Ottawa Did Not Heart Hartsburg

Craig Hartsburg was fired as coach of the Senators and the consensus seems to be it wasn’t an Xs and Os coaching issue so much as a psychological one.

Hartsburg had a solid enough team, albeit one with one line and unspectacular goaltending. All he had to do was keep his top line going and he could have scratched out a playoff berth.

Ultimately, I think Hartsburg was too ambitious. He wanted to build more than one scoring line. I’m not sure he wanted to win, so much as he wanted to teach and build character.

And now, he’s looking for a new job.

Meanwhile, over in Toronto, Jason Blake is going to the net and starting to score. Blake is also doing well playing on the wing of gritty, down-low center Dominic Moore.

It’s an interesting study in coaching effectiveness. The Leafs Ron Wilson sat Blake and rode Blake and Blake responded. Hartsburg tried to do the same thing in Ottawa, especially with Jason Spezza, and it totally backfired.