And as Willie Mitchell, Cody Hodgson and now Ryan Kesler for the second time have discovered, Nonis had a pretty good idea of what he was talking about. Kesler found himself under the Vigneault bus once again Wednesday when the coach was enjoying a self-serving, post contract-extension conference call with the media and took a break from listing his accomplishments to tell everyone he didn’t think the American centre’s injury was a factor in his poor playoff performance.
Kesler’s agent Kurt Overhardt danced pretty well Thursday before saying his client was “perplexed” by Vigneault’s comments. And while the player wasn’t talking publicly, he wasn’t amused, just as Cody Hodgson and his camp were not amused when Dr. Vigneault essentially suggested the player had no significant health problems but was using them as an excuse for a poor performance in his first camp. Later examinations found the back problem and once it was fixed Hodgson eventually became a productive member of the team although the tension between the two was never repaired and it eventually led to Hodgson’s departure. Now the discreet charm of Dr. Vigneault nails Kesler in much the same way.
And here the Canucks had better be careful because unless someone gets a handle on this pretty quickly and some back-pedaling takes place, you could easily find this team split into two camps when they resume play under Toe Blake again this fall. Kesler has some friends on this team, some of whom are not fans of Vigneault to begin with and who were very much unimpressed with the lack of preparation for the LA Kings series. They will not be thrilled at these latest developments in the least. They could easily find themselves in disagreement with the country club types who very much like Vigneault’s ‘let the players take ownership’ style whereby he’s never in anyone’s face. That group is almost certainly led by the Sedins who enjoy all the good things life has to offer here, and we’re not just talking the wine on charters and in house executive chef.
Consider they are out for most offensive zone faceoffs, they play 90 seconds plus of every power play no matter how it’s going, never have to kill penalties and the coach comes valiantly to their defence publicly whenever they decide to go without a goal for 10 games. What’s not to like here? They have to be kicking their heels in delight at the extension of their favorite spokesman. And they will have their own camp of comfortable pro AV types with them, all good fun if you like differing views, differing approaches.
The reaction around the league to the Vigneault extension is pretty clear. Everyone agrees he is a good coach including this agent. His regular season record is outstanding and he’ll coach in this league for as long as he likes, that’s a given. But everyone spoken to has roughly the same response which goes like this: ‘Why does a team with this kind of talent keep going with such a defensive coach?’ You hear it everywhere, from GMs, other coaches, scouts, players and agents.
Mike Gillis, Laurence Gilman and associates have assembled a terrific roster here and we think the goal is still a Stanley Cup, not President’s trophies. What makes them think Vigneault can get them to the big prize here is the curious part given he couldn’t win it with the ‘10-11 dream team.
Consider this was a once in a generation team that some franchises will never enjoy. It was No. 1 in goals for, goals against, power play, wins, points and faceoffs and fourth on the penalty kill. They had Mr. Art Ross, Mr. Selke and the two Mr. Jennings and were favored in every series they played in that playoff. The timely injury to Sami Salo had allowed for salary cap breaks to facilitate both Kevin Bieksa and the aging Finn to be on the same quality back end, the former starting the season late leaving him fresh for the playoff run. And as a group, they were profoundly hungry after two previous second round exits. It was a perfect storm team, very much like the one Chicago enjoyed the season before, the one no GM can ever keep together.. Still, he couldn’t win.
Now, after the same players have heard the same speeches for seven years by the time next spring’s playoffs begin, this message is going to resonate and they’ll sweep to a Cup with a lesser team?
Nothing in this game is impossible but the odds on that happening can’t be good.
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Vigneault is a good coach, in fact he's a great coach... in the regular season. But he is not someone who will win you a Stanley Cup. He'll give you President's Trophies, Western Conference Titles and Division Banners up the ying yang if that's whats important to you. But I thought what we wanted here was a Cup! I really don't care how they get into the playoff's as long as they hoist that shiney silver cup over their heads at the end of it.
Last Year I feel like Vigneault was the single biggest reason we lost in the cup final. He was out coached plain and simple. Something that's become very repetitive over the last few years. You know when the turning point of the series was?? Game 3 at the start of the 2nd period when Loungo skates out and stays in goal after letting in 4. The fact Alain didnt pull him in between periods was ridiculous... RIDICULOUS! Instead of Lou taking a break on the bench and being able to prepare and focus for the next game, what happens? He gets embarrassed and gets pulled later on, destroying his confidence and blows the next game too. That simple decision is what started the downward spiral to another year.. cupless.
He had his chance, we need to move on. I remember at the beginning of this season after Mac T was hired "everyone" was saying this was Alains last chance and anything less than a Stanley Cup final showing means he would get the axe. What happened to that? How many more chances does this man get?
Edited by bryguy26, 24 May 2012 - 07:01 PM.