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Linden thinks Torts misused the Sedins

Apr 11, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT

We said yesterday on PHT Extra that we’d be surprised if John Tortorella were back as coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

Let’s just say we haven’t changed our minds after reading what new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden said on the radio, per vancitybuzz:

1. Linden part 1 – thoughts on coaching

Were the Sedins misused this year?

“I think you have to use your people where they will best excel, and good coaches understand that. I haven’t talked to John about it. I think most people would say you put your best offensive players in the most offensive positions you can.”

Was it a good idea to use the twins to block shots and kill penalties?

“It’s one of those things where I probably felt personally it was a misuse of their abilities, but I’d have to dig deeper into it.”

Also interesting was the following comment from former Canucks coach — and Linden confidante to this day — Pat Quinn:

“During the first part of the year, (the Canucks) played (their) veterans until their noses were bleeding, and then we started to hit the injuries. I talked to (team doctor) Mike Bernstein and he said the injuries are terrible. He said so many of them are coming from the blocked shots and they’re fractures, and they’re not easily healed.”


Interesting, because it sounds a lot like what Rangers general manager Glen Sather said, per, last year after he fired Tortorella:

“If you look at the injuries that we’ve had over the years, there’s a number of guys that are really getting [beat up] in our end because we’ve constantly had to defend our own end.”

Related: Henrik Sedin admits plan to contribute more defensively may have backfired

  1. bilbono - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Jason, I just wanted to bring this to your attention:

    New Robert Luongo Mask Uses Stolen Fan Concept

    Sorry I don’t know how else to contact you about this.

  2. hockey412 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    “and good coaches understand that”

    Yeah he’s gone.

  3. joey4id - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Oh! Really! Any five year old could have as told you that. The most illiterate hockey fan on PHT has been saying that from the outset of the season.

    • thailer35 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      “The most illiterate hockey fan on PHT has been saying that from the outset of the season.”

      I don’t remember you saying that at the beginning of the season, joey.

      BTW, we are all curious if you’re behind that concussion lawsuit that was dicussed yesterday.

      • joey4id - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        But I remember you writing exactly that. 😉

        Unlike you and most here I am a scholar of “the game”. There are but a few here which can be considered as a connoisseur like me. There are few that have the extensive experience in playing, coaching, player development, and management. Most of you here are sheep. You chose to select a team because you don’t have an identity and live by the ups and downs of your team. Most don’t have the knowledge and cahoonas to make predictions that are not their own.

        “The road to the cup begins with winners like Sakic and Roy. No doubt we’re going to see a very different team next year. Don’t be surprised if we see a turn around like we did in Montreal.”

      • thailer35 - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        I would love to play against you sometime, oh great scholar joey. PHT should organize a big tournament for us. Dibs on ibie as my goalie.

      • imleftcoast - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        A rec game would really clear the animosity in this site. I’d love to see who has skills and who is just a big whiner. My inclination would be to put joey over the boards, but sometimes he writes something I agree with. Blomfeld, on the other hand, would have to be on the other squad.

      • kaptaanamerica - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        @joey , i’ve been predicting the Leafs wouldn’t make the playoffs, except the lockout year cuz it was too short, every year for the past ten or so and was right every time. i also predicted montreal would be better and would finish behind boston in their div… I did say the Canucks would be better but who could have predicted the injuries etc.. that would ravage the team in this manner.

        btw, how do you search out your old quotes, i don’t see where that is done and the search box doesn’t seem to find anything by user on this site..

  4. thailer35 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    First of all, best picture ever, Torts mean mugging a hand puppet he drew on.

    Second, I think the game is changing in that shot blocking might be becoming too hazardous to be worthwhile in the long run. We all debated about goalie equipment changes before the season and points were made about, yes, goalie pads have gotten bigger over the years, but the new technology used in players sticks makes the speed of shots that much greater. I think the argument can be made that players aren’t wearing enough protective equipment for it to make sense to get down, block a shot, and stop the puck from getting on net, and risk being out the next however many games. Keeping a player off of the IR may be worth a few extra goals given up a year.

    • govtminion - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      I agree on shot blocking. There’s a time for it, sure, but we’re seeing players firing the puck with much more power than in years past. Not to say that past players were weaklings, but… even leaving aside hard-shot monsters like Chara and Weber, just look at how dangerous it’s become to be in the way of these shots. Think of the playoffs last year- remember Malkin’s shot breaking Campbell’s leg during the Penguins/Bruins series? How often did something like that happen back in the ’80s or ’90s?

      Players are bigger and stronger these days than ever before. Shots are harder than ever. Bones, they’ve stayed pretty much the same. And it’s hard to determine when it’s a good idea to block a shot or when it’s going to be ridiculously dangerous- so while I don’t want to see it go away completely as an option, I do think a coach who preaches it as a ‘must do’ tactic like this needs to re-evaluate his priorities.

      • hockey412 - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        It’s also the sticks, as much as anything. The composite sticks being used now are made year after year to allow for harder and harder shots. A lot less accurate than old wooden sticks, but damn they flex.

        I guess my point is that I agree. When you invest that much money in a player to be ‘the guy’ that puts pucks in the net, then damn, let him be that guy. You don’t see Tampa putting Stamkos out to block shots in 5 on 3, or Crosby in Pittsburgh…you just can’t risk the investment.

      • govtminion - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        A very good point, the sticks are a big part as well- I hadn’t thought about that. Thank you!

  5. getadealdonealready - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    It just seems that Torts has a style that doesn’t have long term success. Yelling and screaming can be used occasionally to rally the troops, but when used daily just doesn’t seem to get the trick done.

  6. muckleflugga - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    all composite sticks have done is arm more players with better shots …

    there is no player on this planet that could shoot pucks harder than did bobby and dennis hull

    jaques lemaire in particular and guy lafleur had screaming slap shots cut loose on the fly that could maim and often did … snap shots from mickey redmond and mike bossey were every bit as lethal but accurate … in and out before goalies could move

    all used wood and only fools would step in front of their shots …

    the best indicator of the extent to which speed and weight of shots in the contemporary game has tailed-off is willingness of players to block shots while dropping or going to their knees

    i have yet to see a player, short of weber in the present, come close to players using wood … too much is made of chara and other big winners of all star game skill competitions … food of the young and uninitiated

    what surprises me is willingness of goalies to permit shot blocking … there was a day when a goalie would go nuts if anyone so much as dropped a stick in front of an incoming missile

    still, squandering talent like the sedins in static defensive roles is demonstrative of just how limited tortorella is in his thinking … defensive play has virtue, but a pressing and harrying skating attack trumps butt-ugly shot blocking every time

    the ‘defence wins hockey games’ philosophy is equally regressive and mantra of the pedant … the best defence in hockey bar none, is watching your opposing goalie dig pucks out of his own net …

    make war and make it in your opponents back yard

    the sedins and alexandre burrows and ryan kesler were once pretty good at such endeavour

  7. steverolley - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Already like Linden better than Gillis, finally a guy who speaks his mind instead of spewing corporate dribble! Gillis talked like a lawyer and was never straight with the fanbase.

    Here’s how Gillis would of answered the question:

    “We will evaluate this as we evaluate everything in the organization. If we find something that may be problematic then we will set in forth a plan that will look to rectify any potential problems with solutions that are forward thinking. It’s inappropriate to comment on certain issues regarding players or coaches….”

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      Steve – the imaginary Gillis response leads me to believe that you’re a lawyer. lol!

  8. rpiotr01 - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Torts respectfully disagrees – the best place for your offensive skill players is chasing the puck in their own zone and putting their ankles in front of opposing slap shots.

    Some day there will be a NHL team comprised of titanium robots, and John Tortorella will rule that day. Until then, time to move on.

  9. muckleflugga - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    nice to have you back joey … after that unwarranted blistering from a ravening pack i thought you’d come back axe sharpened

    be warned, i’m keeping an eye on your accuracy rating :-}

    i can’t tell if you’re winding people up deliberately or your just gifted that way lmao

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      better catch that arse b4 it falls off

    • blomfeld - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM


      Judge: counsel for the Truth, kindly state your two favorite posters at this PHT website

      Blomfeld: of course your honor … that would be comrade Joey and comrade Flugga

      Judge: thank you counsel

      Blomfeld: my pleasure your honor

      Judge: the court now recognizes comrades Joey & Flugga as being ‘de facto’ hockey experts !

      Gallery: hurray ! .. hurray ! .. hurray ! :) :) :)

      summary: violence against women is ‘wrong’ and therefore Torts must now pay !

      • joey4id - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Judge, you get free advice from the Association of Commenters for Retirement Planning for Professional Hockey Players, LLC, which is currently advising Martin Brodeur. This association is headed by fellow commenters and hockey retirement experts; phillyphannnn83, govtminion, or Lupy Nazty Philthy. For marital expertise you can contact jr507.

        Counsel, check is in the mail.

  10. amityvillefun - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    I think it is ridiculous to have “one way players” that don’t play defense. Asking the Sedin twins to play some defense shouldn’t rile anyone. You can’t win games if you can’t defend the puck in your own end.

    Torts is going to take the heat for this underachieving team, but he’s not on the ice. They are the ones without the heart and the motivation. Torts maybe didn’t help the problem, but he’s not the sole source of it either.

    If players and a team can’t take enough pride in their game to give a full effort, it’s on them, not the coach. A coach can only shake the pom-poms so much, it’s up to the players on the ice to motivate themselves and this year the Canucks just didn’t have it.

    Torts will probably lose his job, but in reality, it’s probably more on the players than anything he said or did. But, it’s the coach who usually gets blamed in these instances….

    Saying that Tort’s “misused” the twins because he asked them to backcheck and block shots is a joke. He was just asking them to play like men.

    Brad Marchand outed the twins for what they really are: cowards with no cajones.

    • micasa81 - Apr 12, 2014 at 5:36 AM

      Amityville, you’ve blubbed on here multiple times about how you don’t like the way the Canucks do national anthems – pretty sure you’ve lost your evaluative privileges with respect to who has “cajones”.

      Also, the comments about the Sedins the last couple of days are really showing how little other teams’ fans actually know about what kind of players they are. They’ve always been tenacious backcheckers, as well as being really hard to knock off the puck. The only reason the defence question has come up at all is because AV used them very strategically, i.e. always on the PP/offensive zone faceoffs, rarely on the PK/defensive zone faceoffs, and Torts doesn’t. By saying the Sedins lack the effort to play proper defense, you’re just embarrassing yourself with your ignorance. You appear to be 100% proficient in looking up Youtube videos, so there’s really no excuse, even if you don’t watch them on a regular basis.

  11. amityvillefun - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Oh wait, this is much better!

  12. canucks30 - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Dear John Tortorella,



    Trevor Linden
    Vancouver Canucks

  13. billiam55 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    i think torts should stop coaching and be an analyst for NBC hockey. In between the benches with John Tortorella. Now thatd be fun to watch

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      I like your idea, billiam. Problem is, you’d never see Torts actually BETWEEN the benches. He’d be constantly climbing over the glass to get at one coach or another.

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