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.