NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

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    Are coaches to blame for the failure of their team?

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    Total Votes: 9
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    davetherave
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    NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by davetherave on Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:43 am

    This year has seen, to the best of my knowledge, an unprecedented amount of firings of coaches in the National Hockey League. With seven gone so far, nearly a quarter of the bench bosses in the NHL have been tossed overboard, almost on a monthly basis...

    October: Chicago replaces Denis Savard with Joel Quenneville after just four games. The Hawks soar.

    November: Barry Melrose gets booted by the Bolts' Barrie and Koules. They roll the dice with Rockin' Ricky Tocchet.

    December: coal in Peter Laviolette's Christmas stocking as he gets caned and Paul Maurice returns to Raleigh. Carolina blows hot and cold before becoming a mighty wind as spring approaches.

    January: nobody gets the axe, but Alain Vigneault is rumoured to be on a short leash in Vancouver. Luck arrives in the form of Battlin' Bobby Lu.

    February, we get not just a twofer, but a trifecta: Craig Hartsburg walks the plank in Ottawa, and Michel Therrien gets frogmarched out of Pittsburgh. The Sens and Pens suddenly start playing hockey again. Meanwhile, The Tom Renney Show closes on Broadway, replaced by The Johnny Torts Revue, co-starring Sean "Puck Did He" Avery.

    March: Carbo is cooked...his best buddy Bob hands Guy the bucket of cold poutine. The Habs hardly notice.

    Add in Toronto's (Paul Maurice gone) and San Jose's (Ron Wilson, exiled to Hogtown) changes after last season...not to mention the almost automatic rumours that surface when a team hits a bad patch, like MacT in Edmonton, Andy Murray in St Louis and Randy Carlyle in Anaheim, this year's most recent examples.

    It's abundantly clear that being a head coach in the NHL is analogous to being a lion tamer at a circus...as long as you hold the whip, you're safe.

    So why are so MANY coaches being put through the meat grinder?

    Even Lindy Ruff, who has led the Buffalo Sabres since 1997, is now hearing his name mentioned.

    So IS the firing of a coach always justified? Is it just a way of placating the fans, or sending a message to the players? Is it fodder for the gossip mill that makes the antenna of sports writers wiggle?

    Reading the predictions of some of these writers, you'd be forgiven for thinking they actually want coaches to fail...
    http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/wholl-be-the-first-coach-fired-you-make-the-call/

    Or is it just that the inherent instability of an NHL coaching position is an occupational hazard?

    As always, the keen insights and opinions of our trusty troupe of GM Hockey members make for fascinating hockey talk.


    Last edited by davetherave on Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:45 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edit)
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    caissie_1
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by caissie_1 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:52 am

    You cant fire the players. Sometime it's not the coache's fault but he's the scapegoat. A team's loss is another's gain.
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by davetherave on Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:41 pm

    The biggest challenge nowadays seems to be how to keep players motivated and disciplined enough to play a 'team' game...
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by davetherave on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:59 pm

    ...and Clouston seems to have figured that one out...
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by wprager on Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:49 pm

    I think Clouston came in with the notion that every one's got a clean slate and everyone had the same size pencil (or chalk, to keep with the analogy). Hartsburg definitely showed deference to the Big $$$ players. Clouston just gave ice time to the ones who deserved it. He wasn't afraid to limit Heatley's time, and he also wasn't afraid to sit Bell (and others) when they deserved it. Pretty soon everyone realized that he was neither in awe of the millionnaires, nor was he soft for the Bingo Boys. You perform well, you are rewarded with ice time. If you don't, your ice time will be reduced. He's not playing favorites.

    There's your motivation.
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by caissie_1 on Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:57 pm

    wprager wrote:I think Clouston came in with the notion that every one's got a clean slate and everyone had the same size pencil (or chalk, to keep with the analogy). Hartsburg definitely showed deference to the Big $$$ players. Clouston just gave ice time to the ones who deserved it. He wasn't afraid to limit Heatley's time, and he also wasn't afraid to sit Bell (and others) when they deserved it. Pretty soon everyone realized that he was neither in awe of the millionnaires, nor was he soft for the Bingo Boys. You perform well, you are rewarded with ice time. If you don't, your ice time will be reduced. He's not playing favorites.

    There's your motivation.

    Agreed. That's the way it should be. When the $$$ are slumping or playing like crap... Dont give them more ice time... You get the time you deserve.
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by wprager on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:12 pm

    Clouston also noticed that their fitness level was still pre-season. Now we routinely come back from 2 goals down in the third period (not that I advocate falling behind by 2, of course).
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by davetherave on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:14 pm

    In other words, Cory saved Bryan's bacon. Which is why his chances of getting the gig next year are pretty darn good.

    Coaches who do more with less survive...the problem is that once they do, GMs expect them to make miracles season after season.


    Last edited by davetherave on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edit)
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by caissie_1 on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:24 pm

    If Clouston dosnt get a contract next year Murray would be the worst coach picking GM in the game.
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by wprager on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:30 pm

    He'll get it. Pierre pretty much said he would Smile
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by davetherave on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:40 pm

    wprager wrote:He'll get it. Pierre pretty much said he would Smile

    Maybe Pierre wants Cory to hire him Wink

    Wonder why Pierre lost his coaching gig? Anybody remember?
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by wprager on Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:05 am

    I don't even remember *when* he coached. Maybe he had hair back then and that's why I can't place him.

    Just looked it up on Wikipedia. He coached Hartford and compiled a 23-37-7 record. And his real first name is "Regis".

    I'd say he was fired either because of the bad record or "Regis". I'll go with "Regis"
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by davetherave on Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:09 am

    wprager wrote:I don't even remember *when* he coached. Maybe he had hair back then and that's why I can't place him.

    Just looked it up on Wikipedia. He coached Hartford and compiled a 23-37-7 record. And his real first name is "Regis".

    I'd say he was fired either because of the bad record or "Regis". I'll go with "Regis"

    ...or because he didn't--unlike Philbin--have Kelly Ripa as eye candy LOL.

    Not a very impressive coaching record...
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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:53 am

    wprager wrote:I think Clouston came in with the notion that every one's got a clean slate and everyone had the same size pencil (or chalk, to keep with the analogy). Hartsburg definitely showed deference to the Big $$$ players. Clouston just gave ice time to the ones who deserved it. He wasn't afraid to limit Heatley's time, and he also wasn't afraid to sit Bell (and others) when they deserved it. Pretty soon everyone realized that he was neither in awe of the millionnaires, nor was he soft for the Bingo Boys. You perform well, you are rewarded with ice time. If you don't, your ice time will be reduced. He's not playing favorites.

    There's your motivation.

    You sort of addressed this but I think one of the biggest things was when they were down by a goal or 2 late in the game Clouston didn't trash the game plan and lean on the big three hoping that they could do it all for them. Paddock, Hartsburgh and even Murray kept going back to that same tired option regardless of whether they deserved the extra ice time or not.


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    Re: NHL Coaches: Cornered and Crushed

    Post by Cronie on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:07 am

    This is yet another example of why I cannot stop advocating for Clouston's extension. Assuming he only becomes better and hones his tactician skills and motivational kicks, seriously Murray, you better have a contract in principle already done and awaiting his signature in the off-season.

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