Saturday, March 16, 2013

Vigneault's vultures go for a glide

A couple of wins for Vancouver's Canucks and all that talk of the need to have Alain Vigneault take the fall for his non performing hockey club seems to have settled down, for the moment.

Earlier this week, as the Canucks were stumbling out of their perch in the Northwest, the drums of dismissal were starting to sound on the west coast, with some of Vancouver's media having come to the decision that it was the coach that was the root cause of the Canucks' travails.

Vancouver Province-- Vigneault running out of excuses as Canucks continue to struggle
Vancouver Province-- Vigneault's future with Canucks back in question
Vancouver Province-- Removing Vigneault will do one thing - show the real problem
Vancouver Province-- Gallagher vs Willes on Canucks: Coach vs GM gotta go grudge match
Vancouver Sun-- Pros and Cons of Alain Vigneault
Vancouver Sun-- Canucks' Weekly Wayback - Alain Vigneault Almost Gets Fired Again

It's not the first time that the coach has gotta go theme has popped up, heck back on January 21st the Vancouver Observer had floated the idea that coaching change can come quickly, not bad considering that the ink probably wasn't even dry on the truncated 2013 schedule at that point.

The main problem at the moment for the coach under the glare of the spotlight, is that at times this season, his team is giving off the vibe that they may soon fit the profile of the coach killer team.

There was a bit of evidence that perhaps his team was tuning out his message of late, never a good thing for a coach, not to mention some mixed messaging from upper management with GM Mike Gillis throwing his thoughts into the mix on how the Canucks were not performing up to expectations.

However, Mr. Gillis perhaps could look in the mirror before venturing too far down the path of dividing up the blame, his mash up of the Luongo/Schneider duality in the nets has provided for some of the soap opera nature of the Vancouver media of late.

Not to mention, that some secondary scoring and help on the blue line might have been on the scene if he had been able to figure out where he wants to go with his goaltending situation.

Having declared Schneider as the number one at the end of the last season, the Canucks have pretty well abandoned that theme, with either goaltender likely to appear on the ice come game time.

There may be cause to rethink the coaching and management decision making at the end of the season, with the Canucks seemingly having peaked a few years back, the plan for long term success in the Western Conference seems a little bit confusing to most, no doubt to the players on the bench.

But at the moment, with the Canucks still third overall in the West the concept of panic and dismissal seems a tad foolish.

Vancouver's sports media, like that of Montreal, Toronto and well, any other Canadian burg with an NHL team, seems to live for the thrill of the story, even if they have to create the buzz for it themselves.

It may help sell some of the newspapers and make for lively discuss on Vancouver's sports radio programming, but to throw a coach over the side heading towards the playoffs seems somewhat foolish.

Granted the West has a low margin of error between third place and 15th (eight points by the standings last night) the Canucks would seem to have more upside than some of those below.

Before the coach is told to pack his office up and join our list of departed coaches, perhaps the GM could get a little active on the trading floor, there are holes in the Canucks line up, some owing to injury some owing to disappointing play, some of that from players that the GM has brought into the fold.

Fixing those deficiencies should be the first task for Mr. Gillis, a coach normally is only as successful as the line up he has to work with and for much of this season, that line up has been a vague resemblance of the years that have just passed the Canucks by.

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