Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/08/11 at 12:03 AM ET
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
The problem so far, as the Stanley Cup finalists stumble along at 7-7-1, is that the players’ intensity and enthusiasm for their work seems entirely predicated on the opponent.
If it’s the hated Blackhawks, Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals or the New York Rangers on Rick Rypien Night, the Canucks are inspired. If it’s the Blues or Minnesota Wild, the game looks like drudgery for players.
“I think it’s kind of remarkable that it has been as consistent as it has,” Gillis said.
“If we play an opponent that’s at an elite level, the team matches it. And when we play someone who’s not considered an elite team, we play to their level. So it’s one step forward, two steps back, then two steps forward, one step back.
“We won’t let that continue. You have to give players an opportunity to work through that, but there comes a point in time where if it continues, we’re going to get much more involved in the process. I think we’ll get back to a balanced high level of play and we’re starting to see that.”
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