Hockey God

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About Hockey God

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    New Zealand
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    Playing hockey and rugby

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  1. I just saw the game in person yesterday my time. I have to say, the Lions will have a hard time being competitive with the Super teams as well as the All Blacks if they come out to play with the mentality they showed yesterday. Had big problems controlling play against what was basically a semi-pro team. Still, I was here when they last toured, and I'm looking forward to seeing some new talent emerge (still remember Dan Carter bursting onto the scene during the last tour).
  2. Wow, bad luck for Vancouver ... would it be so hard just to have a number of assigned balls for each place you finish, put them all together, and then draw the numbers, like the NBA draft (I think)? All of these combos and being one number off but falling umpteen places makes my head hurt. I think I could feel the rage from BC way over here in New Zealand!
  3. This really makes me think that the Canucks did not lay the proper groundwork for Tryamkin to be successful in the NHL. They should have had at least a couple of meetings with him and his representatives to go over scenarios for his use on the roster, what the expectations were for him to come into this season, and what the potential consequences were playing time wise for him if he wasn't prepared. It seems like he took it quite personally, and this tells me he didn't understand the reasoning behind what was happening, which says management didn't make it clear to him. I don't like that he went back home, but I don't blame him, because he wants to be close to his family and friends, and probably be close to his children when he and his wife start their family. And, despite what he says, I can't help but think that Willie calling him out was the last straw. For better or for worse, he did get into game shape and did it well (as Jake alluded to in an interview recently), so if he was intent on going back home at that time, why put in the effort to get game ready? He could have pulled a Krutov if he really wanted to, ate his way off the team, and earned a healthy check doing nothing, or forced the Canucks to send him to the minors to use his out clause. But, he didn't, he was a professional, and played like it. But, after that comment, he probably finished his checkout process. I blame Willie, Trevor and Jim for this, and for the fact that we are becoming a laughingstock of the NHL. I'm almost expecting a Lindros situation with our draft pick this year: "What? Picked by the Canucks?! $#%@ that!"
  4. An expansion team won't win many games with its offense, and I think George knows that. So, I'm guessing like many other posters have indicated that he'll pick many defensemen in the expansion draft and then trade them for surplus picks and offensive prospects. I also think that, IF we end up with 1OA or 2OA, and Vegas has 3OA, we might be able to tempt them to give up their pick, IF they get a player (or players) in return who was also a high draft pick but who is one year closer to playing in the NHL. On our side, we could get two offensive players who could possibly step in next year, and really jump start the drive to being competitive again. So: Virtanen/Subban/Tanev/Gaunce/our 2nd round pick 2017 for the Vegas 3OA plus the understanding they wouldn't draft anyone off our team in the expansion draft who isn't named Biega. Two former first round picks in recent years, solid defensive help, a good prospect in Subban who will get a chance to succeed there, plus a second round pick, for the Vegas 1st round pick. Do you think they would make the trade? They could sell it as becoming more competitive faster, while we could pick two forwards in the top 5.
  5. I wonder ... did Benning know that Darryl was being fired? I was thinking Ron, but Darryl would be an excellent hire!
  6. A few months back, I posted that Wille would be fired at season's end. Then, for about the last week or so, I had honestly come around to the idea that he would be fired after being given 20 games next year, IF he didn't prove himself capable of being a better managing bench boss. I thought that Benning and co owed him that much, because he has had some success in bringing the team along as a unit. The players worked for him for the most part. But, his player usage was a big question mark at times, and I'm wondering if management got the message from the youngsters, or ownership, or both, that there was unhappiness with what was happening. I mean, if I were Bo, and saw how Chaput and Megna were being used at times, I would be wondering what I needed to do to get a look on the first unit powerplay. Probably Hansen wondered the same thing. But, who to bring in? Don't want a retread from the organization's past, don't want a newbie no matter how hyped they are, or even someone near retirement ... I don't know, maybe a Ron Wilson or Kirk Muller type of coach? But, I do want some experts in different areas of the game as assistants. Give me Lidstrom as our coach for defensemen, or Forsberg for special teams. The guys who know what it takes to be the best in their area, and can bring out the best in our players.
  7. I hope that, no matter who they hire and when they hire him (or her, you never know), they hire on the basis of someone who works with what the players have to offer, not what the coach thinks the players can do no matter their skill/compete level. Apples and oranges, but I watch a lot of different sports, and the most successful coaches know when to turn the keys to the team over to a special player, when to maximize the group's skills as a whole, and who to play with who. Just as importantly, bad teams usually have mismatches throughout their lineup, and that is one area where coaches have a lot of influence on a team's success.
  8. I don't know. Happy this season is done, because making the effort to watch most games from the other side/bottom of the world is hard enough, but watching some of the games the past few weeks has been brutal at times. That said, I have a bad feeling that the Willie Wonka times continue into the first half of next year. JB/Trev won't fire Willie yet, because they need a fall guy to save their jobs next year, when they can elevate from within and give Green the job. Also, the old excuse of injuries costing us points will play a factor, as they will say Willie didn't get a fair shake this year because of them. Willie will coach 20 games, be fired no later than Christmas, and then we get the message that "we all need time for a new coach to embed his system" so better luck next year. Good for the drafting, though, so it's not all bad!
  9. Willie won't play anyone who doesn't know "the system," but you'd think with all the time that Rodin has spent rehabbing, he's been watching the games/practices/drills and has been communicating with the coaches/management about "the system," so I think it's just Willie having his favorites and playing those before the new guys. Boucher I can understand not playing, because he does need to become immersed in the way the team does thing for a bit before playing. I really think that Willie is the coaching godfather, and if you don't pay proper respect to his way of doing things, you don't get to play. There's really no other explanation for some of the lineup decisions he makes. Maybe if Rodin leaves "a horse's head" in Willie's bed (I want to say the name of one of his favorites, but I'm sure everyone gets the idea without me saying it), he'd get the message?
  10. Okay, an idea from way out there, but unless the team gets into the playoffs, which will become more improbable by the day as the season progresses, injuries happen, and older players wear down further, all while better equipped teams pull away from the bottom feeders, there will in all likelihood be coaching changes after the season ends. I don't know who would be best for head coach, possibly Therrien from Montreal if he's let go, Boudreau from Anaheim if he's let go, or even Dave Lewis or Travis Green or someone else, but looking at the young defensemen we have and the mentoring which needs to happen for them to reach their potential, what about enticing Nicklas Lidstrom to come to Vancouver as an assistant coach with defensive responsibilities (like Lidster). I can't think of a better person who still has a feel for the game having recently retired for our players to learn from, especially OJ. But, his first coaching gig in the NHL would likely be with the Red Wings, unless we can offer him a coaching pathway here which may, years down the track, end up with him as the head coach. We'd be benefitting from his experiences with some excellent coaching and teammates on his part, and our youngsters would learn how to play the game at both ends of the ice. I remember reading an interview with him late last year saying that coaching in the near future was on the to-do list, which is why he went the scout route with the Wings a couple of years ago. Thoughts? Can't be any worse than the money we've thrown at some players for contract extensions/contracts in the recent past ....
  11. Okay, I'll give it a shot. The only thing that might entice the Avs to do a trade without the pieces they are looking for right now is if they think they can get what they need via the draft in short order, while still filling in holes the trade would leave. That means that the Canucks 1st rounder in 2017, plus some salary offset, has to be going the other way. So, Duchene and Landeskog, plus a low Av pick in 2017, for Tanev, Sbisa, 2017 1st and 2nd, Hansen and Granlund. Automatic offensive boost all around, and defense would have to hang in there until Edler returns. Sets us up well for expansion draft, as a side benefit. Also gives team 2 "franchise" players with many good years in front of them versus potentially picking badly in this year's draft. Flame away.
  12. I said it after the last game and I still believe t to be true: management is loyal to a fault to what it has created, including having Willie as a coach of this team; and because of that, Willie will not be fired this season barring an epic losing streak of 15 to 20 games. For better or worse, we are all stuck with this mess. Probably a bit old school, but a good bag skate or two before the next game would get the attention of the players who play with pride and still give good, honest effort. They would show up the next game, as they have most games this season, with fire in their bellies to prove the coach wrong, and quite possibly shame some of the passengers on the team to try harder. Might also open Willie's eyes to the realities of the Canucks as a team in 2016: they are for the most part a young team with young players who deserve a chance to succeed; the older players need to have their time on ice managed more stringently to ensure that they remain as effective as possible; the Sedins need to operate on different lines and powerplay units for the good of the team; the team as a whole is not good enough defensively to play the system they are using, so try to play to their strengths instead.
  13. Just spoke on this in the PGT today. I think, though, it comes down to confusion via miscommunication from the coaching staff to the players themselves. But, are the coaches responsible for this? Definitely for not properly preparing the players mentally, but strategically, I don't know where the message is coming from - is it from the coaches, or the management, or a mix of both? That's why I'd like to sit in on a number of practices if I could, to see what is really being emphasized. If it's drills being pushed, then the coaches aren't doing the job they're supposed to do. If it's a lot of talk about positional play without teaching the players how to do what is being spoken about, again, coaching issues. But, if the message from the coaches is garbled to the point of creating confusion for the players, then I think management is not making it's end game clear enough, or mixing too may ideas for the coaches to understand and implement. I can't believer it's the players, and never have, because the right changes will usually right any team for a time, both short and long term, as long as the new plans are well-understood and carried through on. Players do what comes to them naturally without appropriate direction, and this is what we're seeing now. The players with a good work ethic will always stand out even in down times, because they can't play any other way, while those who rely on skill tend to crash and burn unless they are willing to change themselves to a game which incorporates a good work ethic.
  14. I'm not surprised that this is what we're seeing, the reasons why having been done to death already in various threads on this forum. I just wish that I could actually see what Willie and the coaches work on in practice, because a lot of what I'm seeing on the live streams from here in New Zealand seems to look like a team with no idea what to do with the puck at various times and points in the game. I saw Biega with a chance to clear the puck tonight by the boards in the second period, and I counted two seconds before he made the clearing attempt, with two opposing players bearing down on him. So many times this season, that delay has cost us odd man rushes/scoring chances, or goals against, and could very easily result in serious injury. A team with "a plan" would have forwards coming back to help out with those clearing attempts, giving defensemen a chance to make a safe play, but so often no one is there to help out. Is the team actually practicing basic hockey skills at all? Drills are one things, but understanding the basics of offensive and defensive assignments and roles is another beast entirely, and this seems to be where we are sadly lacking at times. Even players like the Sedins, to cover for themselves being a step or two slower this year, seem to be trying to use their innate hockey skills to cover for their sometimes weak positional play. How else can you explain Henrik's propensity to pass even in a shoot first position. He must know that it is a lower percentage play, but because he feels he is not where he "needs to be" according to the game plan, he relies on his instincts, one of which is to pass first. Or, and I'm beginning to believe that this is the case, are the players given a "theme" for the game, ie. play keepaway or, worse yet, hot potato on the powerplay, and then it is left to the unit on the ice at any given time how to carry out the theme of the day? Admittedly, this is all from watching the team via live streams, but opposing team replays and commentators on their streams also highlight so many times how many Canucks are out of position on a given play. A feed this year, I think from Anaheim, showed one play with the old highlighted squiggles on the screen, and everyone on the ice in a Canuck uniform was not covering an Anaheim player, something which their play by play fellow timed for over 6 seconds. You can't truly believe that players would knowingly do that unless they are either confused as to what is expected of them or, worse yet, they have been told to do something else as some kind of zone strategy throughout the game. All in all, it is either a coaching issue or communication issue coming from the coaching staff. The loyalty shown by this management team to the coaching staff is setting the team's development back by years. Will it change? Not this year, due to said loyalty, but barring a second coming of someone like Badger Bob, I don't think there is anyone who can get these confused and not confident players back on the same page. Travis Green might work out, but my fear is that the team may be too far gone by the end of this year for a quick turnaround in fortune in the next two or three years.
  15. Best wishes from New Zealand for Larsen, hope that he recovers without any serious problems. As for Willie, I truly feel he is out of his depth as a coach, but the problem is there is no one to replace him, at least in the management's eyes. The way I read Benning, Linden and co., they are loyal to a fault, which is why they will not pull the plug on their coach barring a catastrophic losing streak, let's say approaching 20 games. Even then, they won't promote who the young players on the team need, Green, midway through the season, so what we'd end up with would be, without a doubt, the worst team in Canucks history, bar none, with a lame-duck interim coach and players who know they won't be held accountable due to the situation and management's misplaced loyalty to past service and pie-in-the-sky ideals. It's the same reason needed trades don't happen every year. What a bad and rapidly deteriorating situation ... I'm really worried for the younger players and their developing skills and outlooks. Some players can overcome a bad situation through their own work ethic and sheer determination to play the game well, ie. Horvat and Hansen, and others can survive and sometimes thrive through skill and will, like the Sedins, but others ... too many square blocks to fit round circles on this team, and it won't change anytime soon. Unfortunately, it needs to happen to regenerate the skill on the team through the draft, but it will be a while before things look good again.