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Is The Tortorella Era Almost Done In Vancouver?

Rich Lam

Luckily, the Canucks beat the Flames 2-1 on Saturday night. But there is still a lot of drama and more going on behind the scenes with the Canucks lately.

-I don't care if Bieksa said he's going down with the ship or if Don Cherry told Luongo to shut up on Twitter (because he just doesn't get humor or sarcasm).

-I don't care if Bieksa denied Ryan Kesler's desire to be traded on After Hours. The biggest reason is that Kesler will perform regardless, which he showed us tonight. Plus, he wants out.

-The Canucks suck in 2014, despite the leadership from John Tortorella and Mike Sullivan and Glen Gulutzan.

-The Sedins and Burrows look like they are never going to score under this regime unless the game plan is changed dramatically. I still don't completely blame Torts for this, even though he did say on day 1 that the Sedins would block shots and kill penalties. Burrows has the excuse of multiple injuries, but that does not excuse him from possibly breaking an NHL record for most shots in a season without scoring a goal, which is bound to happen soon.

-Tortorella was to bring some accountability to a club that most believed was a country club atmosphere under Alain Vigneault. That has not worked, except in the month of December. If the Canucks did not go 10-1-2 in December who knows where we'd be now, except in the NHL basement.

-John Tortorella was signed to a 5-year contract last summer. Will the Canucks terminate his employment so soon given that contract length? I asked the Province's Jason Botchford that question but he did not respond. Here is my quick back and forth with him on Twitter:

Well, 5 years is a long time to commit to a new coach. Overkill, some might say.

The Canucks under Tortorella look at times look solid defensively, but seldomly look stellar on offence. Several Rangers fans told us this could/would happen when Canucks management acquired him.

So, I didn't get Botchford to answer my final question about the Canucks terminating a coach so soon into a long-term contract. But then I read Botchford's Provies and got my answers, kind of:

The Sedins are ruined. Alex Burrows is ruined. The power play is ruined. Roberto Luongo’s agent orchestrated a trade to get him out. And Ryan Kesler would like his agent to do the same.

The team appeared to tune Tortorella out sometime after the 40-game mark, which may be a record.

The coach got suspended for going lunatic fringe which is as obvious a turning point for this season you’re going to find.

And now, plenty are predicting this is all going to bring down the Mike Gillis era.

Think about this logically.

If Gillis’s job really is on the line, and he wants to keep it, who might he be blaming for this epic implosion?

Do you think he would suggest this could be on the coach, who just may have been the owner’s choice to begin with?

As the story goes Saturday, Gillis wanted Tortorella on the ice for the Cancuks gameday skate.

Tortorella does his media obligation before his team skates, and then usually goes home.

It’s odd. Has been all year.

He did the same Saturday.

Whether Gillis wanted him there or not, there was then speculation that if the Canucks lost to the Flames, Tortorella could have been fired within 48 hours.

It is inevitable.

Either Gillis will do it or the new GM will.

Unless you believe in playoff miracles…

OK, well that's harsh. But Botch is far more connected with the team than I am. There's more:

Turns out, it was essentially a training camp exercise where the Canucks were re-introducing their same forecheck system.

Bieksa later played down the chalk talk to the press.

He said it was common.

Other players did not.

One said:

"We’re at what? Game 66? And we’re NHL players going over how to forecheck because everyone has been out there doing their own thing. It’s embarrassing."

Sweet baby Jesus this team is fucked. If you wanted to know if there was dissention in the ranks, now you know. And that does not bode well for the latter days of the season for this team. Yes, the win over the Flames was great......ish. But the real shit - hitting - the - fan is about to go down.

The management either builds the team to Tortorella's needs or the coach gets canned. I honestly believed Torts was the right choice and still kind of do....but it's hard to make a decision with all the injuries. It's hard to place too much blame on him for the Sedins and Burrows sucking THIS BADLY. So I find it a complicated issue.

The Canucks are still 4 points behind Dallas for that 8th spot, and like I said earlier: the top players look done and defeated, which does not bode well for the team down the final stretch.

On top of all this madness, CapGeek has some good news to share with you:

Well, that's bad news for ownership, but never feel sorry for a guy that owns a plane.