Kevin Bieksa

Bieksa: ‘a lot of differences’ between Torts’ system and old one


According to Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa, there are “a lot of differences” between the system the Canucks employed for years under head coach Alain Vigneault and the one they’re currently learning under new bench boss John Tortorella.

Per The Province, Bieksa says the Canucks will play “more or less… a zone coverage” in the defensive end now, as opposed to man-on-man pressure. “So it’s being patient and taking care of your responsibilities.”

On offense, Bieksa says, “We’re going to need more pressure on the forecheck. We played fast last year but this is going to be a little more aggressive style.”

In terms of X’s and O’s, the style the Canucks play under Tortorella will be interesting to watch. Because for all the focus there’s been on shot-blocking, that’s just one aspect.

Also remember, the way Tortorella had the Rangers playing was a big reason he was fired, according to general manager Glen Sather, who believed, among other things, that his players were dumping the puck in too much under Tortorella.

Related: Apparently Glen Sather and Mike Gillis don’t see the game evolving the same way

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.