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Bieksa: Canucks need to stop chasing in defensive zone

Oct 15, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT

kevinbieksagetty Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks will try to snap a two-game losing streak tonight in Philadelphia. And according to defenseman Kevin Bieksa, sticking to new coach John Tortorella’s system will be key to accomplishing that objective.

“Sometimes, you revert back to old habits and we’re chasing a little bit,” Bieksa said, per the Province.

“We want to stay a little bit closer to our net in those critical areas. There are a few goals we’ve let in from the slot that are going through two guys. That shouldn’t happen. We should be real tight in our end and making them shoot from the outside.

“We’re giving up point-blank shots.”

For example…

We wrote last month about the differences between Tortorella’s system and his predecessor Alain Vigneault’s. And consistent with what he’s saying now, Bieksa said the Canucks would play “more or less… a zone coverage” in the defensive end, as opposed to the man-on-man pressure they’d been applying previously.

“So it’s being patient and taking care of your responsibilities,” Bieksa said.

  1. imleftcoast - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    What’s next: Tortorella’s comments on not letting your emotions get the best of you? Bieksa is terrible in defensive-zone coverage. He’s never on the back post, and his new tendency this season to make offensive rushes is not helping him or Hamhuis.

    • micasa81 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Actually, I think that of that defensive pair, it’s Hamhuis whose play has been the most out of character so far this season. Bieksa is Bieksa, he’s going to be made to look like a fool in his own end at times while also making some nice offensive plays at key times in games. Hamhuis, however, is at his best when he’s in perfect position, always making the right quick decisions with the puck. That’s why it’s worrying to me to have seen the handful of cringeworthy moments he’s already produced only six games into the season. And no, I’m not even counting the own goal.

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