Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green hasn’t always been the most popular figure here, but he deserves to stay on as head coach.
Travis Green’s NHL head coaching career started three years ago when the Vancouver Canucks hired him to replace Willie Desjardins, who was let go after three seasons.
The 2019-2020 season marked his third year behind the bench, as well as Green’s most successful up to this point and by far the most successful one.
Unfortunately, his most exciting year was cut short by the season suspension over the COVID-19 pandemic. This free time allows us to take a step back from the hubbub of the season and properly judge Green’s performance.
Here are three reasons why Green should stay on as head coach.
1. Consistency is key
The Canucks are an up and coming team with plenty of new star talent. Young players need consistency in leadership, as it helps them transition into the league and get into a proper rhythm. Constant changes in coaching, especially when they are new to the league, can negatively affect the players as they need to learn a whole new system as well as get used to a new personality.
The Buffalo Sabres are a perfect example of what the Canucks do not want to be. Since they drafted Jack Eichel, second overall in 2015, he has played under three different coaches in five seasons and has yet to make it to the playoffs.
Firing a coach is often used as a way to jolt the team, but it needs to be done properly, not just because your general manager is getting fidgety.
2. Injury train
For most teams, losing your star goaltender causes a major step back in the standings. This season, the Arizona Coyotes lost Darcy Kuemper and completely fell out of the playoff race.
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Jacob Markstrom hasn’t played since February, but the Canucks were able to power through and remain competitive in the thick postseason race.
While Markstrom was the biggest name to go down with an injury, the Canucks had a horrible season when it came to the injury department. Jay Beagle and Brock Boeser were among some of the notable players to miss significant time this season.
The fact that Vancouver was still able to fight for a playoff spot is a great look for both the players and the coach. No one was going to go down without a fight, and Green was able to get the best out of all the players that were available to him.
At the beginning of the season, Green frustrated a lot of fans by being very stubborn with his choices and not using a lot of creativity or showing any sort of adapting within games.
As the season went on, he got more flexible with his choices and while it might have been out of necessity because of all the injuries, it had a positive impact on the team. If he was able to find so much success with an injured team, imagine how far the Canucks will go once they are fully healthy.
3. This is his first good season
While Green’s NHL career started in 2017-18, those two seasons were simply rebuilding years. 2019-2020 was the first time he was given an actually competent team, and he did a great job with it.
This season has proved that Green is able to coach in the NHL. He managed all the personalities in the locker room, created a positive space for the rookies to play to the best of their abilities and showed that he was able to make the creative decisions.
They have superb talent, but Green also deserves credit for putting them in the right situations to find success while fostering their growth as players.
Green’s work with the players individually — along with the team system– have culminated in a successful 2019-2020 season. Green has shown that he has what it takes to be a head coach in the NHL, and this season shouldn’t be his last with the Canucks.