The Vancouver Canucks have two wins in their first two games under new coach Willie Desjardins. And while it was only Calgary and Edmonton that the Canucks defeated, there’s no question the players are feeling reinvigorated after a tough 2013-14.
Take forward Jannik Hansen, one of the many Canuck veterans who didn’t particularly enjoy his time being coached by John Tortorella.
Well, one can only imagine the earful Hansen would’ve received after the mistake he made Wednesday versus the Flames:
“I know what it would have been like in the past,” said Hansen, per The Province. “Willie knew that I knew I made a mistake, and obviously you’re not happy about it. To what extent does it help to keep heckling a player or pointing out a mistake? Nobody was more upset about that mistake than me and it’s up to the coach to build the player up instead of tearing down. And that’s one difference between now and then.”
And that’s coming from a player whose coach has demoted him to the fourth line.
Granted, nobody should be concluding anything after just two wins over easy opponents. So the Canucks didn’t like being yelled at. So they like Desjardins, the person, more than they liked the last guy. What actually matters is how this team — which wasn’t exactly perfect in its first two wins, it should be noted — will perform when it has to take on the Western Conference powers.
Hansen is optimistic though.
“We have that fire again,” he said. “Guys want to prove last year was a mistake and that’s not who we are. We’ve been given some leeway from management in keeping the majority of guys here instead of completely blowing it up. We want to prove them right and get back to the playoffs.”