Archive for December, 2009

Tocchet and Hitchcock Try to Turn Things Around

When a GM supports a coach, that’s usually the surest sign the coach is about to be fired. Down in Tampa, GM Brian Lawton is supporting coach Rick Tocchet, even as the team struggles to find consistency. One thing that’s forgotten about Tocchet is that he’s a new coach with an inexperienced coching staff. Rookie […]

Sharks Want More Games

David Pollak had an interesting take on the Sharks’ recent troubles, via coach Todd McLellan: The team simply wasn’t playing frequently enough to establish a rhythm. The Sharks have won their last two, with a victory over Anaheim Thursday and a win over Dallas last night. Since there were quite a few days between the […]

Tortorella Fixes Rangers for One Night

Just to follow-up on yesterday’s Rangers post: Last night against the Isles, coach John Tortorella decided to actually coach and scratched Ales Kotalik, a presence on the powerplay, but not really a top-six forward, and defensemen Wade Redden, who apparently freaked out about the scratch. Chris Drury was demoted to the fourth-line, although by the […]

Tortorella Must Find His Inner D’Antoni

Watching last night’s Rangers loss to the Islanders, I think most people were thinking the same thing: Coach John Tortorella seems to have lost the team. Larry Brooks won’t rule it out, but doesn’t think it’s very likely. I’m pretty patient with coaches. I don’t think it’s fair to fire someone after just a season […]

Pepsi Center: ‘Why Am I So Empty?’

Adrian Dater points out Monday’s Avs-Flames game drew just 11,448 fans. The comments on Dater’s post are interesting. Some say attendance is low because the Avs play the same teams over and over. Other people said it’s a marketing issue. One poster said Avs fans are still put off by last season’s debacles. I’m going […]

Nieuwendyk Too Patient in Dallas?

Mike Heika has a nice column reminding fans how long it took Dallas GM Bob Gainey to build a championship team. By Heika’s math, it took around three years, so current GM Joe Nieuwendyk has some time. Fans seem to be losing patience as Nieuwendyk seems quite content to see how many of the Stars […]

Kessel’s Kryptonite

Last night Phil Kessel returned to Boston and Boston showed why they were comfortable trading such a talented player. Basically, Boston knows where Kessel’s off-switch is. They showed everyone last night as they simply played him super tight, taking away his speed and his wrist shot. He finished the game with just two shots on […]

Big Goalie Night

Last night was kind of interesting. There were 10 games played, with four shutouts. Goalies Steve Mason (CBJ), Ryan Miller (BUF), Ty Conklin (backup; STL), and Nik Backstrom (MIN) each kept the red light off behind them. So is this a sign defense is back in the NHL? Is the NHL reverting to its pre-lockout […]

Tocchet Benches Everyone

Some interesting coaching from Tampa Bay’s Rick Tocchet last night. Despite a strong-if-ultimately-ineffective game from Vinny Lecavalier, Tocchet wound up benching his top two lines for most of the third. Tocchet was probably upset that the Caps have pretty much owned Tampa Bay since 2007. He also couldn’t have been happy about his team dropping […]

Laviolette Not Scared of Over-Coaching on New Gig

Peter Laviolette is settling into his new job as head coach of the Flyers and he already seems to be feeling the pressure of coaching a team that on paper should be very successful, but in reality is having some problems. Witness Sunday’s practice, as reported by Tim Panaccio: The Flyers did so many drills […]