We’ve all heard the phrase “never go full (insert name here)” in regards to buying in passed the point of no return where all the decisions you make are now in serious trouble. Well, the Canucks are now in some potentially dangerous territory that may or may not result in some big changes. Come to think of it, they’re passed the danger zone… they’ve gone ‘Full Willie Desjardins’.
There have been a growing amount of decisions/non-decisions, comments and “real goods” that have put the Canucks in a bit of a bind. Sure, not all the current problems with this team can be acquainted with the Jim Benning, Willie Desjardins and that Weisbrod fella, but after the first year of Willie’s tenure in Vancouver, it’s abundantly unclear of where this team is headed.
Are the Canucks ever going to be a playoff team again? Can the power play be revived? How long does Willie last?
All of these questions are nagging at our brains and if the Canucks continue down the same road, not only will they JUST miss the playoffs but they’ll end up with a mediocre draft pick, yet again, and the impact players we need will pass the team by. WD has frustrated the heck out of all of us and below are the five ways the Canucks have truly gone FULL WILLIE D and why we should probably be more worried than confused.
1 – THE POWER PLAY STINKS LIKE A BONE MARROW DOG FART
I really wish I didn’t have to get so descriptive about that but if you have experienced that smell, you have also experienced the current Canucks power play situation. It’s awful, unbearable, and I can’t even be in the same room when it happens. On January 15, the Canucks were 27th in the league with the man advantage and could easily fall to last by garbage day.
It’s so darn predictable and I’m amazed that Willie and his coaching staff hasn’t figured out that the fans, as well as the Canucks opponents, have figured it out move for move. Until the game against the Devils, there was no change to the execution: gain the zone, pass it around to the Sedins, eventually, let Stecher shoot from the blue line…no goal, try again.
Had no one on the team suggested, and I’m including the Sedins here, maybe using Nikita Tryamkin at the net to set up a screen? He’s such a big dude that it’s painfully obvious that would at the very least put the PP up a few spots. If not him, how about Loui Eriksson “goal scoring machine”? He digs in front and has the natural talent to score goals with a shovel. He just needs a chance.
Henrik and Daniel will continue to lead the team on the power play because Willie isn’t willing (no pun intended) to let the younger, faster-moving players take over. The PP has gone Full Willie which is ironic because it’s basically empty.
2 – PRESS CONFERENCES REQUIRE M. NIGHT SHYMALAN TO DECIPHER
When it all started everything was good. Literally. In fact, it was “really good” no matter the player or situation. It’s been awhile since WD has uttered a true “really good” but there hasn’t been much good to talk about. The pressers are filled with reasons why the PP will continue, why Jake Virtanen can’t play after being called up, something about stuff? and how players are not injured and then really injured within a day of nothing happening.
An excerpt from what Willie said about the PP in the SixPack (There’s more in the article):
“The top of the organization’s frustrated.” pic.twitter.com/CBBt8YWkBd
— Omar A (@omarcanuck) January 16, 2017
The same power play that is almost last is about to take off? WOW! I don’t get it. Here’s another head-scratcher:
WD says he’s happy with the point in the game.. and on the pp: “That’s a pretty good unit”.. So there’s that..
— Blake Price (@BlakePriceTSN) January 16, 2017
How about when Jake Virtanen was on his way back up to the Canucks after a 2 game conditioning stint and couldn’t play because he forgot his stuff? Honestly, what does that even mean? It’s fine to lie to us or withhold the truth but c’mon man, don’t just flat out BS everyone. I get that we shouldn’t be intensely excited for certain players who most definitely will not turn this team around in one shift but just stop the crap.
It’s carried over to the players now:
“We took points in three games, when you get to OT it’s 50-50. We’re right there.” – Sutter
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 16, 2017
Willie has forced them into a game of chance, apparently. This is the point where the coach needs to get his team to buy into a win in regulation because of the odds of taking overtime. To be fair, if the Canucks make OT, we actually don’t have any idea of what will happen.
Henrik, what’s your take?
“Once you’re in OT it’s rock, paper, scissors who wins. We weren’t good enough tonight though.” – H. Sedin
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 16, 2017
So I’m guessing Ro-sham-bo is next? That at least would be more entertaining.
The pressers are so Full Willie D.
3 – PLAYING WITH 5 DEFENSEMEN IS WAY HARDER THAN 6
This shouldn’t even be included because it’s just common sense. If you have a healthy player and an open spot and you dress him, you play him. Even 2 minutes is ok. Benching a guy you’re trying to figure out just pisses him off. In a game where the Canucks lost by a goal, you’d think having a rested defense pairing for at least a minute or so would give them just a bit of a breather to fight for the tying goal.
Let’s play with 5 defensemen, almost 4 that night, and see if we can outlast a division opponent. That’s stupid. Anton Rodin is the player in question and even though it was a short turn around to play the Flames for a second straight night, management, as well as the coaches should have never let a player dress with zero intent of playing him.
This ranks up there with some of the stupidest stuff in the game, Patrik Stefan missing an empty net to ice the game is right there too! If the playoffs are the goal, you have to have a full team to try and get those points. Maybe Willie should try that in game 82 when it’s all on the line. I don’t know if he likes a challenge or if it’s some crazy AHL/WHL thing he has done before but this is the NHL and everyone is laughing at us.
Playing without a full deck is big time Willie D.
4 – THE BLENDER IS GONE AND THE TURNSTILE IS BROKEN
When things get tough, a coach usually chucks his lines in the blender and sees what sticks. WD doesn’t even OWN a blender so what you see is what you get… on a losing team. I agree, there are some lines that shouldn’t be broken up like the Horvat/Baertschi/Burrows and the Sutter/Granlund pairing but how did it take THIS long to get Loui Eriksson back on the Sedin line?
They’re all Swedish, that should have been the first sign. They played on the same line at the World Cup and paying Loui a ton of cash to score goals with the Sedins means… playing with the Sedins and scoring goals. The natural progression of players earning time to move up seems to have gone by the wayside for the Canucks.
Bo Horvat had to absolutely crush it to get off the fourth line and when he was given the third line he basically turned it into line two. Brandon Sutter immediately had line two locked up and he wasn’t the best choice when he started. From there, injuries started coming and Jannik Hansen, the Sedins ideal linemate, was put on IR. So Jayson Megna was given the immunity idol and has been up front for way too long.
Jayson Megna shouldn’t even be on the Canucks and he’s getting prime ice with the Twins. Makes sense. It’s as stubborn as Linden Vey/Derek Dorsett crunch time minutes down a goal, up a goal, you get the picture. Willie is throwing away chances and it’s like he doesn’t even care. He probably doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.
OH CRAP, BO HORVAT is here? Aw man, I gotta get him some minutes. Oh wait, I guess it’s Rodin’s time to show me what he can do. You see what’s happening here?
The line rushes have gone Full Willie D.
5 – EVEN SPORTSNET IS AFFECTED
Imagine you are awarded a $5.2B TV contract and what’s better is that you have essentially exclusive access to all the Canadian hockey teams. You get the built-in fanbases and get to steal talent from the other networks. You figure it’s all downhill from here and then you realize that the Canadian hockey market has taken a pretty big hit in viewership and the word TANK comes up a lot.
Once the broadcasts end we find out who really changed the game and the 3 stars are announced. Even Sportsnet has gone Full Willie D.
— Jovan Heer (@DJHeerMusic) November 30, 2016
Lately, it’s like no one even works there anymore LINK.
Can the Canucks buck this sickness and get back to being a relatively normal hockey team or have they gone so full Willy D that it’s too late and we are doomed to watch frustrating, unrewarding, drop pass crap.
Please, Willie, see the error of your ways and fix this team. Not the next team or the team before, this one. They just need to know you’re paying attention still.
Follow me on twitter: @always90four
photo – sportsnet.ca