After the Chicago Blackhawks blasted the Vancouver Canucks 7-1 on Saturday night, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault offered the following comments:
He had issues with the Blackhawks skating their first power play unit in the third period, and felt that the defending champions took liberties at his team’s expense. His later comments included the following:
“We basically embarrassed ourselves tonight in front of our fans, and they did everything they could tonight to rub it in our face… 6-0 and they throw their number one power play unit [out there] when it’s a 5-on-3. They have every right to do that. They did it. They were pushing it, and they did.”
To contrast, here are comments from Chicago coach Joel Quenneville after his team got blasted 7-2 by the Calgary Flames on Friday night, a game in which Flames captain Jarome Iginla had a hat trick.
Does anyone else notice some very distinct differences?
Vancouver continues to have one of the best regular season teams in the NHL, but fails on an annual basis once the postseason begins. If these two interviews are anything, they show the overwhelming difference between a coach with a ring and one that hopes his team will win him one at some point.
Vigneault, just as he did after the Canucks were eliminated by the Hawks in the playoffs, made excuses. On Saturday night, the Blackhawks were rude and took advantage of his team. Yes, the same Blackhawks that started their backup goalie and had allowed a touchdown the night before.
Nobody in the media asked Vigneault if the roles were reversed, what his approach would have been to a game against a rival if his team was playing well.
The Blackhawks have been inconsistent the entire season and have, on occasion, struggled to hold onto leads. After his team didn’t get off the bus on Friday night, Queneville didn’t say the Flames were poor hosts for skating their captain in the third period; he took his team to task for not performing. Quenneville, unlike Vigneault, held his team accountable and, in his continuing effort to get 60 minutes of hockey from his roster per night, skated his full roster in the third period in Vancouver.
If Vigneault wants an apology after last night, he should start at Roberto Luongo’s locker, not looking down the hall at Quenneville.