Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: willie desjardins
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks' last two losses, and their performance for most of this season, has started the unofficial watch on Desjardins and his future with team. Yes, the Canucks were undermanned and, yes, they're trying to integrate any number of young players into the lineup under difficult circumstances.
But it's the way they lost against the Wild and the Leafs which triggers the alarm bells. The team wasn't ready to play, again, on Monday night. For the most part it was flat and lifeless. All things considered maybe the losses are understandable and they'd be tolerated if the effort was there.
But it's been missing, along with any signs of growth, and that's a damning indictment for the organization.
The Canucks play six of their next seven at home and, in a happier time, that stretch was supposed to represent their best chance to get back into the playoff race. Now, it looks like they're playing for a couple of other things.
Self-respect is one. Their coach is another.
The Canucks lost to the Jets 4-1 last night, with Winnipeg scoring to late goals to make the game seam more lopsided than it was.
from Jason Botchord of the Vancouver Province,
Willie believes a string of losing close games like this could be beneficial for the young players, not bad.
“This is the kind of scenario you want to bring your young guys on,” Willie said.
“Every shift, they have to play well. If they don’t, it’s not good enough.”
“Every guy has to do that. That’s how you develop players.”
“You don’t develop them when it’s easy going and it doesn’t matter.
“They’re being developed in a tough environment. It’s good for them.
“They’ve had some hiccups but overall, they’ve been pretty good.”
more on the game last night...
Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks announced today that Head Coach Willie Desjardins underwent successful surgery to address an acute flare up of his preexisting hip condition. Although he will not be in attendance for the Young Stars tournament and Training Camp, Desjardins is expected to be back behind the Canucks bench by opening night.
"Willie has been dealing with the chronic discomfort for a long time and our medical staff has been monitoring it since he joined us last year. Unfortunately his hip deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks and it required immediate attention," said General Manager Jim Benning. "Willie's expected to recover quickly and will be connected every day until he's ready to be back in person."
Coaching duties for Penticton's Young Stars tournament will be led as usual by Utica Comets' Head Coach Travis Green. Training Camp and some pre-season duties will be shared by Canucks Assistant Coaches Doug Lidster, Glen Gulutzan and Perry Pearn.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have nine forwards in double digits in goals, two more at nine and another at eight, meaning they could have 12 forwards with at least 10 goals by the end of the season. You don’t think of the Canucks as an offensive juggernaut, but they’ve already scored more goals this season (197) than they did all of last season (196).
“It’s the four lines,” Hansen says. “(Desjardins) wants us to be a deep team. John’s thing was we have to win this game, then we’ll worry about the next game. He played some guys too much and didn’t trust the fourth line as much.”
“Maybe last year guys felt they didn’t need to show up because they were going to play for seven minutes,” says Henrik Sedin. “You can’t win that way.”
When they’re at their best, the Canucks also play with a speed and creativity that were completely missing last season. Bieksa says there’s more freedom this season. Desjardins also coaches with a lighter hand than his predecessor.
“He’s able to relate to guys in different ways,” Bieksa says. “He has a feel for the team.”
Which isn’t to say it’s Club Med around the Canucks. Desjardins doesn’t practise a lot but, when he does, he means business. The Canucks’ sessions are fast and demanding. Last season under Torts, not so much and the players believe that’s honed the team’s edge.
On Wednesday evening, TSN's Darren Dreger spoke with the NHL Live's EJ Hradek and Steve Mears, discussing the Penguins' messy coaching search (see: Willie Desjardins and Bill Peters declined Jim Rutherford's advances), the possible departure of James Neal (for cap space?) and Ryan Kesler's "fit" in Chicago or PIttsburgh (Dreger says that the asking price for Kesler remains "incredibly high"):
Update: Dreger made very similar comments on TSN.
The Vancouver Canucks will introduce Willie Desjardins as their new head coach at a 3:00pm ET press conference.
added 12:53pm, Trevor Linden, Jim Benning and Desjardins discuss the hiring, watch below...