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Gazette - Cherry weighs in on Habs' season
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04-07-2012, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Originally Posted by
Have you ever coached at the competitive level or do you simply observe the situation from a mathematical point of view.
I'm actually just examining matchups and game systems. I'm not going to claim to be a giant expert on either, but one does not need to be an expert to criticize Randy on it.
Randy overplays grinders and others over players who were clearly superior. He doesn't pay a lot of attention to faceoff zones and, especially on the road, is usually content to just roll his lines 1-2-3-1-2-4, letting the opposing coach dictate the matchups.
His game system is simplistic: chip it out, pass it forward, dump it in. It is essentially kindergarten hockey, so simple it's hard to call it a "system". Consistently trading puck possession for puck position predictably results in the other team having the puck most of the time, and the predictable nature of zone exits means that opposing teams quickly adjust to them and block them off, leading to the Habs getting hemmed into their own zone.
One doesn't need to be a high-end coach to notice these things, one just has to pay attention to them.
The whole "psychological" aspect of it is grossly overstated, IMO. The players never stopped playing hard; they were doing what Randy told them to do, it's just that what he told them to do wasn't very good. If the Habs had recovered, the narrative of the team rallying around their embattled coach was there for Randy to claim. Heck you even see some of it happening despite the ghastly results.
And I have no idea why people are so enthused with the "new philosophy". It is, to put it plainly, a loser philosophy. Skill has been sacrificed on the altar of size and physicality, with utterly predictable results. That's not a step backwards to retrench, that is an obvious step in the wrong direction.
Originally Posted by
Given these circumstances any team would struggle. Cunneyworth never never pointed fingers. He played the hand that was dealt to him without complaint. But you have the audicity to say "poor Randy" in a condescending manner.
I'm not gonna blame the guy for being thrown in a situation where he was clearly over his head, not to mention the whole language fiasco, and I'm even a fair bit sympathetic to it, but let's be realistic here. The language thing is in no way, shape, or form the reason why he failed as a coach, but the narrative is basically, "poor Randy, if only he hadn't been given such a raw deal". He would have failed even if he spoke French, and then he would've needed to be fired regardless.
It's perfectly justified to feel sympathy for the guy. But the sympathy shouldn't be used to mask his shortcomings in the job he was asked to do. Even if it's not his fault he was asked to do a job he wasn't qualified for.
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