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Willie Desjardins on Team 1040


-Vintage Canuck-

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Higgins is better suited to a 3rd line role imo. I agree with your assessment though. He is a capable fill in for 2nd line duties.

He's a tweener. I agree, ideally he's a 3rd line LW but he can work just fine as the 2nd line LW as long as the other two guys are pulling most of the offensive/creativity weight and he can just do the heavy lifting. He's imply not skilled/talented enough to be a driving force on a second line but he's a hard enough worker to be complimentary guy there.

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I love what he says about Edler and Burr.

Can we please fast forward to October? I'm anxiously waiting to see this team prove everyone wrong. Can't wait for the first game vs Kes and the ducks.

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I am hoping that Bonino can be the catalyst for a more effective 2nd line in terms of sustained offensive pressure and chances. He is a good puck distributor and Kassian is as well. They could really use a top shooter on that LW imo.

ALEX BURROWS.

He's played on his off wing, but with Kass having a right shot on the right side, Burr can move onto the left with his left shot.

As a Center you ideally want a RH right winger and a LH left winger, and if Burr and Kess mesh well with Bonino on that line, it could be something to watch.

Also something to note: Radim Vrbata is a RH shot on the right side so that gives Danny the same balance on the top line now as Hanks a left shot on the left side.

I do not think this is an accident.

Those minor tweaks right there can make a HUGE difference.

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He's a tweener. I agree, ideally he's a 3rd line LW but he can work just fine as the 2nd line LW as long as the other two guys are pulling most of the offensive/creativity weight and he can just do the heavy lifting. He's imply not skilled/talented enough to be a driving force on a second line but he's a hard enough worker to be complimentary guy there.

Yep. If he is a staple on our 3rd line because we have someone more capable of driving the offense on the 2nd line we are in good shape. And when injuries strike being able to have him step in and do the grunt work will be helpful. It sounds like WD wants guys to be digging out pucks and maintaining offensive zone time and pressure and Higgins is pretty good at digging out pucks and creating some space.

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ALEX BURROWS.

He's played on his off wing, but with Kass having a right shot on the right side, Burr can move onto the left with his left shot.

As a Center you ideally want a RH right winger and a LH left winger, and if Burr and Kess mesh well with Bonino on that line, it could be something to watch.

I don't think I would classify Burrows as a top shooter though.

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Burrows and Kassian = The box pairing. Because that's where they're going to be most of the time.

I'd be really happy if both players stopped taking so many penalties. But that goes for most of the team too, incl. the Sedins, who treat 'hooking' as first-move defensive strategy way too much.

Since we lost our top pk fwd we should try to cut down the pims.

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I don't think I would classify Burrows as a top shooter though.

Perhaps on our team he is. He's like Tim Kerr in a way, he's an opportunistic shooter that went undrafted and shoots from the slot and in front of the net. Kerr was a prolific scores though, I am not saying Burr is. Burr has also benefited from the Sedins, Kerr made people around him better. I hope to see him bury a few from sweet passes from Kassian this upcoming season.

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Funny, because he's saying a lot of the same sorta things that Torts did this time last year.

Wants to make playoffs: Check.

Attack-brand hockey: Check.

Compete every shift: Check.

Confidence in Luongo/Miller: Check.

Believes in Sedins: Check.

Talked to players: Check.

Respects players: Check.

Needs newer guys to do more things: Check.

Needs to find a way to get Kassian going: Check.

Hopeful for Edler: Check.

Kassian needs to be more consistent: Check.

Prospects will have to earn spots: Check.

Sedins still elite and they'll have to be: Check.

In tough here during this phase: Check.

Torts was great at saying all the right things to the media...but what he actually went on to do was another story altogether.

MEDIA: "Respect the players"

REALITY: Rips into Edler, tells management to buyout Burrows, etc.

MEDIA: "Be disciplined"

REALITY: Tries to assault opposing coach.

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I see us moving Hansen, a goalie and ?? for a top-6 forward, unless one of the 'kids' blows their socks off .. that would be ideal.

Then a Hansen/goalie package for a RH PMD

I would just defer to the 2knd... We have no real PMD at all, nor a prospect for same who is not filled with question marks and years to get there. Lots of good mobile two way guys. Its not that these guys are weak D. But it does not make them a threat to undress guys with the puck on their stick or lead the rush either!

Up front we have hope Jensen or Kassian can plug that top 6 scoring in. We did just get Vrbata, Higgins and Burrows are pretty good fill). We also have prospects with a fair chance of adding some snipe down the line in Shinkaruk, McCann, possibly Fox and Virtanen.

Point is the PMD is the much more glaring hole!

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Burrows and Kassian..

I'd be really happy if both players stopped taking so many penalties. But that goes for most of the team too, incl. the Sedins, who treat 'hooking' as first-move defensive strategy way too much.

Since we lost our top pk fwd we should try to cut down the pims.

This is a pretty fair / significant point!

Not that it makes up the difference, but it will be nice to see Hansen out pressuring the point on the PK again. We did not have that last year. Why Torts did not use Hansen is beyond me! It was a weapon in years past...

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Let me guess..

oh.. i don't know..

something cdc has never proposed before..

hansen + lack + gaunce for kane?!!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!

I don't think Hansen and Lack are getting the young top six forward that we'd want.

What a vivid imagination you have, Tommy .. the number of assumptions you have made leave me reeling .. :lol:

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Believing more and more that last year was an anomaly, Tortorella was the grey cloud. Certainly didn't practice what he preached.

There isn't anything brash about Willie, he commands his respect in a decent way.

I think we will all be pleasantly surprised and I'm predicting a hot start based on the schedule;

SJ

SJ

CGY

CGY

AZ

EDM

EDM

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Willie Desjardins was on Team 1040 earlier and discussed variety of key issues including Penguins, style, Miller, Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Edler, Kassian and more.

Here's the full interview (at the bottom of the page):

http://www.teamradio.ca/news/2014/07/24/canucks-hc-willie-desjardins-on-team1040

Here's a full summary for those who prefer reading than listening:

How close did you come to signing with Pittsburgh?

I think there was a chance that could have happened, for sure. I think you always looking at different options. They have a great team, some certainly high-end players. Theres always a chance. Thats a good market.

Youre in here with fellow rookies in Trevor Linden and Jim Benning. Is there something that drew you with all three of you starting fresh?

Maybe a little bit, but it wasnt that wed be building and that, it was just the fact of getting to work with those guys... I think you always want to build something long-term, but youre also really short-term in what you want. We want to be a good team. We want to make the playoffs and thats our focus.

What kind of hockey can we expect?

We want to play an up-tempo game. We want to attack. We want to take pucks to the net. We want to compete every night. And every shift, not just every night. Every shift we want to be ready to compete and play hard. We expect that from our players. We expect that well give an honest effort every time were on the ice.

How important was it to you get to get a guy like Ryan Miller in the net?

Thats such a big plug for us. I think that Eddie Lacks a really good goaltender. Hes a really good up and coming goaltender, but its hard to put a young goaltender in that position where hes got to take everything. So I think once you get a guy like Ryan Miller that really puts everybody in their right spot and Eddie Lack can develop and at the same time Miller can give us the experienced, No. 1 goaltender we need.

What are your expectations for the Sedins and where do you seem them fitting in terms of role?

Well, I think theyre elite players and great character people. I think you always win with your character. I think you win with your leaders. I see them being real key guys on this team. I think that they have great skill. I think they were disappointed with their year last year. They want to come back with a real good year. So I expect them to be elite in the league. I think thats what theyve done in the past and I expect them to be there this year as well.

What kind of contact have you had with your players?

Ive had quite a bit. I phoned them all and talked to them. I met with some of them in person. Im planning on going and meeting with a few more. For me, its getting ready for the season. I just want to make sure guys are training and working out and that our conditioning is going to be where it needs to be. We have to be able to win games in the third period because were in great condition and were just not going to tire out.

Youve always been known as a players coach. Is that really important for them to buy into your schemes?

When you say a players coach I just respect my players. I think it takes a lot to play this game. The expectations are high. Theyve got to put forward every night. And I just respect them. I know what they have to prepare and how hard they have to work in the summer to do that, and things dont always go their way, but we expect them to battle through. I just think that we have a good group in Vancouver. Maybe you always say that about your team, but when Ive talked to the guys, I really believe that we have a real good mix. We have some great veteran leaders. I think weve got some young players that are up and coming that want to prove some things. So I like our team and Im excited about coaching it.

How do you fill the hole thats been left by Ryan Kesler?

Thats a tough role because he did give you a few different things. He had some size in the middle and is a big power forward. We cant replace that maybe right away, but maybe we can fill it different ways... Boninos a good player, had just as many points, a few more points than Kesler. A guy thats really excited to be here, wants to do things, will work to fit in. So maybe you dont quite fill the spot, but maybe you fill it in other ways... Different guys chipping in. Once they get a bigger role, theyre a little more excited about it. So you cant fill that spot necessarily, but maybe you add the parts around it and make it better.

If Radim Vrbata plays with the Sedins, where does that leave Alex Burrows?

He fills a big role. I went and met with Alex, talked to him. Hes a real key part of the team. He brings a lot of passion, a lot of energy to the team. We need that. He wants to win. Like, hes committed to winning. He said it doesnt matter if hes with the Sedins or not. His style maybe changes a little bit when he plays with other guys because he knows the Sedins so well. But he just wants to do whatever he can to help us win. Hes totally committed to that. Hes a real leader on this team. He plays with a lot of energy, so hes a guy thatll play a big role in lots of different ways and maybe he can help out younger guys like Kassian. Maybe he can move a guy like that in, get him going. Fill a role on another power play unit or different things. And theres no saying that he wont be with the Sedins sometime in the year as well.

How much pressure will you be putting on Alex Edler to carry that defence?

I dont think theres pressure on him. Hes just got to be Alex Edler. Hes a dominant player. Hes proven that in the past. Hes another guy thats a great person, that wants to come to the rink, that wants to do well, has a real good fit in Vancouver. So I just expect him to play his best. I just expect him to come to the rink, and play like he can play. If he does that everything just takes care of itself.

What do you think you can bring out in Zack Kassians game that can get him to that next level?

I think probably the biggest thing he needs is consistency...

I think a guy like Alex Burrows can help that a lot. If he happens to be playing with him, on the bench, and talking to him; but the biggest key is Zack himself. He wants to be better. He wants to move his game to another level and to do that he probably has to prepare a little better and he probably has to focus a little better in practice. We have to be good every shift and he cant be an up and down player. I think he has a little bit of a challenge to his game, but thats what he wants to do. Thats the player he wants to become, so well just help him get there.

How many of these kids do you think youll be able to find room for?

I think our key is we have to have guys that can play. We have a set number of players, or a set number of spots, and those guys have to be able to win that spot. So if theyre good enough to beat out other guys, then theyll make the team. Were playing to win. Thats what were here for, thats how we come to the rink to play, and well go with our best lineup. Hopefully those young guys have a great offseason of training and theyre totally ready. If its a tie, then for sure you go with the young guy. That just makes sense because you want to develop and you want to get them in there. But well give them a great look and were hoping theyre prepared to have a great year.

Where do you see Linden Vey fitting in?

Well, hes another guy that has to prove it. Hes proven it in spurts and when he was up with Los Angeles, in the American League hes proven it. Now you have to prove it on an everyday basis. You have to come in and show what you can do. Sometimes when you know you might get a longer look that youre not so worried about making mistakes you play better. Sometimes you dont. I think hes a guy we expect him to play. Its his spot to take. But he has to be ready at training camp and I expect him to be ready.

When you do pick the young guy over the older guy, that really gives you a chance to put your stamp and really to form and coach that kid, doesnt it?

It does, and you want that because it takes a little time to get your style in and what you need to do. You want that opportunity. But at the same time, those veteran guys, theyve earned their spot too. Theyve got to be treated the way they should. The Sedins have earned their status. Theyve put in their time and they deserve their opportunities. Theyve had a little bit of a slip and they deserve the chance to get it back. So its a fine line. But in the end its the guys that are ready to play that play.

How tough will it be coming out of the Pacific Division?

(Laughs) Thats the worst part about going to Vancouver. Its just such a tough division to come out of. But thats our job. Thats what were hired for. Thats what we want to do. Thats what the fans want. So its our job to find a way. Will it be tough? Sure itll be tough. But can it be done? Yes it can and thats what were going to focus on and go after.

Vintage, as always, thanks for the hard work in putting this together. You should be on the payroll if you aren't.

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Higgins stats compared to average 2nd line Left wing players

Goals:17
Assists: 22
Points: 39

http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2011/9/27/2452941/common-misconceptions-how-much-should-that-forward-score

Edit: sorry every time I post the graph it doesn't layout properly.


Higgins is far from below average for a 2nd liner. The guy works hard and trains hard. He could be a good guy to mentor Kassian as well.

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