Willie Desjardins On A Short Leash, And The Room Is Speaking Loud And Clear

willie-desjardins-nhl-preseason-calgary-flames-vancouver-canucks-850x560
Vancouver Canuck Coach Willie Desjardins

andrewchernoff By Andrew Chernoff

November 8, 2016

Under performers and inconsistent efforts by Canucks players, besides Jake Virtanen, continue to undermine and diminish the efforts of other players, to turn the team around.

Jeff Paterson, tweeted today, “on a team with so many under performers and inconsistent efforts, the Canucks seem to be singling out (Jake) Virtanen. Don’t get that”.

I tweeted back to him, “Who are the “many” under performers and inconsistent efforts?”

His response wasn’t to take responsiblity for his comment, and elaborate, but pass off the question, with this reply: “anybody want to handle this one for me? Don’t have enough time in the day”.

Jeff Paterson, covers the Vancouver sports scene in print, radio & on-line. TSN 1040, The Province & Canucks Army.

I expected something more from Mr. Paterson, instead of putting his foot in his mouth, and shirking accountability for his comments, and passing it to others to put words in his mouth…..if there’s any room left.

Now, since he put it out for others to “handle this one for (him)”, I will take a stab at it.

I can look at the regular stats, the advanced stats, but unfortunately unlike people like Mr. Paterson: he can go to the games, watch the players, interview the players and management staff; talk to other reporters and media, much more readily than I can.

So, occasionally, I like to reach out, like I did today, and ask a question, out of curiosity, to media like Mr. Paterson, related to his tweet, to find out if we agree about who are the “many under performers and inconsistent efforts”.

Using, the resources available to me, my response to Mr. Paterson is as follows:

I believe that Jake Virtanen is not the only Vancouver Canuck who has under performed and has been inconsistent in his play and output this season.

Like Loui Ericksson, who for his past offensive reputation, of scoring goals, has scored none, when signed for millions of dollars to score, and instead, the Vancouver lineup is worse for having him in it, after 13 games played.

Like Alex Burrows, who for years, was the Canucks “Super Pest”, dangerous at even strength, on the power play, and shorthanded; who played like each game was his last, with passion and controlled emotion; drawing penalties; distracting the better players on the other teams off their game.

The Burrows of today, sadly, is not the Burrows of the past, who struggled to get to the NHL, and once he made it, made the most of it, but has since fallen.

Like Philip Larsen, who was touted to be the savior of the Canucks power play, as its quarterback. Either he embellished his résumé, or Canucks management was intoxicated when they bought the goods on Mr. Larsen.

Larsen has under performed on the power play; has been inconsistent in his play, having no offensive knowledge other than shoot the puck; lacking the hockey sense for a power play “specialist”.

Like Jack Skille, who once he made the Canucks off a professional tryout offer, has been less than thankful with his play and contribution in the games he has played. I expect more leadership and example from him for his time in the NHL. He was supposed to have speed, be able to pester opposing players, and play with the emotion, passion and enthusiasm that got him on the team.

I think Mr. Skille , has to watch video of his preseason games and get back to playing like a dog-with-a-bone, and prove he deserves a spot on this team on a full-time basis.

Like Nikita Tryamkin, who the Canucks treated with kid gloves, because of the contract that allowed Tryamkin to hold Canucks management hostage, undermining the Canuck organization, and disrespecting the “code”.

Tryamkin is not a “Canuck”, like, “We are all Canucks” He is not, a “teammate” by definition in word, or in spirit.

Tryamikin was selfish, dissed his teammates; undermined the efforts of the team to get off to a good start.

His lack of professionalism, and integrity, to show up at training camp in so poor condition and playing shape, without any serious personal initiative to deal with the issue in the off-season, is reprehensible, and cost the Canucks extra money, attention, effort, and possible points this season.

Like, Sven Baertschi, who seemed to come into his own, in January of this year, gaining confidence, playing time, and results for his efforts and performances, that resulted in hope and belief, that the leadership, example, passion, emotion and enthusiasm, he showed up to, and including the last game of the season, would be a spring-board to great things to watch for this season.

Instead of Baertschi starting out the season, like he wanted to belong; like one of the leaders; like a player with a burr under his behind, with something to prove; making this current season his best in the NHL, continuing where he stopped last season: he actually stopped.

He stopped. Dead on the ice. Stopped.

Baertschi has not been productive, has not been performing like he can, and has been more inconsistent than Jake Virtanen.

Baertschi has not generated any offense, none at all (0-2=2; -5 in 13 GP).

He knows his job. He has played this game for years.

Baetschi’s comfort zone is not at a high level of play, and he is not the only player, undermining the team, by not heeding the call, for more goals, and more offensive attack; giving it everything physically every shift, until they puke or pass out.

I feel for Willie Desjardins, who has something like writers block, but not as a writer, but as coach of this season’s Canucks.

Desjardins has reached a wall with his players, that neither words or emotion can reach them.

It has all been said before, and it no longer motivates, threatens, nor shocks.

Desjardins does not know how to reach this type of hockey player, the “professional hockey player”, who once they get “tenure” like a university professor, do as they please, on and off the ice, without regard for the belief that there is somebody else who can play better with this team called the Vancouver Canucks.

The coach is always the scapegoat, as someone I follow on Twitter put it today, because they bring in the system(s) that the team will play by, and they are accountable for the communication, understanding and execution, of their words and direction.

I would like to conclude with the following old adage….so I will:

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

Many of the Canucks are acting like entitled asses:

  • You can give someone the opportunity to do something, as Desjardins and Jim Benning have, but you cannot force them to do it, if they do not want to.

That will be the undoing of Desjardins, and the continuing challenge of Jim Benning and Trevor Linden, once Willie is gone.

And he will be gone, sooner than later, because the room is speaking loud and clear.

They Said It:

1            2     3

Canucks At A Glance:

  • Vancouver has only scored 5 goals in 5 games, with Ryan Miller in net since October 23 in Anaheim. Miller is 0-5-0 in those 5 games.
  • After 13-games this season:
    • Canucks have:
      • 355 shots for (20th)
      • 375 shots against (17th)
      • 176 blocked shots (13th)
      • 251 hits (16th)
      • 139 missed shots (14th)
      • 93 giveaways (8th)
      • 74 takeaways (tied for 18th).
    • Vancouver:
      • Has a face-off winning percentage of 49.9 percent, tied for 13th best overall in the NHL
      • Is tied for 16th best save percentage in the NHL at .907
      • Has the 9th best shot against average in the NHL with 28.6 SA/GP.
      • Has the 9th best shots for average in the NHL with 28.8 SF/G.
      • Has the 18th least amount of penalties in the NHL with 56.
  • Blocked Shots Leaders:
    • Alex Edler is 4th in the NHL lead in blocked shots with 34 in 12 games, averaging 2.8 BkS/GP
    • Chris Tanev has 19 blocked shots in 7 games, averaging 2.7 BkS/GP
    • Luca Sbisa has 20; Erik Gudbranson, 16; both Ben Hutton, 15
  • Giveaways Leaders:
    • Luca Sbisa and Henrik Sedin are tied for 36 in NHL in most giveaways with 11;
  • Takeaways Leaders:
    • Markus Granlund leads Canucks with 10 takeaways
    • Ben Hutton, 8; Bo Horvat and Alex Burrows, 7
  • Time On Ice Leaders:
    • Even Strength TOI:
      • Ben Hutton is 7th in the NHL in even strength TOI with 246:51
      • Edler is 14th in the NHL in even strength TOI with 239:19
    • TOI:
      • Edler also has the 19th most TOI in the NHL with 292:36
      • Ben Hutton has the 36th most TOI in the NHL with 275:27
    • TOI/GP:
      • Alex Edler is 14th in the NHL in TOI/GP at 24:23
      • Ben Hutton, 21:11 TOI/GP in 12 GP
      • Chris Tanev, 20:09 TOI/GP in 7 GP
      • Troy Stecher, 19:54 TOI/GP in 4 GP
      • Erik Gudbranson, 19:42 TOI/GP in 12 GP
    • Shifts/GP:
      • Alex Edler is 23rd in Shifts/GP with 29.3
      • Chris Tanev is 46th in Shifts/GP with 28.1
      • Ben Hutton is 104th in Shifts/GP with 26.0
  • Face-Off Leaders:
    • Face-Offs:
      • Brandon Sutter is 18th in the NHL in face-offs with 244
      • Henrik Sedin is 24th in the NHL in face-offs with 222
      • Bo Horvat is 25th in the NHL, with 213
    • Face-Off Wins:
      • Brandon Sutter, tied for 19th in face-off wins with 124
      • Henrik Sedin is 27th, with 114 wins
      • Bo Horvat is 33rd, with 102 wins
    • Face-Off Losses:
      • Brandon Sutter is 19th in most face-off losses with 120
      • Bo Horvat, tied for 20th, with 111 losses
      • Henrik Sedin is tied for 27th, with 108
    • Face-Off Win Percentage:
      • Henrik Sedin, 51.3; Brandon Sutter, 50.8, Brendan Gaunce, 50.6; Bo Horvat, 47.9; Markus Granlund, 37.9
  • Hits Leaders:
    • Hits/GP:
      • Nikita Tryamkin is tied for 5th in the NHL in Hits/GP with 4.0
      • Derek Dorsett is tied for 25th in the NHL in Hits/GP with 2.8
    • Total Hits:
      • Derek Dorsett has 25 hits
      • Erik Gudbranson has 23
      • Alex Edler, 21
  • Shots Per Game Played Leaders:
    • Daniel Sedin 2.9 S/GP
    • Brandon Sutter, 2.3 S/GP
    • Troy Stecher, 2.0 S/GP
    • Alex Edler, 2.0 S/GP
  • Shooting Percentage Leaders:
    • Bo Horvat, 25.0, tied for 18th best in the NHL
    • Henrik Sedin, 21.1
    • Markus Granlund, 14.3
    • Daniel Sedin, 10.5
    • Jannik Hansen, 9.5
  • Total Shots Leaders:
    • Daniel Sedin, 38 in 13 GP
    • Brandon Sutter, 30 in 13 GP
    • Alex Edler, 24 in 12 GP
    • Ben Hutton,24 in 13 GP
    • Philip Larsen, 22 in 13 GP
    • Jannik Hansen, 21 in 12 GP
    • Markus Granlund, 21 in 13 GP
    • Loui Ericksson, 21 in 13 GP
  • Canuck defensemen have a joint 2G-10A for 12 PTS, after 13-games this season.
    • Last season after 13-games, Canuck defensemen had 6G-19A for 25 PTS.
  • Canucks forwards have 19G-24A for 43 PTS, after  13-games this season.
    • Last season, after 13-games, Canuck forwards had 31G-43A for 74 PTS.
  • Vancouver goals by period:
    • First period: 4-goals for (30th in NHL); 12-goals against (tied for 22nd in NHL)
    • Second period: 7-goals for (tied for 25th in NHL); 11-goals against (14th best in NHL)
    • Third period: 8-goals for (tied for 24th in NHL); 14-goals against (tied for 23rd best in NHL)
    • Overtime: 2-goals for (2nd in NHL); 0-goals against (1st in NHL)
  • Advanced Stats:

    • Vancouver has the 15th best CorsiFor% (5 on 5) in the NHL: 49.68 percent, and the 15th best CorsiFor% (All Strengths): 50.11 percent.
    • Canucks have the 10th highest SCF (All Strengths): 281; and 27th lowest SCA (All Strengths): 294.
    • Vancouver has the 8th highest SCF (5 on 5): 215; 29th in SCA (5 on 5): 240.
    • Canucks are 11th in Corsi 5 on 5 (Zone Start%): 51.31 percent.
    • Individual CorsiFor% (5 on 5):
      • Top Forwards:
        • Loui Ericksson: 13 GP: 55.75
        • Henrik Sedin: 13 GP: 55.30
        • Daniel Sedin: 13 GP: 54.13
        • Markus Granlund: 13 GP: 52.56
        • Derek Dorsett: 9 GP: 52.38
        • Jayson Megna: 2 GP: 52.17
        • Jannik Hansen: 12 GP: 50.49
        • Alex Burrows: 8 GP: 48.82
      • Top Defensemen:
        • Ben Hutton: 13 GP: 51.81
        • Erik Gudbranson: 13 GP: 51.04
        • Luca Sbisa: 13 GP: 50.17
        • Nikita Tryamkin: 3 GP: 50.00
        • Philip Larsen: 13 GP: 49.34
        • Chris Tanev: 7 GP: 48:45
        • Troy Stecher: 4 GP: 48.39
        • Alex Edler: 12 GP: 46.67
        • Alex Biega: 1 GP: 27.27 percent
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