It’s always pretty easy to tell that it’s spring. Flowers and trees are in bloom. Another baseball season is in full swing. And the Vancouver Canucks fell flat on their faces in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Even though this was a shortened season, due to the lockout, the Canucks made sure to include their annual playoff meltdown. Just like last season, it came in the first round, and it came at the hands of a lower-seeded club, this time being the San Jose Sharks.
Yes, the overtime goal that sent the Canucks to the golf course did come on a power play stemming from a simply horrid penalty call. But with the way the Sharks were dictating the play and pace of the extra frame, it would have been very surprising to see the Canucks win it anyway.
The difference in this year’s playoff failure, as opposed to the several years prior, is the fact that this time will likely end up costing people jobs. The roster could see a bit of an overhaul, but some serious changes could be on the horizon for the front office and the coaching staff.
Of course, the hot topic in relation to job security is Alain Vigneault. His job status has been up in the air for quite some time, even heading into this season. After the Canucks failed to live up to expectations in the postseason, Vigneault could be looking for a job in the very near future.
Under Vigneault’s tutelage, the Canucks have won six division titles in seven years. An impressive stretch, to be sure. But their track record under the seven-year bench boss in the playoffs is the real issue. The Canucks have lost in the conference semifinals three times, the Stanley Cup Finals once, and have lost in the quarterfinals each of the last two years.
If Vigneault was trying to go out on a high note, he may have failed to do that as well. The Canucks have lost 10 of their last 11 postseason tilts.
There is no confirmation of any sort that Alain Vigneault will lose his job. But if it happens, expect it to happen quickly, and expect a club out there with a coaching vacancy to snatch him right up. Perhaps a smaller market, with a better general manager, will do the trick.