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AV is back, will he last long?

AV is back but my feeling is he won't last long. If people start to look like their dogs after a while, the Nucks have started to reflect the split personality of their coach. The Nucks under AV have run the gamut of personalities - they were tough one year, with guys like Rypien, Hordichuk, and O'Brien, but undisciplined, then they were composed and professional, but soft and lacked will .... and this year they were bland, beating teams with a brand of uninspired hockey that was just good enough but never really great. It is simply impossible to try and be the Broad Street Bullies one year and the the Lidstrom Red Wings the next year.

Further, the assets that the team has had over the years have simply gone under utilized - guys like Pyatt, Grabner, Mitchell, O'Brien, Hodgson, Samuelson - and were jettisoned in favor of a revolving door of bottom six players that still are not good enough and some of which carry bloated salaries (see Booth, Ballard). Watching the Capitals, Rangers, Coyotes, Kings and Devils play, each team has a clear identity that was forged by the Coach, and though winning is certainly the best medicine for any team, being inspired by your coach, having responsibility placed on the whole team to score, not just one line, giving your young kids a chance to play and grow (and make mistakes) and backing them when they are injured are fundamental to success. Further, the Nucks blundered badly with Hodgson - if he was a pain in the butt, fine, but get him to play hockey, mgmt is paid to deal with prima donnas, trading good ones is not the way to get over that.

Lastly, the Nucks need guts and courage. Better or worse, the Sedins are offensive players and in the playoffs with more hitting, clutching, grabbing and elite goalies, you can't rely on just one line to score and carry you - you need contributions from 4 lines and significant contributions from young players with fresh legs. AV has not shown a willingness to let his young guys grow at the expense of sometimes sitting the Sedins and it will require that foresight to get a total team effort and to get the Nucks back to championship level hockey.

Advanced stats are terrific and useful in many situations, but forging a team identity where only one line is put in the offensive zone, and the onus for scoring is put firmly on their shoulders, creates specialization that does not work when guys get injured and leads to random line fluctuations that reduce cohesiveness. The Sedins are leaders, and tremendous people/players, but the playoffs require broader scoring from the whole team and a willingness to play out of your comfort zone - spreading the offensive burden (and therefore zone starts, etc...) is important to creating a "team".

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