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Don Cherry: “I don’t think Vancouver’s paying the price”

Oct 29, 2011, 9:54 PM EDT

Alex Pietrangelo Barret Jackman Ryan Kesler AP

Everyone has an opinion on the early season problems in Vancouver. There are plenty of people pointing at Roberto Luongo’s slow start, while others choose to go with the vague “Cup Final hangover” theory. Don Cherry threw his tie suit hat into the ring tonight when he called out the Canucks, their whining, and overall lack of effort throughout the first month of the season. As usual, Grapes didn’t pull any punches.

The CBC hockey personality pointed to only 84 blocked shots in 10 games for Vancouver—that was the kindest observation he had for the slumping Canucks. Cherry rhetorically asked, “Why does everyone hate Vancouver?” Then he went on to point out three occasions when Vancouver players chose to complain to the on-ice officials instead of engaging their opponent.

Like fans around the league needed any more fuel for the Canucks and their diving ways.

He finished off the segment with some fireworks. “Stop whining. Start paying the price,” Cherry said. “Quit blaming the goaltenders, and you’ll start winning again.” Throw in the obligatory thumbs up and there you have it.

Even though Cherry has a larger than life persona and comes off as the crazy uncle these days, he certainly has a point in this case. The Canucks are slumping and there’s enough blame to go around to everyone. Luongo has struggled in the early going, but the entire team has struggled as well. They set an impossibly high standard last season—now we’re finding how just how important it is for every team to play to their highest potential. With the parity that exists around the league, average effort just won’t get it done.

With all of the drama surrounding the Canucks, there are plenty of question marks to be addressed on the team. Aside from goaltending, what do you think is Vancouver’s biggest problem?

  1. trbowman - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Don Cherry is a moron.

  2. goforthanddie - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Aside from goaltending, what do you think is Vancouver’s biggest problem?

    Listening to Don Cherry.

  3. babar61 - Oct 30, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Holy, what is with all these Canucks/luongo struggling articles? The bruins are 3-7, why don’t we see more negative things about them?

    • comeonnowguys - Oct 30, 2011 at 5:28 PM

      Because they’re not a bunch of divers, head shot artists, and complainers with a headcase in goal.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM

      Because they won the Stanley Cup last year.

    • warpstonebc - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:37 AM

      Easy answer: NBC went out of its way to characterize the Bruins as plucky underdogs with an inspirational (American) goalie.

      It’s easy to take shots at the Canucks when they struggle. Just like it was easy to take shots at the Oilers or any other market not serviced by an American media outlet.

      No doubt the Canucks have struggled. The problem is that we’re only 10 games into the season. Obviously no team will be in the same place in the standings come April. This doesn’t stop lazy bloggers from sniping off cheap shot posts that play to their target market though. Ho hum.

      • mgp1219 - Nov 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        I’ve got some news for you…
        It’s easy to take shots at the Cannots, period.

  4. saintez - Oct 30, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    They are acting like entitled babies. Don’t blame don cherry. He’s just truth telling.

  5. sonofsamiam - Oct 30, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Babies? Whiners? Sounds about right to me.

  6. jason9696 - Oct 30, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    The majority of their fans are morons. That’s a problem right there.

  7. canucks18 - Oct 30, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    Beat it jason9696…. Ur a turd…

  8. canucks18 - Oct 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    The Canucks beat up on the Caps and all you can pull out of last nights games is the negative??? Weitz you and your writing are a joke

    • danphipps01 - Oct 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM

      I love how just about every single post you make is to insult a writer for not exalting the Canucks as the pinnacle of hockey. Protip: you are why everyone hates Vancouver fans.

  9. polegojim - Oct 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Canucks biggest problem is in their head, for every player.

    After their performance last season, the Finals loss was a HUGE let down, massive. They’re NOT over it. Someone’s got to stand up and start playing with heart again and lead this team.

    If not, it’s time to mix up on-ice personnel. Caps win is a start – was it the remedy and can it be sustained? We’ll see next week.

    • warpstonebc - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:48 AM

      I think you’re close, but it’s not just the players. It’s also the coaching. Vigneult has failed to adjust since basically game 3 of the cup finals. Maybe he’s just incredibly confidant, but my guess is that he was simply outcoached in the finals and is now failing to adjust to teams that have figured out his team’s tendencies and weaknesses.

      The Canucks D has been particularly in shambles but very little has been done to shore it up. For whatever reason, the same resourcefulness that was there last season isn’t present yet on the blueline. It’s more than just the lost of Ehrhoff, it’s the utter lack of shot-blocking that Cherry (despite his usual nonsense) get’s right.

  10. pugsley927 - Oct 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    They were a bunch of whiny bitches in the Finals last year and have learned nothing from the experience.

  11. danphipps01 - Oct 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – until they have a leader who the players actually respect enough to follow and who is mature and strong-willed enough to handle the captaincy PROPERLY, the fact that they’ve got arguably the most skilled team in the League means nothing. They have fantastic players in almost every position, but half of them can’t keep their emotions in check at all. Kesler, Burrows, Hansen, Lapierre, Torres (evidently he was just too much even for them, though)… put the pressure on them and they’ll start chirping and diving and taking awful, pointless penalties all over the ice. Put a bit of pressure on Luongo (really, all it takes is skating in front of him while someone else shoots – see: Dustin Byfuglien) and he’ll crack and let awful goals in. Who do they have to get them back in line, to tell them to smarten up and focus on the play? Henrik the human punching bag, too scared of a fight to take on BRAD FUCKING MARCHAND? Yeah, he’s not convincing anyone to follow him to glory by waiting for a referee to save him from being beat up by a tiny skill forward. He’s an emotionless, passionless coward and his brother’s no different. The same team with Jaroma Iginla or Jonathan Toews would go the whole way, guaranteed, but until they get a real captain, they’ll be too busy hurling themselves to the ice in mock agony to win.

    • warpstonebc - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:43 AM

      That’s retarded. How many top-line guys with a C on their shoulder have led their team to the cup by beating people up?

      Despite the NHL’s best efforts to keep it cro-magnon, hockey culture is changing… for the better. Clutching and grabbing is down, fighting is increasingly silly (two tough guys staging a fight 99% of the time) and only idiots advocate against increased safety measures and prevention of pure violence.

      Is diving annoying? Hell yes, but so is the pretension that playing a thuggish way is any better. The point of the game is to put pucks in the net. It’s not WWF.

      • danphipps01 - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        Who said anything about needing to be more thuggish? I said they need to be more mature. Try to pay attention this time – their players have hair-trigger tempers and as soon as something goes wrong, one of them will start being stupid and dragging everyone else down, be it Burrows taking a stupid penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct or Bieksa crosschecking someone because he can’t keep from having a tantrum. What they need to curtail this is a captain who they actually listen to, and generally speaking, captains who the players actually listen to do something to earn their respect. Henrik isn’t much of a leader – not because he’s not a fighter, but because he doesn’t stand up for himself or his team. You don’t need to punch people in the face to earn respect, but you need to step up and show SOME grit. Do Iginla or Toews strike you as goon players? Of course they don’t, but if Brad Marchand punched them in the face, they’d knock him down and get back to the game. Henrik and Daniel were more concerned with trying to draw penalties than tell their players to stop diving and focus. They don’t need to be thugs by any stretch of the imagination – but they need to be able to control their players’ tempers when they flare and they either can’t or don’t try. Iginla or Toews could do that.

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