Monday, January 5, 2009

Who's the Next Coach to Fall?

Well we all know with much fanfare, and hilarity, that Barry Melrose was fired earlier this year. But now, we're getting further into the year, nearly to the midpoint of the season for most teams, and one bad spell can mean a trip to the links by Mid-April. Some coaches will meet their teams there a little ahead of time.

John Anderson - Atlanta Thrashers
I feel bad for him, he inherited garbage, as Don Waddell consistently trades away talent. They haven't drafted poorly, Heatley, Kovalchuk, Coburn, Little, and now Bogosian, so the onus falls on someone. It should be Waddell, but he's also the Executive Vice President, so guess who shoulders that blame; John Anderson. Probability he gets canned? Same as Charles Barkley getting another DUI.

Dave Tippett - Dallas Stars
The Stars can suck it. Now that that's been said, the Stars have terribly underperformed this year, whether through poor goaltending (primarily), bad personnel decisions (also a factor), and bad team chemistry (The scuttlebutt is Avery had his way with 8 different girlfriends, not true, but maybe). But, in each of his 5 seasons he's led the Stars to the playoffs and a 2:1 wins to losses ratio. So what are his chances of getting canned? About the same as the Stars making the playoffs.

Craig MacTavish - Edmonton Oilers
The last vestige of the helmetless era, one of the heroes of the Rangers Cup win, role player of the Oilers Dynasty, and he was Dany Heatley before there was Dany Heatley (too soon? Yeah, probably.) But here we have a coach that's been with the Oilers since 2000, only led them to the playoffs 3 times, and has finished 4th or worse in the division every other year. How many passes will he get? He can't keep living off Fernando Pisani's epic run to the finals in 2006, can he? This has got to be his last chance, currently sitting 10th in the west, MacTavish's chances? Well, I'd say about the same as San Jose winning the West.

Guy Carbonneau - Montreal Canadiens
Wasn't this team supposed to be the squad to be all and end all?!? Doesn't this team have 4 starters in the All-Star game?!? All the expectations, all the pressure, and so far they're responding, but would you put it past them, with one swoon (or one injury to Carey Price, pick your poison),that that 8 point cushion between 4th and 9th dry up faster than your grandma in the sack? A bit of a legend in Montreal (the Q does have a trophy named after him after all; the Trophée Guy Carbonneau, stupid friggin French), would Gainey have the balls to pull the trigger? The chances? The same as Kovalev belonging in the All-Star game.

Craig Hartsburgh - Ottawa Senators
He just signed a 3 year contract this off-season, but I don't think that means shit since Paddock was canned after just one season as well. Can Ottawa afford to buy out and eat another coaching contract? Probably, it is Canada. But this isn't Hartburgh's fault, this is just a total team meltdown. What the hell happened Senator nation? Oh wait, you decided Marty Gerber and Alex Auld were the answer to your Ray Emery situation. That spitter Bryan Murray should be fired for that idiocy. Chances Murray blows up this team? Is Israel rocking Gaza?

Michel Therrien - Pittsburgh Penguins
Oh here's a juicy one. I have an utter disdain for a coach who's #1 coaching tactic is line juggling. Hey today some Kennedy kid played on the top-line, losing again, that's 5 of 6. Currently out of the playoffs and little answers coming from the crease or the PP, what should be the weakness of this team, the Defense, has been surprisingly strong (not much offensively though). But let's be honest, this team has 2 of the top 3 players in the league, with a 20th ranked PP, and an average goals per game less than the New Jersey Devils. The effing Pens Patrol could coach this team, Lemieux could coach from his suite. The expectations for this team literally scream for change (think Obama knows hockey? haha, of course not, but then again...Iginla...) But Therrien was just extended through 2010-2011, will he be fired? About as likely as Denson commenting on what I said. Fanboy.

Andy Murray - St. Louis Blues
I'm tired of writing. But we're almost done, the Blues have been ravaged by injuries. Kariya, McKee, McDonald, Brewer, the list goes on. But Andy Murray hasn't been a successful coach since the turn of the Millennium (sounds longer than it really is), and the Blues are mired in the basement of the West. Plus the Blues have already made personnel moves, so I see that as a vote of confidence in Murray. Chances? Eh, the chance the NHL's next commercial doesn't feature the Penguins in some fashion.

Ron Wilson - Toronto Maple Leafs
Brian Burke does things his way, and he'll take out Ron Wilson if he has to. That is all.

My verdict? I'm going to have to say Hartsburgh has the greatest chance, followed by Therrien and Tippet. But what do I know.

UPDATE: Puck Daddy offered up some more in depth, and ( we all know it's true) more intelligent insight on hot seat coaches, narrowing down the candidates. Word P-Daddy.


Doogie2K said...

The thing with Montreal is:

1) They've suffered a lot more injuries than they had all of last year. They had no significant players go down for more than a handful of games until April last season, while this season, Koivu, Higgins, Price, Komisarek, and Tanguay have all missed time, just off the top of my head, not to mention that wicked injury to support guy Mathieu Dandeneault, which hurt to watch.
2) I thought at the start of the season that their PP would be fine, because Kovalev was the key to it. Problem is, I was right: Kovalev's the key to the PP, and between the increased attention and the lack of a bomber to give it to, in order to divert some of the attention, he's been ineffectual. Streit and Souray both signed for too much money based on where they were at the end of their time in Montreal, but I know at least Souray's earning it, watching him in Edmonton.
3) If memory serves, they're actually ahead of where they were this time last year, in terms of points. The problem is, the 2008-09 Boston Bruins are apparently the resurrection of the 1929-30 Bruins, who posted an NHL-record 0.875 winning percentage before being upset by Montreal in the playoffs. The Habs have already lost more to the Bruins this year than they did in the past two seasons combined, and with Thomas and Fernandez both playing like Vezina candidates, I don't see how Montreal reclaims top spot in the Northeast, never mind the East as a whole.

I can't see why Carbonneau could possibly be in danger. Oh, and the Trophee Guy Carbonneau is for best defensive forward in Quebec's major-junior hockey league, i.e. their version of the Selke: it's not a Montreal thing.

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