Vigneault not done shaking things up for the Canucks


Vigneault not done shaking things up for the Canucks

By Mary Paoletti

Alain Vigneault tried to shake up some good luck for his Vancouver Canucks this weekend.

Vancouver surrendered a 3-0 series lead to Chicago, letting the Blackhawks claw back to 3-2 before Game 6 rolled around. This is when Vigneault made his changes.

1. Team warmed up with tennis balls instead of pucks during Saturday practice.

2. Vigneault wore jeans to his presser and shorts to a media meet on Sunday morning.

3. Vancouver went helmetless in pre-game warmups.

4. Cory Schneider started intend of Vezina Trophy finalist Roberto Luongo.

The results weren't quite what Vigneault wanted. In fact, his Opposite Day approach actually produced the exact opposite of what he wanted (WEIRD!!!!!): the Canucks lost again.

Game 7 is scheduled for Tuesday, 10 p.m. Think Vigneault is going to give up that tactic, so his team doesn't do something grotesquely horrifying like blow a three-game series lead?

No way! WGS has the inside info on what the Canucks coach has planned for the Final Countdown.

1. Team will warm up with kittens instead of tennis balls. Vigneault's theory is that the little buggers will hone his Canucks' skills even better because they're wily and will try to escape being hit with hockey sticks. Reportedly, Chris Neil is going to provide the kittens. (You know, because he's not busy right now.)

(Days of Y'Orr photo)

2. Vigneault is going to dress in a cheerleader uniform during Tuesday morning media scrums. What better way to get the Canucks pumped up than to show he believes that they can get the job done.

And he's going to bring some cheerleader friends!

They might want to practice a little more.

3. Vancouver will not wear any pads during the game on Tuesday. This is the plan anyway. I assume there will be some push back.

4. Dan Ellis will start in goal instead of Roberto Luongo.

The Twitter account is fake and so was the deal, but somehow Vigneault got it extended for Game 7. Ellis is quoted as saying "Whatevs, I was bored anyway." The Ducks sometimes-netminder is considering having eyeholes punched into this gold Incan mask so he can have it attached to his helmet.

Why? Why not.

"It was a problem for me," says Ellis. "I've got all these precious antiquities laying around and no use for them. The mask will make my helmet heavy, but whatevs. Gold is super shiny and I like that."

Will all of these tricks work? Sad Bear hopes not.

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

It’s not the craziest thing someone has said on Twitter, but Evan Turner tweeted Monday that the Celtics should retire his number. 

It was a joke, of course, as the former Celtic was reacting to news that Isaiah Thomas had said he liked the No. 11 and would change his jersey number if so many people in Boston hadn’t already purchased his No. 4 jersey. 

After Turner joked that No. 11 was going to be retired, Thomas joked back that he would wear No. 11 as a tribute to the current Trail Blazer. 

Prior to being traded to Boston, Thomas wore No. 22 for Sacramento and No. 3 for Phoenix. 

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 


The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.