Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bye Bye Lewis?

According to an article this morning on TSN citing a Toronto paper, the Red Wings are interested in bringing in Anaheim coach Mike Babcock to replace Dave Lewis. The Blog That Yost Built broke into a huge grin as soon as I saw the headline of the article. I don't care who they bring in as head coach--It could be Wayne Fontes for all I care--just get Lewis the frig out.

The Wings have played 3 playoff series under him and all 3 were against teams that were less-skilled, liked to trap, and liked to play defensive hockey. The Wings lost 2 of the three and only beat Nashville thanks to Robert Lang putting the team on his back. What was alarming to me in watching those series, though, was that Detroit didn't seem to adjust once to what the opposing team was doing. Then the adjustment that they did make was Yzerman's idea, not Lewis's. In fact, it came from Yzerman telling him "Stop screwing with the power play units."

I realize that both teams that Detroit lost to (Anaheim and Calgary) ended up ultimately going to the Stanley Cup Finals, and both came close to winning the Cup, but #1, there's absolutely no excuse to get swept by ANYONE with the team Detroit had in 2003 (especially when the goaltending was solid, which is was no matter what anyone says about CuJo). The problem was that in 4 games, they couldn't figure out how to put the puck in the damn net. Fine, you have a bad year...Scotty Bowman lost to San Jose. Move on. The next year, the same darn thing almost happens against Nashville. Thankfully Robert Lang was on board and saved Detroit's season. They get to the next round though, and once again they can't figure out a trapping team. Yes the players have to execute, but when the same type of team gives you problems 3 series in a row without any semblance of an adjustment from the coaching staff, that's a red flag to me.

The man may be a great guy, he may have been an excellent assistant coach...but like Ray Rhodes in the NFL, sometimes being a great assistant doesn't mean that you can be a head coach. Hopefully Mike Illitch and Ken Holland realize what Ron Wolf did back in 1999 in Green Bay. Fold the hand as soon as you realize you can't win.

I don't know enough about Mike Babcock to say if I think he's a great choice, but I know he outcoached the hell out of our current guy 2 seasons ago, so it would be an upgrade. They sucked last year, but those start-up teams coming off the high of making the Finals usually do (Anaheim, Carolina, Washington). I just hope this report is true. It might give me hope that Holland actually knows what's going on. The Wings should be familiar with his as I believe he coached the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (who the Wings had a small affiliation with) before he took the Anaheim job.

In another TSN article today, Sean Avery blasted the NHLPA saying that Goodenow "brainwashed" a lot of the players and that they gave up an entire season for basicly nothing. He is the latest to make comments to that effect after Manny Legace did that last week. In another article whose link I have no hope of finding, the writer stated that a high-profile player told him that roughly 80% of the players are pissed off at Goodenow. There's no way that guy survives this mess. If they don't axe him right after the deal is done, my guess is that it won't be long. Him and Bettman should be ashamed of themselves about the way they've gone about these negotitations.

(BTW, thanks for the idea about the post formatting Brian)


Brian said...

identing don't work. suggest full spaces between paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

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