Bad Habits Vancouver Canucks Stars Need to Drop in 2013-14
With the 2013-14 season on the doorstep, it's time to start looking at how the Vancouver Canucks might perform.
The past few seasons have seen the Canucks find great success during the regular season and great disappointment thereafter.
It goes without saying that in the coming season, there are aspects that we'd like to see continue and those we'd like to cease.
The following are the habits the stars of the Vancouver Canucks must drop in order to be successful.
4. Letting the Opposition Under Your Skin
The Vancouver Canucks (Roberto Luongo in particular) have a history of seeming to let certain players and teams under their skin, drawing out penalties and sloppier play. For example, in the 2010 playoffs, Dustin Byfuglien pushed Luongo around and generally irritated him into playing poorly. As ProHockeyTalk.com put it:
Patrick Kane put a backhand shot on net and followed the puck through. Byfuglien more or less pushed Luongo (and basically the puck as well) into the twine and got away with a clear goalie interference. The goal went to video review, but interference isn’t something that can be overturned that way.
I’m not going to go as far as to say that Byfuglien and the Blackhawks are “in Luongo’s head” but this game, at least, got under his skin. He made 30 out of 35 saves while Antti Niemi completed a great night in net going 31 for 33.
At this level in professional sports, players must keep their composure and play the game.
With Cory Schneider now a New Jersey Devil, the Canucks have nowhere to turn when things go bad. This means that Luongo must not let the Dustin Byfugliens and Milan Lucics of the world get to him.
After watching the Canucks, you'll come to realize that there is such a thing as too many passes, regardless of how pretty they are.
At some point (preferably when your twin brother has left you with a wide open net), it's time to shoot the puck.
You know who you are, captain.
The Vancouver Canucks are one of, if not the most hated team in the NHL. And while I do believe that much of this is hatred stemmed from jealousy, there is some truth to the claims that the Canucks embellish hits.
Diving has no place in the NHL, and if the Canucks feel they need to do it in order to win, then that simply means they aren't good enough.
If the stars (Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler) don't smarten up on their own, hopefully new head coach John Tortorella will scare them straight.
1. Lazy and Untimely Penalties
Penalties in the NHL are usually taken to save goals or in response to a hit. However, they're also taken because of a careless, unnecessary play. When it comes to the Canucks, it's often the latter.
Last season, Alexandre Burrows tied for first in the league in minor penalties, with Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler and the Sedins not too far back.
This is not a stat to be proud of when you're meant to be leading by example.
With Tortorella behind the bench, penalties like this will result in sitting for longer than two minutes. We can only hope these players learn that lesson quickly.
Follow Riley Kufta on Twitter for more work and news around the NHL.