Alain Vigneault has his faults, just like any other coach, or human being for that matter.
He can be evasive, condescending, stubborn and at times can exhibit blind faith in certain players even when they struggle.
However, as has been stated in this column before, he is still the best Canucks coach in team history. His recent decision making in regard to the Canucks goaltending game starters, where Cory Schneider has monopolized the position over the last two weeks, indicates a further evolution in his maturation as Vancouver bench boss.
Vigneault currently has complete respect in the Vancouver locker room.
He is thoroughly prepared and has shown the ability to vary his tactics, moving from a very unexciting defensive approach during his debut season to the current fluid transitional game that led the league in offence last year.
He has meshed his stars and less talented foot soldiers very effectively, resulting in a team that has steadily remained in the upper echelon of team points over the past five years.
Despite not winning the cup last year, GM Mike Gillis was right not to answer the calls in some quarters to replace his incumbent coach.
Vigneault not only knows the fundamentals of the profession, but also has mastered the man management aspect of the job, gaining the ears and respect of his players.
It is this undervalued skill that has enabled him to administer the recent goaltending position with a minimum of fuss, no matter how big a story some media figures try to manufacture from the Roberto Luongo / Schneider option.
Luongo is wildly talented, exciting, frustrating, arrogant, athletic, proud but also a proven winner.
Knowing that, it is understandable that Vigneault has invested so much faith in him these past few years.
What has changed is that Schneider’s excellent performances since last year, that are improving even now, have staked him to the same level of trust by Coach V, and the Canucks top dog has the confidence borne of a deep connection with his players to make the tough decisions.
It is telling that Luongo has been very subdued over Schneider’s run.
They have mutual respect as netminders, but they have even more respect for the man who controls their faith.