Friday, November 14, 2008

What are the Signs that You Need a New Coach?

Craig Mactavish has complained of his teams lack of systems and their stubbornness. However this is the same coach that will beat dead horses into dog food, the same man that was so stubborned that he refused to wear a helmet, the same man that has been leading the mediocrity charge of the Oilers for the last 8 seasons.

There comes a time when a coach's welcome and usefulness has run its course unless that coach is an alltime great and he steps down.

Craig Mactavish is NOT that good of a coach. What is worse than a team playing for a coach who is too stubborned to change and in turn the players don't feel that they are being placed into a situation to succeed? Once you lose faith in your coach, you may as well not have a coach. Too much inconsistency, no accountability, minimal faith in guys that aren't MacT favorites.

The moment that a coach admits that the team doesn't listen to his instructions and keep doing the same things over and over again, is the minute that the coach needs to get canned. The team isn't buying what he's selling no matter how many cups he may have to his name. What a beautiful world it could've been.

Amazing that he has still decided to hold on after a horrible '06-07 season and another poor season until a 20 game surge at the end, and now once again another mediocre at best stretch. Perhaps he should start considering sparing his friend from having to drop the axe, and axe that I've been grinding for many, many years.


Jonathan said...

Well, you've missed the most obvious sign, BBO - most teams that have had an 80-20 road/home split and are TWO WHOLE POINTS out of the division lead fire their coaches.

Don't they?

Bryanbryoil said...

But... but... The Leafs shouldn't be an inspiration to us even though they dominated us for 2/3+ of the game. You're right Jonathan, our record isn't too bad right now, but how many games has this team actually played well and didn't have to rely on awesome goaltending to win?

It all balances out in the long haul, and we'll see what the excuse will be once we start losing more games at home because then we won't have the schedule to blame for it. However Mactavish supporters will find something else as nothing is ever his fault and he's one of the alltime greatest coaches in NHL history.

Bryanbryoil said...

BTW-why can I see Roli getting the start againsst a team that has historically owned him tonight?

Freeze said...

This is from the Melrose/Lightning story on Mirtle's blog.

"The Lightning had all of the hallmarks of a team that was poorly coached this season: awful special teams, dumb penalties, poor breakouts and far too many shots against. There's no question that, to salvage the season, Melrose had to go."

Sounds about right to me. Everyone gives Mirtle credit for being a smart guy, do any of those not fit here.

I like McTavish and all but I really think it is time for change. Too bad so many of the good coaches have been picked up already. Does Detroit have any more assistants worth poaching? ;)

Bryanbryoil said...

Good call freeze. IMO it's beyond whether or not MacT is a good or bad coach, at this point he is ineffective. Often times you'll see coaches in all sports take a team to a high level but then that team doesn't come close to repeating that success.

At that point you need a fresh approach and someone that can see things that MacT has grown accustomed to let slide and correct them.

This team needs a fresh new face behind the bench, and no I don't mean Buchberger. We need someone from outside of the organization, just like how our new GM came from outside.

The "Oilers way" may have worked when you have Gretz, Messier, etc., but we don't have those types of players.

This team would be at its best with a spread out offense. 3 scoring lines so that we don't have to rely too heavily on any one line. MacT will never make that commitment.

Jonathan said...

The Leafs shouldn't be an inspiration to us even though they dominated us for 2/3+ of the game.

No, they shouldn't be. The Oilers are a better team and if they're looking or inspiration, how about Minnesota or Vancouver?

It all balances out in the long haul, and we'll see what the excuse will be once we start losing more games at home because then we won't have the schedule to blame for it.

I was worried about the D, but with the way 71-44 have played, if this team can't put together a good run in a home-dominated schedule (after what they've done on the road), changes need to be made. MacTavish may be one of those changes, depending what the team looks like. In other words, short of the goaltenders putting up .850 SV% or the top-4 defenseman all going down with injury, this team should be good.

"The Lightning had all of the hallmarks of a team that was poorly coached this season: awful special teams, dumb penalties, poor breakouts and far too many shots against. There's no question that, to salvage the season, Melrose had to go."

Melrose isn't MacTavish. Look at the line-matchups, for crying out loud; Melrose was getting owned each and every night. MacTavish is not. Edmonton's powerplay is league average (ranked 16th), while their penalty kill is miserable (and if it continues, it'll be the first time in 8 years that MacTavish has had a below average PK), but is that surprising, given that Stoll and Reasoner, who played a ton of minutes there last year, are gone? (And you'll notice that all of the folks who cheered ever so loudly for the departure of Reasoner (on pace for 20 goals) have quieted considerably). With Visnovsky, Souray, and Gilbert (who's come around) breakouts haven't been a key problem; defensive zone coverage has. Additionally, T.B. was averaging 3.5 more shots against per game than the Oilers. This Oilers team has had problems, but different ones than the Lightning.

I do agree that at some point MacTavish will have worn out his welcome, since coaches all have a limited shelf life, but the definitive signs aren't there yet.

hunter1909 said...

Well, you've missed the most obvious sign, jonathan - when a team that's supposed to not only easily make the playoffs but make some noise in them plays like a load of losers night after FIRE SOMEONE.

hunter1909 said...

I'd fucking LOVE to see MacTavish try coaching any other team in the NHL. With Lowe as the general manager.

I've been watching the Oilers since before they ever even won a cup. I've forgotten more about hockey than most will ever know.

This franchise is rotten to the core. The sooner Katz cleans house, the sooner the Oilers will return to NHL prominence, something that they haven't been (a few ultimately futile weeks of 2006 aside), since 1991.

Bryanbryoil said...

You're right Jonathan, we are a better team, the problem is that it's ONLY ON PAPER. The signs are there, another inept PP with some exceptional talents. He still has Moreau, Horcoff, and Pisani for the PP with Souray and Staios for the PK, what's the problem?

Coaching is the problem, all of his previous weaknesses are still here while his strengths have been weaknesses for the team this year. When you're doing nothing right you should get the axe. Anywhere outside of Edmonton you would anyway.

hunter1909 said...

MacT looks this season like he's under the microscope.

Katz fired(ahem, promoted) Lowe almost to the day he bought the team.

MacTavish, BY HIS OWN ADMISSION doesn't really coach the team. And has also gone on record as admitting the team doesn't listen to him. I'm a professional writer, with reading comprehension off the board, but its obvious to a lot of the fans what am stating.

The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking of going down to my local bookie and putting a bet down on MacT being gone by Christmas.

He's simply lost it.

Jonathan said...

The team's above .500, after a brutal schedule. They'll go on a hot streak at home, finish in the bottom half of the conference (say 6th) and maybe win a playoff round. Along the way, all of the regular guys who don't like MacTavish will bitch about his coaching, and all of the guys who like MacTavish will defend him.

Here's the biggest point, from my view: we, as fans, only see the in-game stuff. And from that perspective, MacTavish is a top-15 coach in the league.

The behind the scenes stuff, which is probably 75% of his job, we as fans don't see; we guess. So one of these days when it's going badly, I'll still be defending him, and he'll get canned. But most of these days in the past few years, there's been a group of people ripping him (anyone else remember the "Fire MacT!" bandwagon after the 7-game losing streak from gmaes 4-10 in 05-06? I was on it) and he's been good, or better than good. How many rookies did he break in last year? Who was his top defenseman the year before?

The biggest problems on this team were caused by the general manager, who has been removed from his post. This is the best team since the 05-06 squad, but I've consistently said all summer that they are a long shot for the division title (question marks in net, too many forwards who haven't shown they can handle tough sledding, defensemen who don't have a track record of defensive excellence).

There's a three point spread between the Oilers (who have played 12 of 17 on the road) and the division lead. Anyone who thinks that this team is below where it was reasonable for them to be at on this date should pull their heads out of their respective backsides and look at the standings.

If they're in this situation after 41 games, with the home/road schedule more balanced, and they're out of the playoffs, it'll be a completely different ball-game.

Bryanbryoil said...

Jonathan, the issue is that the team still hasn't gelled. I would assume that most people would realize that we are very fortunate to be where we are at. Bad bounces will start to come after we had so many wins that we really didn't deserve. The key is this team needs to be playing good consistent hockey. Until we're there I will not be satisfied with the coaching.

We can always wait to see what will happen, but when you've seen the same song and dance many times over, you kind of know what's coming next. The Oilers under MacT are about as predictable as pro wrestling. That's pretty damn bad.

hunter1909 said...

Any one who knows hockey can see the Oilers are playing like an expansion team.