Canucks look for answers on how to beat shootout woesкод для вставки
Canucks look for answers on how to beat shootout woes Ed Willes вЂ“ The Province | December 19, 2013 DALLAS вЂ” In the aftermath of another shootout train wreck, John Tortorella lamented his teamвЂ™s inability to execute in the NHLвЂ™s skill competition. And, in the CanucksвЂ™ case, there is plenty to lament. вЂњItвЂ™s very difficult to practice the shootout,вЂќ Tortorella said after the teamвЂ™s workout in Dallas on Wednesday. вЂњItвЂ™s easy to say we need to practice the shootout. But youвЂ™re in a practice arena, there are no fans around, thereвЂ™s no pressure and no other team. вЂњItвЂ™s very difficult to simulate a shootout. Do players practice it? Absolutely. But you simply canвЂ™t simulate a game situation.вЂќ Which explains some things. But it doesnвЂ™t completely explain the CanucksвЂ™ abysmal shootout record. Tuesday night in Minnesota, Canucks shooters Chris Higgins, Mike Santorelli and Ryan Kesler all failed miserably in their attempts on Wild goalie Josh Harding. Santorelli and Kesler missed the net completely. Harding didnвЂ™t have to move to stop Higgins. At the other end, Jason Pominville beat Roberto Luongo on the WildвЂ™s third attempt which, as it happened. It was all they needed. The Canucks are now 1-4 in shootouts this season, which is remarkable because theyвЂ™ve scored two goals in 18 attempts. Against New Jersey on Oct. 25, Santorelli scored on Cory Schneider, which gave the Canucks their only shootout win. Alex Burrows also scored. The Canucks are actually are spectable 6-2-4 in overtime despite their shootout woes. This has led Tortorella to contemplate a new strategy in extra time. вЂњWeвЂ™ve talked about three forwards in the last couple of minutes,вЂќ he said. вЂњThe shootout isnвЂ™t working, so that could come into play.вЂќ ThatвЂ™s not the only thing heвЂ™s thought about. вЂњShould we pull the goalie? You get punished in this league if you pull the goalie (in overtime). Sometimes I donвЂ™t get why we have overtime. They want us to win the game, but then you get punished if you try to win the game that way.вЂќ Elsewhere with the Canucks, defenceman Ryan Stanton returned to Vancouver on Wednesday to have his injured left ankle examined. He will be lost for the foreseeable future, which means Andrew Alberts will be pressed into service on the blueline. вЂњAndrewвЂ™s practised hard with us,вЂќ said Tortorella. вЂњHe just hasnвЂ™t had any game time in any league. But it is what it is. WeвЂ™re not going to whine about this. We need to find a way to be the best we can be.вЂќ Fire and nice: Two sides of Lack Ed Willes - The Province | December 19, 2013 BackupвЂ™s not only been red hot on ice, Swedish meatball has also added colour to lockerroom For most, New YearвЂ™s resolutions involve losing weight or going to the gym more frequently. Then thereвЂ™s Eddie Lack. His New YearвЂ™s resolution involved oral hygiene. The Vancouver Canucks goalie, it seems, was given an electric toothbrush some time ago, and as part of his resolution, immediately committed to a rigorous two-minute, twicea-day brushing program. The problem was brushing your teeth for two straight minutes can be boring, and Lack, you need to know, is bored easily. He began cutting the sessions short by 30 seconds, then tried to make up the lost time later. This went on for a while until his schedule grew out of control. Do I need to add a minute here? Did I already add that minute? What about the next time? After about three months, Lack aborted his mission and returned to a regular brushing regimen. He reports all this without a hint of self-consciousness. Eddie Lack is different than most. For the Vancouver Canucks, thatвЂ™s a good thing. вЂњHeвЂ™s fun to be around,вЂќ says Daniel Sedin. вЂњItвЂ™s a long season and you need guys who can keep you loose.вЂќ It was put to Henrik Sedin that Lack doesnвЂ™t fit the stereotype of the bland, stoic Swede. вЂњYes,вЂќ Henrik said. вЂњBut heвЂ™s a Swedish goalie. That puts him in a different category.вЂќ Lack, as the faithful are aware, stepped into the gaping void created by the off-season trade of Cory Schneider and filled in admirably as Roberto LuongoвЂ™s backup. In eight games, heвЂ™s 4-2 with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage, and the Canucks вЂ” whoвЂ™ve lived and died with their goaltending the last two seasons вЂ” havenвЂ™t missed a beat with the Luongo-Lack tandem. вЂњI didnвЂ™t know who he was when we started,вЂќ said head coach John Tortorella. вЂњBut heвЂ™s been really good for us. вЂњI think our team plays well in front of him. HeвЂ™s a confident kid and the team plays with confidence in front of him.вЂќ That, at least, is the story on the ice. But LackвЂ™s contribution to the greater good can be measured in other ways. The CanucksвЂ™ core вЂ” Luongo, the twins, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa вЂ” has been together for the better part of a decade and the chemistry in the room can get stale. Lack, however, is anything but stale. вЂњWhen you bring in new, young personalities it creates a vibrancy in the locker-room,вЂќ said Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman. вЂњEddieвЂ™s a colourful character. HeвЂ™s got a great sense of humour. He doesnвЂ™t take himself seriously, and those traits are important.вЂќ This summer, Gilman and the Canucks signed Lack to a three-year, $3-million deal which represented a leap of faith for the organization. The year before, Lack underwent hip surgery and was shut down for the season after playing just 13 games in Chicago. Yes, heвЂ™d put in two successful seasons in the AHL prior to his injury, but he was also stepping into a crucial role on the team and Plan B вЂ” Joacim Eriksson, Joe Cannata вЂ” wasnвЂ™t an attractive option. вЂњWe knew he could play,вЂќ said Gilman, who admitted LackвЂ™s impending status as a Group-6 unrestricted free agent had a lot to do with the three-year deal. вЂњWhat we didnвЂ™t know was he would respond after the hip surgery.вЂќ Turns out that wasnвЂ™t an issue. Lack doesnвЂ™t mind playing the class clown, but heвЂ™s deadly serious about his craft, and as Tortorella said, not lacking in confidence. вЂњThe season has gone the way I thought it would,вЂќ he says. вЂњIвЂ™ve played about the number of games I thought I would. I prepared all summer. I think I was ready for this.вЂќ Along the way, heвЂ™s also forged a strong partnership with Luongo. вЂњObviously, Eddie and (Schneider) are two different personalities,вЂќ Luongo said with a laugh. вЂњBut we had a relationship before this year. вЂњHeвЂ™s upbeat and positive. That kind of stuff is contagious. Even though heвЂ™s a rookie, you donвЂ™t see him that way.вЂќ And he can stop the puck. The wacky personality is one thing, but it doesnвЂ™t mean a whole lot if Lack doesnвЂ™t deliver the goods in the net. As Crash Davis told Nuke Laloosh in Bull Durham: вЂњWin 20 in the show, then you can grow fungus on your shower shoes. The press will think youвЂ™re colourful.вЂќ This season, LackвЂ™s been colourful. вЂњ(The sense of humour) isnвЂ™t going to keep you around,вЂќ said Daniel. вЂњYouвЂ™ve got to do your job.вЂќ But sometimes it helps if youвЂ™re having fun while youвЂ™re doing it. Improvement? Or wishful thinking? Tony Gallagher вЂ“ The Province | December 19, 2013 Defence, third line and power play is rising, but statistical methodology is never perfect The Vancouver Canucks plow ahead on this trip having picked up a point in Minny with a lot of people making a lot of positive observations about the improvement of the team. But there should be just a little bit of caution when it comes to atleast three of the themes being stressed, not the least of which is the improvement of the CanucksвЂ™ defensive play. Yes, it has been very good, but is it about to take a big hit with the injury to Ryan Stanton? At the moment, the plan is to use Andrew Alberts in StantonвЂ™s stead, and we know how coach John Tortorella feels about his play and how it вЂњscaresвЂќ him. While it was better the last time he played, everyone knows he wonвЂ™t get out much and neither will Yannick Weber. That leaves the Canucks with two pairings. The diminutive Chris Tanev, who is playing so very well, will be one of those guys. This is going to leave him more open to getting whacked himself, and any time the minutes climb on defencemen, the performance tends to slide. None of the Canucks rearguards are anywhere near the top of the league in time-on-ice standings, so there is a little leeway to perhaps get away with this short term. But unless Stanton or Alex Edler get back quickly or the team recalls Frankie Corrado, things could turn south in a hurry. Further there is a lot of talk about the emergence of a third line with Mr. Versatile Brad Richardson, who has been such a pleasant surprise, centring Zack Kassian and David Booth. Yes, itвЂ™s been good for three or four games, but the true Canucks fan is going to want to see a good deal more before claiming a third line has emerged. For starters, Richardson doesnвЂ™t exactly pass the puck extremely well, with Kassian, in fact, the best at putting it on somebodyвЂ™s stick on that unit. So anticipating consistent offence, which is what every team is looking for from its third unit, is asking a lot of a group that relies on banging and crashing and being in front to score its goals. So far itвЂ™s been great fun, but what happens when Alexandre Burrows comes back? You donвЂ™t want to touch Ryan KeslerвЂ™s line, and Burr has to play with the twins unless Kassian goes there, which Tortorella is resisting as though it was some sort of blight on every dog in the world. So does that mean Jannik Hansen drops all the way from the first line to the fourth? Another injury will almost certainly prevent anyone from ever finding out if that would actually happen, but if the third line is playing well enough for this to come about, youвЂ™ll know you have a genuinely improving team. And then we have this theme from those who speak only positive about the team that the power play is vastly improved. Fair enough, they are on a statistical run, and as of Wednesday afternoon, they had climbed to 21st in the league standings, which вЂ” considering where they had come from вЂ” was pretty impressive. But how realistic is that improvement? Much of it was over a lights-out homestand against less-than-stellar opposition. Four of the goals in the run with the man advantage were a bit odd in that two were 5-on-3, one was 4-on-3 and a fourth was late in the game when the fourth line was out as a sign of mercy, with no real intention of scoring. While those stats are always included in a power-playвЂ™s performance, a statistical cluster like that can make it seem like great strides are being made, when that, in fact, may not be the case. In a game when a power-play goal would have been nice Tuesday night, the Canucks struck out. But that happens; itвЂ™s no big deal. It was what was going on that was odd. One one shift of the first unit, the Sedins and Dan Hamhuis passed the puck several times in the offensive zone just to get Henrik to move from the right-side boards (where he functions best) to the left boards so the one-timer from Jason Garrison could be set up. ThatвЂ™s what they were doing when nothing was happening and Garrison went that long stretch without a point. If Weber was out with the first unit, Henrik would be so much more effective on the right side, Garrison could be used on the left, and Hamhuis could get a break, something which will be badly needed given how much ice time heвЂ™s going to be logging with the Stanton injury. At some point, the coaching staff will give it a try, but in the meantime, longtime Canucks fans need to see more continued success to believe the power play is on its way to respectability. Torts bubbling bliss for Chris Brad Ziemer вЂ“ The Province | December 19, 2013 TanevвЂ™s value to team growing, as are numbers to re- sign him DALLAS вЂ” It figures to be a happy new year for Chris Tanev. Quite likely a prosperous one, too. As the Vancouver Canucks defenceman quietly but efficiently establishes himself as one of the NHLвЂ™s top young blue- liners, the clock is ticking on the one- year contract Tanev signed with the team this past summer. Tanev inked that deal for $ 1.5 million. You can bet the next one is going to be worth a whole lot more than that. Coach John Tortorella was asked the other day about who his most consistent defenceman has been this season and he did not even hesitate. вЂњChris Tanev,вЂќ Tortorella said emphatically. Tortorella has been smitten with Tanev since before he even got the Canuck job. And he has been singing the praises of the soon- to- be 24- year- old all season. вЂњI think I told you guys that during the process of my interviews with the team, when I watched the games he was the one that stood out the most to me on the tape of the eight games that I watched,вЂќ Tortorella said. вЂњI know the story, I know where he has come from. The thing that I am excited about is that he is getting better. The ice time he gets, he wants more. He is in great shape and is still learning about his body, he is still a young man. вЂњYou donвЂ™t notice him and in that position when you donвЂ™t notice him heвЂ™s probably playing really well. I just think he has picked up our concept that we brought here really quickly. That position, defence, is about positioning. ThereвЂ™s more thinking in playing defence than as a forward. It is the toughest position to play and I just think he is ahead of the curve as far as understanding where he needs to be on the ice when the play comes to him. He is not chasing the play.вЂќ You can almost hear the groans coming from the offices of general manager Mike Gillis and assistant GM Laurence Gilman, who negotiates player contracts for the Canucks, every time Tortorella heaps praise on Tanev. ItвЂ™s a good thing the salary cap is going up next season because the Canucks are likely going to need a big chunk of that space to sign Tanev. As a player on a one- year contract, the Canucks cannot attempt to extend TanevвЂ™s contract until Jan. 1. They will almost certainly try to do that early in the new year. If a deal cannot be struck, Tanev would have arbitration rights next summer as a restricted free agent. Tanev said he tries not to think about that kind of stuff, but acknowledged after WednesdayвЂ™s practice in Dallas that he hopes to remain a Canuck long- term. вЂњI love it here and IвЂ™d love to be here for a long period of time,вЂќ he said. вЂњRight now, IвЂ™m just focused on playing hockey and winning games. You just keep playing and that stuff will take care of itself. IвЂ™m not really too worried about that, but obviously it is a great organization and, as I said, if the opportunity is there IвЂ™d love to be here for a long period.вЂќ Tanev is averaging 20: 09 minutes a game this season, about three more minutes a game than last season, and is now being used regularly against some of the oppositionвЂ™s top players. Tortorella hates the term shutdown defenceman, but is comfortable using Tanev in any situation. вЂњWe play him against all the top guys,вЂќ Tortorella said. вЂњI donвЂ™t know where this shutdown guy language came from. I think everybody needs to play and you are not always going to have the right matches as you go through a year. But he is a guy who can play against anybody in this league and we feel very comfortable using him.вЂќ ThereвЂ™s another Tortorella quote that TanevвЂ™s agent Ross Gurney can clip and save. One of TanevвЂ™s many strengths is his ability to move the puck out of his own end. He seems unflappable, thinks the game well and uses his great wheels to get out of trouble. He is also stronger than the skinny kid who first joined the team late in the 2010- 11 season. Tanev has added about 15 pounds of muscle to his slender frame, although you still worry about him being snapped in two when heвЂ™s occasionally slammed into the end boards by opposition forwards. TanevвЂ™s shot remains a work in progress, but he has chipped in 11 points this season and he has been a big contributor to VancouverвЂ™s excellent penaltykill this season. What Tanev doesnвЂ™t do is talk a lot. Tanev is something of an emotional flatliner without a lot of highs and lows. He and regular defensive partner Dan Hamhuis must be one of the NHLвЂ™s quietest defensive pairings. вЂњI am a very competitive guy,вЂќ Tanev said. вЂњI might not show it emotionally, but I hate losing.вЂќ вЂњThere are so many things to say about him,вЂќ Hamhuis said Wednesday. вЂњHis poise with the puck, he is a great team guy, he takes hits to make plays, but he knows the little things in the game, like how to draw people towards him before passing the puck. It is the little things like that make it easy to play with him as a D partner. вЂњAnd of course his skating and his smarts get him into so many good opportunities and out of bad situations.вЂќ Spare- part Alberts fitted for D in Big D Brad Ziemer вЂ“ The Province | December 19, 2013 DALLAS вЂ” Ryan Stanton is in Vancouver and Frank Corrado remains in Utica. That means Andrew Alberts gets to play tonight in Dallas. Stanton, who suffered an apparent left ankle injury Tuesday in Minnesota, was shipped home for further evaluation, coach John Tortorella said after WednesdayвЂ™s practice in Dallas. And with no apparent plans to call up Corrado from the AHLвЂ™s Utica Comets, Alberts will get a chance to play when the Canucks meet the Dallas Stars. Alberts had an earlier chance to play a couple of weeks ago when Alex Edler went down with a knee injury and only lasted three games before the Canucks recalled Yannick Weber from the minors. Tortorella acknowledged Wednesday he is concerned that Alberts hasnвЂ™t played enough to help the team. вЂњThat is the reason why we have Webs in,вЂќ Tortorella said. вЂњHe had some game looks in the minor leagues. Andrew has practised hard with us, but just hasnвЂ™t had a lot of game time in any league. вЂњBut it is what it is, he is going to go in, we are not going to whine about this. All teams go through it, we just have to find a way to be the best that we can be.вЂќ It has been a difficult season for Alberts, who has played in only six games, averaging less than six minutes a night. Alberts is happy to get another chance, but understandably is tired about talking about his situation. вЂњYou obviously want to get more minutes, but itвЂ™s the coachвЂ™s discretion and they have got some stuff they want me to work on and that is kind of the holdup,вЂќ Alberts said. вЂњRight now we are just talking about reads and recognizing situations. ItвЂ™s something we looked at on tape and that I have been working on in practice. Hopefully I can learn from that, get better every day, use that in the games and get more minutes.вЂќ Tortorella acknowledged that Stanton is gone at least through the Christmas break and said Edler is not close to returning. вЂњHeвЂ™s still a ways away. I canвЂ™t even say day- to- day. ItвЂ™s after the break and who knows where from there.вЂќ OH SHOOTOUT: A day after his вЂњwe suck in the shootoutвЂќ comment, Tortorella acknowledged the team may have to become even more aggressive in overtime to try to win games and avoid the penaltyshot competition. The Canucks are 1- 4 in shootouts this season after dropping a 3- 2 decision Tuesday when all three Vancouver shooters failed to score. The Canucks have scored on only two of 18 shootout attempts this season. вЂњWe talked about three forwards maybe some time in the last couple of minutes ( of OT),вЂќ Tortorella said. вЂњIt certainly isnвЂ™t working with the shootouts. That could come into play.вЂќ Tortorella said the possibility of pulling the goalie in OT has also been discussed. вЂњWe were talking about it last night after the game, do you pull your goalie, or something like that?вЂќ The team did not practise shootouts on Wednesday and Tortorella said there is a reason for that. вЂњItвЂ™s easy to say they can practise the shootout, but you are in a practice arena, no fans around, no pressure, no other team in there ... it is very difficult to simulate a shootout,вЂќ he said. LETTING GO: The Canucks and minor- league forward Zach Hamill have parted company. Assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said the Canucks put Hamill on unconditional waivers after he left the Utica Comets. This has been brewing for a while. Gilman said he got a call from HamillвЂ™s agent two weeks ago. вЂњHe was out of the lineup, he wasnвЂ™t happy and he wanted to leave the team,вЂќ Gilman said Wednesday. вЂњWe asked him to give it 10 more days to see how things progressed. I received a call in Minnesota on Monday from his agent saying that Zach had enough and was leaving the team. вЂњWe immediately suspended him and notified him that unless he came back we were going to place him on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release and if he cleared waivers we were terminating the contract.вЂќ Hamill, a 25- year- old Port Coquitlam native, was selected eighth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2007 draft. He signed as a free agent with the Canucks this past summer. ItвЂ™s likely that Hamill will now try to play in Europe. вЂњAs an organization, if players are that unhappy and donвЂ™t want to be here then we donвЂ™t want them to be here either,вЂќ Gilman said. Canucks on the road: вЂ�We suck in the shootoutвЂ™ Dan Murphy вЂ“ Sportsnet | December 18, 2013, 5:08pm SHOOTING THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT вЂњWe suck in the shootout. We do. We have to try different people I guess because we stink at it.вЂќ -John Tortorella following 3-2 SO loss to the Wild on Tuesday Well, Torts isnвЂ™t lying: The Canucks do suck in the shootout. And doesnвЂ™t that always seem like itвЂ™s been the case? Vancouver play-by-play man and burger aficionado John Shorthouse reminded me that when the NHL adopted the shootout in 2005, every pre-season game that year included one regardless of the final score. And you know what? It took the Canucks until their fifth game to convert on a shootout attempt. This season the Canucks are two-for-18 in attempts, with Mike Santorelli and Alex Burrows the only guys to convert. Still, it could be worseвЂ”as hard as it is to believe, as of Wednesday morning there were three teams in the league with worse percentages than Vancouver: Nashville (0-11), New Jersey (1-17) and Detroit (2-20). вЂњShould the Canucks be trying new shootersвЂќ you ask? I would stick with Santorelli and Higgins (heвЂ™s been unlucky, hitting the post his last two attempts). I think Kesler still needs to be a part of the equation. After that, why not Kassian or Booth? MOUNTAIN MAN By now youвЂ™ve probably heard about David BoothвЂ™s pre-game вЂњwarm up.вЂќ It includes skipping, sprints and plyometrics, among other things. I guarantee you he burns 500 calories before the game even starts. Last season it got to the point the club asked him to tone it down a bit. The brass felt he would run out of gas in the later stages of games. Recently I asked him about it and this was his response: вЂњWe just had a guy (Ed Viesturs) who spoke to us and he has climbed Everest and the tallest mountains in the world. And he said he was getting to the point where he would climb Everest and then since he was over there, go climb another 27-thousand foot mountain because he didnвЂ™t need to recover. It takes some people a year to recover. That got me to thinking; like if a guy can go climb Everest and go climb another mountain, then I think I can work out an extra hour a day because I donвЂ™t think I will take a toll on my body.вЂќ Maybe now that BoothвЂ™s minutes are up a bit heвЂ™s going to have to rethink that. LEE FвЂ™IN GOREN I saw Lee Goren briefly following the Canucks loss in Minnesota. Goren, of course, had a brief stint with the Canucks from 2005-2007 playing a total of 30 games. His last NHL games came with Vancouver; after that he headed overseas to play six more seasons, before calling it quits last spring. My two lasting memories of Goren are: 1) As soon as he had had a few brews, his fake teeth would end up in someoneвЂ™s glass rather quickly. 2) In November of 2005 he shot a puck at practice that broke Matt CookeвЂ™s jaw. Cooke, a valuable member of the team at the time, was a favourite of thenвЂ“head coach Marc Crawford. Crawford was obviously displeased when he heard of the extent of the injury and I remember hearing Crow screaming in his office, вЂњLEE F***ING GOREN? LEE F***ING GOREN? LEE F***ING GOREN!!!вЂќ Ah, memories.