FAN wrote:Ya AV was always "managing" the minutes of young offensive players who needed to get better defensively.
Imagine that, a head coach "managing" minutes. The nerve!
That's why the team can't score.
As pointed out a guy who went elsewhere and ended up on a team without enough depth to bench him when he's awful (Grabner) still produces at roughly the same rate as a guy who succeeded here (Raymond) and gets minutes on a "can't score" team with a "can't score" philosophy.
AV will always take a veteran guy with 20 goal 40 point potential who is reliable defensively to a guy with 30 goal 60 point potential who makes the type of defensive mistakes young players make.
Some young players eventually stop making those mistakes.. but it probably takes extraordinary commitment on their part if they're never held accountable for them.
Look at Cody Hodgson, he delivered on all that offensive promise this season - sometimes - and still came out with a worse +/- at even strength than almost anyone on his team, almost anyone on the Canucks and one of the worst rates of being scored against in the league.
I see those numbers and I am glad the Canucks didn't stake their season on Hodgson being able to win big matchups - in the end our result wasn't much better but, the outcome with Hodgson as a top line player was predictable.
So don't misconstrue the facts here, we've all watched how AV treated Hodgson, Grabner, and Kassian. Don't make it sound like AV didn't jerk those guys around.
I don't really disagree with this. I guess philosophically the idea is that young players had better take their lumps (confidence-wise) and get over it, then play the way they need to in order to succeed at the highest level - those who can't or don't probably aren't worth much hand-wringing over.
I'm not sure I 100% agree with it, but whatever.
AV was never comfortable playing Hodgson and you know how AV rewarded Grabner for scoring a hat trick the previous night? He didn't. Grabner played less shifts and played less minutes the rest of the way. That's the thing with AV. A top prospect shows what he's capable of offensively and they get parked on the bench or demoted to the 4th line if they don't produce the next game or two. How long did it take for Kassian to get demoted off Sedins' line after his quick start? Like one game?
AV has always maintained that he is about the process and not necessarily the short term results. We've seen it numerous times over the years, and Grabner's hat trick is no exception - Kyle Wellwood was productive in his first few games with the team prior to being waived, if I recall Sergei Shirokov was the same (and never made it back).
Now that the larger scale results are no longer pointing in AV's favour it's pretty clear it's time to try a new coach, but for a long time you couldn't really argue with his results.
I can understand someone defending AV for trying to win hockey games and thus not playing the kids. But you can't at the same time argue that AV was right in not cutting Sedins' and Kesler's minutes when it is Hodgson who is producing. Besides, there are ways to reward a guy with more ice time. You don't see San Jose haven't a problem developing Couture despite having Thornton, Marleau, and Pavelski there.
San Jose likes having numerous centers distributed through their lineup though, and frankly I'd suggest that Couture is a poor example because the Canucks haven't had a young forward as talented as that since the Sedins arrived here.
We'll never get the chance to find out, but it would be interesting to see what AV might have done with a legitimate blue chip forward prospect, given the chance.