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Coaches: like players, some are NHL quality, some not.


REV-G
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We've all seen players who excel in the AHL but just can't make it in the NHL. They hit their peak and there's not enough talent to make it in the NHL. It seems coaches are in the same boat. Some coaches do extremely well in junior and the AHL but it doesn't translate into success in the NHL. I'm sure there are many reasons, but we're all seen it. 

 

I read in the Athletic today, an article by Arpon Basu, that Jeff Petry made the comment that the Canadiens lack structure. Arpon said that's a direct assessment of the coach and his system and how the players are playing within that system. It isn't working.  

 

Gorton said DD is here till the end of the season. I see two different options here. You keep DD to the end and probably have a terrible season losing most of your games. There will likely be a strong losing culture with the entire team. But you guarantee a top draft pick, perhaps even #1. But what does that do to your young guys on this team, for the whole year. If they keep DD I would send Caufield to the AHL for the rest of the year. and explain why, and I'd keep Norlinder there for the entire year as well to shelter them from all the losing. Then, let the trades begin. 

 

If you fire DD and bring in another young french speaking coach you run the risk that once the injuries subside you might start winning games and rise in the standings, which would be better for the players but not for our draft position. 

 

This is not a good environment for the players. Do you keep things as they are with the coach for the next 4 months, 52 games, or do you make a change? 

For me that's a tough decision. 

I guess it depends on what Gorton decides regarding a total rebuild or something less than that. Somehow I think a total rebuild is what's going to take place which may mean this year and next being at the bottom of the standings. 

 

My choice. I think I'd send Caufield down and keep the coach and bite the bullet for this year and let the rebuild begin.

 

What do you think? 

 

 

 

 

 

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DD looked great in the playoffs and has looked pretty much terrible at every other time during his tenure. I think it is fair to infer that the Run of ‘21 was a Jean Perron scenario, i.e., a case where the real coaching was done by the key vets (Weber, Price, Danault - especially the former).

 

That said, I do not believe we should fire him until a new GM is hired. There is an order to these things. Let the GM have a say in the choice of coach. Indeed, failing to do so will put the obvious lie to the pretence that the French GM will be an actual GM, not just window-dressing to Gorton. 

 

Also, the last thing we want is a “Boudreau effect” where the team suddenly goes on a roll due to a new coach. We want to keep sucking all the way to the end. It’s a “Tank Year.”

 

I understand the argument that, by clinging to DD, we are creating a losing culture which will damage the development of our young players. But there’s basically three months left in the season. Are three months really going to ruin Suzuki? Meanwhile, Romanov seems unaffected by the bad culture. As for Caufield, do the obvious thing and send him down. The other young guys are marginalia. Once a new coach comes in, he will (hopefully) set a new tone of accountability and put everyone back on a winning track.

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I think Geoff Molson should put Alan Vigneault  on retainer right now.... just give him some $$ for right of first refusal. I think, given the hiring criteria that he would have to be at the top of the list for new coach. I was hoping for Touginy but he is in Arizona. Maybe he could be a throw in on the Chychrun trade? 

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16 minutes ago, PMAC said:

I think Geoff Molson should put Alan Vigneault  on retainer right now....

Sweet Jesus ...no more f'in retreads. Has to be better and younger options out there, no? Talent pool cant be that shallow is it?

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2 minutes ago, DON said:

Sweet Jesus ...no more f'in retreads. Has to be better and younger options out there, no? Talent pool cant be that shallow is it?

 

I don’t really understand the argument against “retreads” as such.  DD was a hot new thing and look how he worked out. The question is who is the best French-speaking coach out there. Until the abortion in Philly, I would have had Coach V at the top of that list. The more interesting question is what happened in Philly: has he lost his touch? Failed to adapt? Or was it just, as Cole Porter said, one of those things? I’d welcome some analysis of this, since Vigneault is very clearly going to be a heavy duty candidate for the job.

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I personally agree with staying away from the "older" retreads in Montreal. We've had Therrien twice, Julian twice and I think we need to do something different. 

 

I have a name that some of you will probably cringe at but.....I would try Patrick Roy as coach, with no other power regarding players. 

 

I would not want him as GM or assistant GM or any of those positions because I think with his personality he doesn't play well with others. But in a well defined role, coach and that's it, I think he would be, among french speaking coaches, my top choice right now. He'd bring pride, passion for the CH in Quebec, accountability, fire and drive. I think he has the hockey sense and understanding. When I look around, other than Vigneault, Patrick may be the best choice. He's not unproven but I see him as not as old in the tooth as V and some others who have been coaching in the NHL for many many years. 

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1 minute ago, REV-G said:

I personally agree with staying away from the "older" retreads in Montreal. We've had Therrien twice, Julian twice and I think we need to do something different. 

 

I have a name that some of you will probably cringe at but.....I would try Patrick Roy as coach, with no other power regarding players. 

 

I would not want him as GM or assistant GM or any of those positions because I think with his personality he doesn't play well with others. But in a well defined role, coach and that's it, I think he would be, among french speaking coaches, my top choice right now. He'd bring pride, passion for the CH in Quebec, accountability, fire and drive. I think he has the hockey sense and understanding. When I look around, other than Vigneault, Patrick may be the best choice. He's not unproven but I see him as not as old in the tooth as V and some others who have been coaching in the NHL for many many years. 

Completely agree BUT how do you get Patrick to agree to that and then keep his nose out of everything else...given his history...

 

It is one thing for the team to want that.  It is another to expect Patrick to completely change his demeanor.

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*** IF *** it ends up being Vigneault, this season or next, there must be a no Therrien clause in his contract.

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2 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

I understand the argument that, by clinging to DD, we are creating a losing culture which will damage the development of our young players. But there’s basically three months left in the season. Are three months really going to ruin Suzuki? Meanwhile, Romanov seems unaffected by the bad culture. As for Caufield, do the obvious thing and send him down. The other young guys are marginalia. Once a new coach comes in, he will (hopefully) set a new tone of accountability and put everyone back on a winning track.

 

I wrote in a piece for the site the other day that I liked that Gorton gave Ducharme the guarantee of staying for the rest of the season so I'm definitely in the camp of keep him for the rest of the year.  I think the Olympic break - if there still is one - will help to break that culture.  With the season going until the end of April, that break is basically in the middle from where we are now.  It's a couple of tough months followed by three weeks away from the team/city (at least as things stand), followed by two months of losing and some sellers trades.  I think that's good enough to get through this season and from there, assess whether to make a change or make him the new Jeff Blashill (awful records each year, but keeps sticking around).

 

35 minutes ago, REV-G said:

I have a name that some of you will probably cringe at but.....I would try Patrick Roy as coach, with no other power regarding players. 

 

Probably cringe at?  You're being generous - the word is 'definitely'.

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45 minutes ago, Commandant said:

DD has to go. 

 

When Jeff Petry says he can't even figure out the structure of the team when he was watching from the press box, its clear that he's in over his head. 

I would say, shut up and play hockey better Petry, maybe worry more about your own play jackass, before blaming others, which will do no good (other than be a horrible example to the young players) and he should know that.

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1 hour ago, Commandant said:

DD has to go. 

 

When Jeff Petry says he can't even figure out the structure of the team when he was watching from the press box, its clear that he's in over his head. 

I'd say with a comment like that one of two things are going to happen.  The coach is being fired, or Petry is gone.  Not sure if he is begging to leave, but you don't undermine your coach like that in public.  Absolutely unprofessional by Petry.  Yes, it shows how messed up this team is but a veteran leader knows better than to call out his coach/team in public like that.

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What Petry said:

 

 

 

How it was handled (team meeting):

https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2021/12/15/les-joueurs-du-ch-font-leur-mea-culpa-1

 

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34 minutes ago, Commandant said:

Petry isn't saying anything that the rest of us don't already know. 

 

DD has been a bad coach all season. 

SO, why air this in public, what good purpose does this serve and he has been around long enough to know better, (e.g. will comments like this help his team with signing a kid like Harris or attracting UFAs)

 I simply dont think that the correct thing to do as a vet leader on the team? And NO, I dont give a rats ass, nor does it change my opinion, how fed up or frustrated he is.

 

 

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7 hours ago, REV-G said:

I personally agree with staying away from the "older" retreads in Montreal. We've had Therrien twice, Julian twice and I think we need to do something different. 

 

I have a name that some of you will probably cringe at but.....I would try Patrick Roy as coach, with no other power regarding players. 

 

I would not want him as GM or assistant GM or any of those positions because I think with his personality he doesn't play well with others. But in a well defined role, coach and that's it, I think he would be, among french speaking coaches, my top choice right now. He'd bring pride, passion for the CH in Quebec, accountability, fire and drive. I think he has the hockey sense and understanding. When I look around, other than Vigneault, Patrick may be the best choice. He's not unproven but I see him as not as old in the tooth as V and some others who have been coaching in the NHL for many many years. 

 

I have to admit, there is part of me that would like to see Roy behind the bench (most definitely not GM), I love his passion. It would turn out to be either a fantastic move or a terrible move, there would be no in between.  It would be interesting. How would he fit into a rebuilding situation?  Would he be too impatient or has he matured and could he mentor the younger players? 

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5 hours ago, Commandant said:

DD has to go. 

 

When Jeff Petry says he can't even figure out the structure of the team when he was watching from the press box, its clear that he's in over his head. 

 

Yes, surely DD could have devised a system to compensate for the loss of Price, Weber, Edmundson, Perreault, Byron, Danault, Perry, Tatar, KK, Hoffman  now Toffoli, Gallagher, Anderson, Petry without missing a beat.  Did I miss anyone? 

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22 minutes ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

 

Yes, surely DD could have devised a system to compensate for the loss of Price, Weber, Edmundson, Perreault, Byron, Danault, Perry, Tatar, KK, Hoffman  now Toffoli, Gallagher, Anderson, Petry without missing a beat.  Did I miss anyone? 

 

I have watched this team and there is no system.  Some kind of structure could make this team be better than bottom 3 in the NHL. 

 

Having a PP, and it taking all season, until this week and all the injuries to finally stick Mike Hoffman and Cole Caufield on opposite sides of the same unit?  That this wasn't done weeks ago is madness. 

 

The pairings on defence with Chiarot-Savard together, long after its been shown to not work is maddening.  

 

These are simple things that everyone on this board can see, but Ducharme makes the same mistake over and over and over again. 

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2 hours ago, Commandant said:

I have watched this team and there is no system.  Some kind of structure could make this team be better than bottom 3 in the NHL.

Yes. And yet ...

 

Ducharme has had a system for years, and has been successful in getting many teams to play that system. Why not now? NHL players aren't any dumber, so I don't think that's it. Is he trying something new, something different from last season, too, and it's not working?

 

I have no argument that the situation is terrible. But I do wonder what the root cause is. Why is Ducharme doing what is doing? I'm sure he can see the results just as well as we can.

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15 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

Yes. And yet ...

 

Ducharme has had a system for years, and has been successful in getting many teams to play that system. Why not now? NHL players aren't any dumber, so I don't think that's it. Is he trying something new, something different from last season, too, and it's not working?

 

I have no argument that the situation is terrible. But I do wonder what the root cause is. Why is Ducharme doing what is doing? I'm sure he can see the results just as well as we can.

Maybe it worked for him in the past, but first off, he has no Price - main reason for success in the playoffs last year (regular season the team or were much sucked under him. Secondly, the definition of insanity is continually trying something that isn’t working. His “system” clearly isn’t working, as an NHL coach you have to be capable of making adjustments - another thing DD has shown he is incapable of. Have we got a lousy team - unquestionably - I had them to finish with around 75-80 points tops, but they are MUCH worse than they should be. 

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IMHO, part of the reason why DD's system is not working is the lack of leadership. The few times when the team plays well is when they are all (or mostly) engaged, trusting each other and playing with energy. But when there are breakdowns, I doubt anyone on the roster most nights can look at others in the eye and tell them to stick to the system: specially when Petry, Savard, Toffoli, Armia, (etc) are the ones making the bonehead mistakes.

The veterans have not been playing well, and in that group there are no strong leaders to get others "in-line"

 

System is simple: support all over the ice, pressuring on the fore-check to cause turn-overs and all aware of when a player pinches or follows its man to back fill the position. The system needs players to stay focused and to keep presences short so that all players on the ice have energy and pace.

On the offensive, like Petry was saying, forwards need to play close to the D to provide a target for zone breakouts. Ds are encouraged to pinch-in with forwards covering. They are not playing dump and chase, but counting on their speed and placing the puck on open areas where the forwards can get the puck behind the other team's D/trap.

 

Players like Dauphin, Kulak, Poehling, Lehkonen, Pezzetta can be seen consistently playing the system and creating chances. Douin showed this on his last game too.

Veterans like Petry, Armia, Suzuki (inconsistently), Hoffman (last game) are either holding onto the puck too long or out of position

 

The system has worked when the team plays as a team

 

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I’m hoping we didn’t lose Bouchard because we kept MB and DD. 
 

i had high hopes for DD when he took over, and allowed for the excuses last regular season. Seems like the playoff run was the aberration where the vets took over. Telling is that Perry left. 
 

Lose DD asap - give it to Interim Richardson and let’s prep to turn this s**tstorm around so it’s ready for next season. 

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9 hours ago, tomh009 said:

Yes. And yet ...

 

Ducharme has had a system for years, and has been successful in getting many teams to play that system. Why not now? NHL players aren't any dumber, so I don't think that's it. Is he trying something new, something different from last season, too, and it's not working?

 

I have no argument that the situation is terrible. But I do wonder what the root cause is. Why is Ducharme doing what is doing? I'm sure he can see the results just as well as we can.

 

A coach's job is to get the players to follow his system.  

 

If they arent' following his system, then what?  It still comes back to the same thing, the coach has to go.  

It doesn't matter if its column A (the coach's system sucks) or column B (the coach can't motivate a large portion of the team to play his system) or a little of both A&B, all of those things all lead to a coach needing to be fired. 

 

Add in that we are in a rebuild and the way he is handling the young players is just awful, and you have no choice here. 

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15 minutes ago, Commandant said:

 

A coach's job is to get the players to follow his system.  

 

If they arent' following his system, then what?  It still comes back to the same thing, the coach has to go.  

It doesn't matter if its column A (the coach's system sucks) or column B (the coach can't motivate a large portion of the team to play his system) or a little of both A&B, all of those things all lead to a coach needing to be fired. 

 

Add in that we are in a rebuild and the way he is handling the young players is just awful, and you have no choice here. 

 

I agree that it’s the coach’s job to get players to play the system. DD has transparently failed to do that.

 

I also agree that it may not be entirely his fault. We saw a very similar movie in 2012 when the veterans quit on Jacques Martin and then almost immediately quit on Randy Cunneyworth. I doubt this was because they instantly came to a conclusion that Cunneyworth was a bad coach; more likely, it was an example of a dynamic that can occur whereby a critical mass of players simply give up on the season. They stop playing for each other and they stop putting in that extra effort and drive that is required to win at this level. That is what has happened in 2012 and it’s what happened in this case. Some players may be frustrated as individuals, but the team cohesion and mutual belief have completely broken down. (A lot of it may be that, right from the start, several players never believed that they had much chance to win in the first place with Price, Weber, and Danault gone; and that mindset metastasized). 

 

I worry a bit that bringing a new coach into that environment is setting him up to fail. My view is, this season as a complete wash. Play out the string and reboot hard next year.

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