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Therrien: Vanek must ‘make some adjustments to his game’

Mar 14, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

ThomasVanekHabs Getty Images

The start of Thomas Vanek‘s time as a Canadien hasn’t been great — the team has lost all three games with him in the lineup, and he’s only managed to register one assist.

According to Habs head coach Michel Therrien, Vanek needs to change his style of play for the team to have more success.

“He’s got to make some adjustments to his game,” Therrien said, per NHL.com. “I understand that he’s confident on the left side; he’s been playing there most of his career.

“But at times you’ve got to adjust with the players that you’ve got and put together lines that you think will give you success as a team.”

Therrien has been playing Vanek as a right winger and seems set on continuing to do so. At Friday’s skate, Vanek was on the right side of center David Desharnais (Max Pacioretty was on the left), this after spending some time as a right winger on the Tomas Plekanec-Brian Gionta line (Daniel Briere is the RW now.)

It’s worth noting, however, that some metrics suggest Vanek’s game is fine the way it is.

According to SB Nation site Eyes on the Prize, Vanek’s Fenwick rating — a shot-based possession stat — is 62. 9 percent and Montreal’s is plus-21 percent when he’s on the ice. There’s also the argument Therrien should use Vanek more, as the Austrian forward has yet to top the 18 minute plateau in any of his three games with Montreal, and twice failed to crack 16.

  1. bcisleman - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    By my figuring, based upon $7 mil per & 82 game sked, that one point cost $130K.

  2. thomasvanek - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Why would you put your best scorer on his off wing? It took Ovi forever to get used to the change.

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Forever? As in one 48 game season? Pretty sure he leads the league with about 900 goals this year….

      • thomasvanek - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        I’m sure caps fans were happy with the 32 and 38 goal seasons by him before the short season. Even this year he is on pace for only his 3rd best scoring season.

      • thomasvanek - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        Plus Montreal doesn’t have an entire 48 games to wait for him to get used to it. He is a restricted free agent and he probably isn’t going to resign with them.

    • cantescapekarma - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      Actually, Vanek is a right handed shot, so when he was playing left wing he was playing on his off wing.

      • thomasvanek - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:32 PM

        Maybe I misunderstood the definition of off wing, but what I meant is the side he doesn’t usually play.

      • guitarisgood4u - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:57 AM

        I’m not surprised to learn that thomasvanek speaks of himself in the third person.

  3. slaugin - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    I’m glad Bruins didn’t get him, he doesn’t fit with any of the lines. Not to mention he failed to prepare for his Country’s biggest game.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 15, 2014 at 4:17 AM

      Failed to prepare ? I beg to differ:

  4. travishenryskid - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Vanek is a nice player, but losing seems to follow him. Buyer beware.

    • imgoingtowichita - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      Well put.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Mar 15, 2014 at 2:40 AM

        Losing as in winning a National Championship at Minnesota??

  5. sabatimus - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Halford, proofread that last paragraph. It’s pretty well a disaster.

    • imleftcoast - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      You don’t need “There’s also an argument to be made that”. Therrien maybe should use Vanek more – only once playing him more than 16 minutes.

      • sabatimus - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        True, but the problems go way beyond that.

    • Mike Halford - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:48 AM

      Yes, apologies for that. Fixed.

  6. rjt34 - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    “Vanish”.. Lazy

  7. tdrusher225 - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    They don’t have time for this. I understand the coaching ethics behind it, but if Therrien wants to win he needs to put his best players in the best position to succeed. Vanek producing at a high level could mean the difference between a first round exit and the Conference Finals for the Habs.

  8. richc111 - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    good luck changing him, has never happened in the past. I have always said Vanek is a nice player and a good guy to have on you team but he is not a leader on the ice. He will play the way he likes when he wants

  9. zinger99 - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Here’s an adjustment Vanek can make-give an effort.

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