t there once again.
It’ll be back, though. We know now these guys still have the touch.
5. The Kesler file
The Kesler trade-demand story will keep growing and changing until draft day, and on Wednesday that happened once again.
In an interview on the Team 1040, Mike Gillis was asked if it’s a given that Kesler will be going.
“Ryan and I have a good relationship. We talk regularly. There’s been a lot made out of something that was fairly minor, and whether Ryan is feeling like he wants to move on or he wants to stay or somewhere in between, we’ll deal with that once this is over.”
It may not seem like much, but considering Gillis has tons of conversations with Kesler, it shows he hasn’t made his mind up just yet.
6. Kass still believes
After the game, Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy asked Kassian if the team still has hope.
“Twenty-two guys and the coaching staff in that room. We believe. We don’t listen to anything else but ourselves. We play for each other, work for each other, and we’re in this together… no one’s quitting on each other, I can tell you that.”
We’re not quitting either, Kas.
(right Canucks fans??)