Alain Vigneault's job on the line if Canucks lose Game 4

This evening, some Vancouver Canucks fans are probably wondering if the team will ever win a Stanley Cup in their lifetime.

Since entering the NHL in 1970-71, the team has often been dreadful, sometimes been above average, and was really only among the elite squads over a sustained period of time under coach Alain Vigneault.

But Vigneault could never take the team all the way. He oversaw the collapse against the Bruins at the end of the 2010–11 Stanley Cup final, the early departure against the Los Angeles Kings last year, and the looming elimination by the Sharks in the first round this year.

Vigneault decided to start Cory Schneider tonight in Game 3 even though Roberto Luongo played exceptionally well in the first two games of the series.

"Roberto wasn’t the reason we lost those last two games," Vigneault told reporters. "Cory was healthy. He was the guy I wanted to go with. It was my decision.”

Schneider ended up allowing some soft goals in the third period on the way to a 5-2 loss. This has put Vigneault's job in jeopardy.

Luongo said in a postgame interview that there are a "couple of guys playing their hearts out", but Vancouver needs all 20 to show up for Game 4.

The veteran goalie might as well have said that some of the guys are phoning it in—and that's not good enough at this time of the year, especially considering their multimillion-dollar annual salaries.

If the players aren't performing up to their abilities, the usual management response is to find a new coach.

If Vancouver loses on Tuesday (May 7) in San Jose, it's hard to see how Vigneault could possibly return for another season in Vancouver.

Comments (19) Add New Comment
Susan Callin
how can you blame Alain? I now live in Victoria. Was a season ticket holder forever.
The Sedins have no passion. The whole team needs to play
Ike they have pride, love of the game and respect for their coach, and all of the people in the in their lives.
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Waitin4ever
It's Mike Gillis that needs to get fired, he 's done nothing to improve the 2011 team which was so close. Sedin's have got nothing left and have never been playoff performers. Trade them and start the rebuild.
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nuckleheads
How can you blame AV? Well. lets see, its he that is supposed to coach this team, its gillis that brought this crap team together. If the Sedins suck so bad, which they do, why does AV keep rewarding them with ice time? So I guess the policy in the organization is that if you are useless, like the sedins, raymons, edler, hamhuis, etc etc, you get more ice time. Wow,,..,talk about accountability..just the same as the linden,quinn,mclean ,lumme country clubbers of yesteryear.
$3 years of not winning anything speaks volumes. There is no more room for excuses or hope. They are done. The fans, who keep supporting a loser organization ,are getting what they deserve. Glad I washed my hands of them 15 years ago.It's the delusional fans who keep this choke team alive year after year. When you support crap, you get nothing but crap back. It's not hard to figure it out.
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nuckleheads
Correction 43 years of not winning a thing*, well that's self explanatory. The canucks probably think the
"presidents choice" trophy is the ultimate goal. LOL
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Richard Parker
Canucks are down 3-0 in the first round. No problem. They'll bounce back and win next 12 games, or a least lose the next one with a token struggle. One thing about the Canucks - they never give up until they start losing.

Season tickets for next year, oh yeah!
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Lotto Max
There's no more excuses! Even if the Canucks win game 4, they will probably still get eliminated by the Sharks in game 5 or 6 unless the whole team decides to wake up & get serious.

Watching the Maple Leafs vs the Bruins is way more entertaining!!!
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The Broom
Vigneault should be fired if Canucks are swept. The coach must have these multi-millionaires prepared for playoffs to play at a higher level. Instead, this talented "regular-season team" plays with little desire come playoff time. Alain has been one of my all-time faves, but, it's a cut-throat results-oriented league.
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David L.
Its a pity Alain has done the best anyone could do with what he was given. Mr. Gillis has done nothing and should be the first to go, as for the Sedin twins they do have skills but are too "flowery" without enough "Raw Passion" .
Unfortunately its time for a complete rebuild of the team as this year is a write off.
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KelownaKeith
Mike Gillis need to be fired. And then the new GM needs to hire a new coach. The Hodgson for Kassian trade is looking awful. He should have gotten something for Luongo that would have helped the team in the Playoffs.
AV's head scratching line combinations are puzzling. It's a simple game: Get pucks and bodies to the Net. Forget about the fancy passing displays that usually end in turnovers, especially on the Power Play.
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JMW
Living in Ottawa, I'm not either for or against the Canucks. I'd like to see them win the Stanley Cup simply because they've never won it before (I was happy for LA last year...).

But, living in Ottawa, I noticed a lot of similarities between the Canucks and the Sens in the last couple of years. Both went to the final and got their heads handed to them. Both made the playoffs the following year, but exited in the first round. Ottawa missed the playoffs the year after; Vancouver got in this year but were in danger of missing at one point. Both collapsed in the playoffs.

In Ottawa, the same core never threatened to touch Lord Stanley's Cup again.

Time to start over.
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Lee L.
The Canucks play like a team which has been 'over coached'. Individual brilliance and creative play, which makes a team unpredictable to play against, appears to have been squashed. This is why watching the Canucks now is so boring.

I mean, they are 99 percent likely to be going down within 2 games... so split up the Sedins. Make them play like they did when they had no choice but to be without each other. Art Ross champions they are.

Gee, I think I'll offer to take Vigneault's spot for half his money!
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Hazlit
How about getting some culture guys? Season tickets to the opera instead? It's better for you and for the world around you.
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gerald.b@tlaaminhealth.com
Why would the coach put in Schneider who hasn`t played in three weeks or so ? Luongo was doing great, what has Mike Gillis done to improve team, picked up 1 player at the deadline, I really think he has to change the core or hit the road. Frustrated Nuck fan
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RUK
AV is a good coach, he has won a Jack Adams and is the winningest coach in Canucks history.

But I agree with Charlie, he is on the line here. Part of the reason for coaching changes is to bring a fresh persepctive to the job. I think that AV has been innovative in some areas (zone starts) but never designed a scheme around the players that he has got. This is a skill team. But we don't play skill hockey; we never skate through with position, it is always chip and chase, forecheck, and 30 second shifts. That's how you use an all-grinding team.

Hazlit, you're right. Or are you? Have there been any good operas since Puccini?
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ACMESalesRep
First off, the Luongo contract is an albatross and everybody knows it. That's on Gillis. That said, it's the coach's job to make the adjustments necessary to beat a playoff opponent. Has AV demonstrated an ability to do that? Not really. His willingness to embrace zone matching (rather than line matching) with guys like Manny Malhotra briefly gave the team an advantage, but the rest of the league has since caught up. If he can't figure out how to put lines together than can actually get shots on net, then he's the problem.
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Alan Layton
I think a lot of jobs are on the line right now. I don't believe the failure in the playoffs have much to do with the coaching. The Canucks have looked weak all year and even though their record is decent they barely won a good chunk of their games. They have no players anywhere near the top of the many races and it showed in their lack of scoring. Overall there has been a lack of passion, and with such a high rating for so many years the Canucks haven't been getting the good draft picks that a team needs to succeed. I think we are very near the end of an era and we should expect to see some major housecleaning in the next few years.
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RUK
The question is, and maybe Paterson can pick this up, is whether Vancouver is ready for the major housecleaning.

We have another year of Sedins and it is tempting to go all in once more.

However, what we are in danger of becoming is Calgary, a team that was good enough to get into the Finals but slid down to being a team that was just bad enough not to make the playoffs, while being good enough to avoid drafting the elite prospects. That is a bad bad situation, the worst of both worlds.

The Canucks could do a rebuild - intentionally trade away almost all of their star veterans and concentrate on developing their kid players and building through the draft. Two maybe four years of Pittsburghian suckitude, but then hopefully an era of Pittsburghian ascendency.

Is that a business model that would fly here in Vancouver? Are there enough fans who would continue to buy tickets to watch an awful product?
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Ghostdog
In other first round series it's one great battle after another - Sens/Canadiens, Pens/Islanders, Blues/Kings. I don't see a player on any of those teams showing even the slightest hint of quitting.

But in our series (Canucks/Sharks) we have players quitting in the third period of game 3 on Sunday. Absolutely Brutal. Did you see Coach V in the postgame interview? He was in shock, like he'd just had his heart ripped out - it's bad enough some players are mailing in their performance, but in Sunday's game some players just flat out quit on him.

So the unbelievable conclusion is that for at least some Canucks players quitting is an acceptable option. So yes indeed, blow this team up.

Blow it up - Happy Trails, Sedins - if you can't get it done in the playoffs, nobody cares how much you score in the regular season; Adios, Mike Gillis (btw, check the numbers for Grabner and Hodgson - BOTH would have lead the Canucks in goals this year); and Bon Chance to each player who quit in the third period of Sunday's game 3 - Goodbye, we'd like some players who know how give it everything they have, and for 60 or more minutes per game, Thank You.
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chris victoria
the canucks organization is in a fog, it all started when hodgson was traded for kassian. It was a big loss when Erhoff left only to lose Salo. What did this team do ? Sign chewbacca Garrison to a big contract. How about Booth, the biggest pussy on ice next to raymond. The canucks are in big trouble and I am stuck as a fan. Fuck you
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