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Desjardins confident that Canucks can play fast

Willie Desjardins

Vancouver Canucks’ head coach Willie Desjardins stands for television interviews after he was hired by the NHL hockey team in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, June 23, 2014. Desjardins replaces John Tortorella who was fired at the end of last season. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)


Willie Desjardins doesn’t think the Canucks are too old and slow to play the kind of up-tempo style that made them so successful in the past.

In fact, Vancouver’s new head coach thinks the experience of his team’s aging core -- comprised of over-30 players like the Sedin twins, Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, Kevin Bieksa, and Dan Hamhuis -- could help fulfill the franchise’s pledge to return to a more exciting (and successful) brand of hockey, as compared to last season under coach John Tortorella.

“One thing, when you get experienced, you get smarter and you find ways you can be quicker,” Desjardins said yesterday, per Metro.

As we wrote in March on this same topic, playing “fast” hockey doesn’t necessarily mean skating fast. It means making fast plays, pushing the puck and not giving your opponent time to get set defensively. The Sedins have never been reliant on speed anyway.

That being said, it never hurts to have young, energetic legs, and Vancouver hasn’t had near enough of those recently. Which is why Canucks management is also hoping prospects like Linden Vey, Nicklas Jensen and/or Bo Horvat can make a positive impact this season.

“I think there’s a benefit from experience and I think there’s a benefit of the youth,” said Desjardins, “and it’s kind of the combination you want.

“But I think our guys are all capable of playing the style we want.”

Related: Screw this, we’re getting back to how we used to play