Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/31/14 at 08:58 AM ET
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
This season, Tortorella has attempted to turn them into a grinding, shot-blocking, defensive-first team — which is fine if you’ve got the personnel of, say, a Los Angeles or St. Louis. But the Canucks don’t and their attempts to play that way have been a disaster. Defensively, they’re eighth in the West in goals allowed and tied with Edmonton for the fewest goals scored in the conference.
They have, for pity’s sake, two goals fewer than Nashville.
Individually, meanwhile, the only veteran to produce near his career norms is Chris Higgins. Every other Canuck who toiled under Vigneault isn’t anywhere near his expected numbers, and even Zack Kassian, whose play has been one of the team’s bright spots lately, has 13 goals and 26 points on the campaign.
Given everything that’s happened, it’s hard to conceive of Tortorella coming back next season. The players have given it an honest effort but, whatever Tortorella is trying just isn’t working. It’s doubtful the team would buy into another year and it’s a certainty the fan base wouldn’t buy another year of the same. It looks like one and done for Tortorella, who made a fatal coaching mistake this season: He tried to mould his players to his system instead of moulding his system to his players.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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