January 16, 2012

Coaching doesn't make a team in the NHL but it certainly helps

Coaching doesn't make a team in the NHL but it certainly helps

At this point in the season; the cream rises to the top and the quality squads sit near the top of the league standings.  The guys who inhabit the bottom of the rankings are too busy talking to reporters and complaining about coaching.  We saw that phenomena front and center last week with the circus in Montreal involving Mr.Cammalleri.  Instead of improving his play; the former winger for the Habs was caught on the record complaining about his ice time which is a direct comment on the Habs' coaching staff.  We are not saying that the former Canadiens star was right or wrong in his assessment but he was 100% wrong in speaking to the media.   The fact remains that if the mouthy sniper was having a better season he would have be playing more minutes and he wouldn't have had  anything to say about coaching. 

Players have been complaining about coaching in Montreal, Anaheim, and Washington this season.  The guys who wear those uniforms have dramatically underperformed for their teams and instead of playing top notch hockey they have chosen to pass the buck on to coaching.  The whining and complaining got so loud in all three cities that the coaches at the start of the year were dumped and guess what ?;  there was little or nominal change.  The truth is, NHL hockey is for professionals of the highest caliber. The NHL is for guys who can motivate themselves and play at the highest level on a daily basis.  

The players for the Habs, Ducks, and Capitals don't seem to realize what coaching is meant to do in the NHL. Coaching helps to win games but it doesn't guarantee victories. If there is no professionalism at the player level the coaching cannot engineer victories from thin air. Coaching bring mentorship and help players focus even through bad spats.  The Bruins and Blues are both great examples of teams which ran into issues this year but overcame them because of solid coaching; help.  The operative word there is help. The players on the Bruins and Blues didn't expect their coaches to get out there and turn things around.  They did it themselves.

Like I said; coaching helps. That's it; that's all. The Hall of Fame is full of great players.  None of them spent their time blaming the coaching staff for loses.  It's time Cammy and others like him snapped out of it; kept their mouths shut and started earning their salaries and improving their reputations.   If they put the puck in the net and keep the +/- in check; they will magically "discover" that coaching is not the issue they think it is.

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