"It's about pride": Jannik Hansen rips Canucks penalty killers

Nov 20 2021, 1:49 am

Jannik Hansen knows a thing or two about penalty killing.

The retired former Vancouver Canucks winger played over a thousand minutes (1034:14) on the penalty kill during his during his 626-game NHL career. That makes him a great person to talk to about the plight of the current Canucks after they take a penalty.

That’s exactly what Dan Riccio and Satiar Shah did today on The People’s Show on Sportsnet 650.

The Canucks don’t just have the worst penalty kill in the NHL, at 60.3% they’re on pace to set a league record for the worst PK percentage ever.

The coaching staff is under fire right now, but Hansen is looking in a different direction.

Hansen didn’t sugarcoat it. It’s not about systems. Quite simply, they don’t have the right players in place to kill penalties.

“The penalty kill is all about [being] reactionary. It’s all about the players. It’s all about communicating. It’s about reads, it’s about anticipation. And these guys they have killing, they haven’t done it enough,” Hansen said. “They haven’t been playing penalty kill at this level. This [Juho] Lammikko they got from Florida, I don’t know if he’s killed in the minors or whatever.

“At this level, they are just out of their depth and you see them getting picked apart… They’re out of position. And that’s not strategy. That’s just knowing where you’re supposed to be.”

Hansen said he learned how to play on the penalty kill with the Manitoba Moose in the AHL, where the Canucks “force fed” him minutes shorthanded. When he made a mistake, he would get an earful from teammate Mike Keane on the bench.

While Hansen noted that not having Brandon Sutter is a tough loss, he acknowledged that losing your fourth line centre can’t cause things to fall apart.

Hansen mentioned Chris Tanev and Alex Edler as two players the Canucks miss right now, noting how they are “magnets” for pucks.

“It’s so many mistakes, again and again and again… it doesn’t matter [who the coach is],” Hansen added. “It’s personnel, 100%. They don’t have a right-handed centre… It’s so many little things that just keeps piling up. They don’t have great shot blockers on D. They have great puck movers… I’m getting a little bit frustrated here.

“Guys look small on the TV. Pucks go by them, through them. It’s pride. I know it hurts, but it’s about pride. You gotta do it or find somebody else. It’s personnel. They aren’t real penalty killers.”

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