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Old
03-29-2008, 07:43 AM
  #26
Prophecy
 
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JacketFan, name me a coach in the history of NHL who could win with the talent that's on this team....

I'm not saying Hitch is perfect, and some of your points are valid....but responsibility for personnel falls on the GM, not on Hitch. We made no major acquisitions last off season (for a center in particular) for a team that went .500 last year (under Hitch) and guess where we are going to end up this year?

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03-29-2008, 07:56 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJ John View Post
JacketFan, name me a coach in the history of NHL who could win with the talent that's on this team....

I'm not saying Hitch is perfect, and some of your points are valid....but responsibility for personnel falls on the GM, not on Hitch. We made no major acquisitions last off season (for a center in particular) for a team that went .500 last year (under Hitch) and guess where we are going to end up this year?
Name me a good coach who rolls over on personnel decisions!
Especially when it involves a brand new young unproven GM.
((Please anyone....read my Hitch rant on the previous page before responding to this particular post.))
I'm not saying Hitch is a bad coach. I'm just saying HE needs to step up too.
People need to quit drinking the koolaid that Hitch and his staff have no say in the roster. That's PR bullsh*t.

Ok, now let me name you a coach: Barry Trotz.
That team was decimated in the off season by sell off.
And how about Craig MacTavish? The Oilers have a terrible roster, but are right there.

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03-29-2008, 08:02 AM
  #28
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Give me a list of the centers Hitch has used on our top line this year and catalogue Nash's other wingers. He's tried every possible combination he could but the club is devoid of top line talent. We needed to make a major acquistion last offseason and didn't do it--that falls on the GM, not on the coach.

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03-29-2008, 08:11 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJ John View Post
Give me a list of the centers Hitch has used on our top line this year and catalogue Nash's other wingers. He's tried every possible combination he could but the club is devoid of top line talent. We needed to make a major acquistion last offseason and didn't do it--that falls on the GM, not on the coach.

Exactly. The coach we NEEDED TO HAVE would have made sure we didn't have this problem 8 months ago. I think Hitch got caught up in his own ego. He really believed that he could turn the current roster into a playoff contender. We all hoped he was right and bought the tickets. He was wrong, and thus, deserves some of the blame.

And once again.... I refuse to accept that Hitch has no say in personnel decisions. I know he "publicly says" he doesn't. But don't be so naive. That's just organizational politics and Canadian understatement.

And there have been other quotes over the season that indicate he has more say than he wants you to remember. If I didn't like the guy, I would say he's been DISINGENUOUS. ie... saying he's not in charge so it's not his fault. But I'm not saying he's disingenous. I just think he's been too deferential to a young inexperienced GM and ABSENTEE ownership.

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03-29-2008, 08:24 AM
  #30
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Listen, he was trying Zherdev as a center in preseason for goodness sake. He knew he didn't have a center from the beginning....and yet they still didn't get one.

You assign this blame to Hitch. I assign it to Howson.

The fact is, it was a mistake.

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03-29-2008, 09:05 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pluckfur View Post
Zherdev has been on Malhotra and Nash's line. In weeks preceding ... yeah, Chimmer put a damper on Z's scoring, but I'm not going to say he's been any worse for Z's game than Z has. Takes two to tango ... or, um, something like that.

Z just looks kinda worn down to me. It looks to me that he doesn't seem to have the same athleticism or energy he had earlier in the season. He still looks like he's working hard, but just tired.

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03-29-2008, 09:11 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by leek View Post
Z just looks kinda worn down to me. It looks to me that he doesn't seem to have the same athleticism or energy he had earlier in the season. He still looks like he's working hard, but just tired.
Either that or he's nursing an injury which is probably true of just about everyone on the team. Not the same player since the Foote/Feds trade....

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03-29-2008, 10:30 AM
  #33
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I definately believe that Hitch deserves alot of the blame. Like alot of the other posters have noted, look at Nashville, Edmonton,and even Phoenix to a certain point. In any other sport you would question the coaching , or offensive philosphy, if the offense didnt produce. We continually throw Novotny, Murray, out with Nash ? Does anyone think that with all the near scoring chances that Brule has had, that if he would just pot one, it may get him over the hump. Why not put him on a line with Nash ? Also, there has been too many a night when this team basically sleep walked thru the game, and looked as if it didnt care. If I had too, I would call up the whole crunch team, before allowing that to occur again. Vyborny playing over Lindstrom ? Why not try Brule at center ? Do we really have better options ? I didnt expect to make the playoffs this year, but I was atleast hoping to see our young players develop for next year ? I'm not sure hitch is the right man , when dealing with young players.

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Old
03-29-2008, 12:05 PM
  #34
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Also, When Hitch called an opposing player "irrelevant" despite the fact that the only time he hasn't been the lineup against us in the last two years was the one game we actually beat them...

For those who think Hitch has no say, think about this, Had Hitch spoken up, MacLean would still be the GM, that is a fact. Ownership is so in love with Hitch they were ready to put the cart before the horse. Hitch probabl knew before MacLean did about the ladder getting fired.


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Old
03-29-2008, 02:29 PM
  #35
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Excellent Analogy of Hitch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Good retort Bob. It basically says what I believe... that until we make the playoffs EVERYONE, including Hitch and Howson, have something to prove.

Plenty of blame to go around... here's some for Hitch:

Hitch has said and done some things that I don't agree with.
He waffles for one thing. For example: he makes a big deal several times about how Z and Nasher can't play together. Then who does he pair against Nashville?

Second example: He talks openly about goalies needing confidence. The he smirks and says "no comment" about Freddy No's holding Nashville to 2 goals. That was bush league. And one of the goals was a clear deflection. Don't tell me he didn't know that. He knew. His video guys report everything to him during the game.

Example three: Coach complains about us having AHLers on the roster. But he repeatedly says that he lets Scott Howson make the personnel decisions. Does anybody really believe Hitch is THAT hands-off about personnel? And if he IS hands-off, then he's not as good a coach as some would have us believe. Man-up coach. Tell Scott and John H who you want (which you SHOULD have done last summer, last Fall and before the deadline. (Please don't insult my intelligence by saying Hitch doesn't make personnel decisions).

Example four: Vyborny's crappy crappy season. Coach protected him, made numerous excuses for him. Yet WHO DOES HE ALLOW TO BE TRADED? Fedorov who was having a good season with us. (Please again....do not insult my intelligence by saying Hitch doesn't have a say in personnel with Howson).

Example five: Brule and Brassard. Coach said Bru was better off playing in the AHL and yet allows him to stay up and continue to suck. Coach said they wouldn't play Brassard til he was ready, and that when he was up "he was up for good." Hello! Coach says "confidence" is an important factor in dealing with our young guys. But his moves with Bru and Brassard contradicted what he said.

Example six: Who else got sick and tired of Hitch saying "we're still in this!" Is there anybody up here who HONESTLY thought we were still in this 5 games ago when Hitch was still selling that kool-aid? I've been asking in posts for Hitch to breath more fire. Instead, Hitch has sounded like a church pastor.

Final example (though I could mention plenty others): Coach says "the minute you trade Shelley you're out looking for another guy like him." So he repeatedly scratches Shelley and let's Howson trade him without replacing him. Coach says "team toughness" is not about fighting. He talks a good game about toughness. But nobody who's watched the Jackets would ever accuse them of being tough. In fact, we're STILL soft and everyone in the league knows it.

We gave Hitch a pass all year because of his pedigree. So now he's had more than a season and several player acquisitions to prove himself. Yet his "defense first" approach has produced a horrible offensive output. Ok...I can hear his sycophants gearing up to defend him as if "Hitchcock" is a lock for the HOF. But last I looked, he was fired from Philly and hired by the lowly Blue Jackets who are once again NOT in the playoffs.

We are a mere 8 pts out of the playoffs. That's four games we should have won... but didn't because Hitch has been unable to solve the offensive puzzle.

JF CONCLUSION: Coach it is also you YOURSELF who has not put this team in a position to score.
Well said!! I think it is time to look at Hitch's performance under a microscope. Have the CBJ really improved that much under Hitch? Still 13th in the Conference and 8-10 pts out of a playoff spot. Enough said.

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Old
03-29-2008, 02:40 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by jore View Post
I was a bit surprised that Norrena got singled out after both Nashville games. He did let easy goals, but the team was shut out. I could understand blaming the goalie if we lost 2-1 and 3-2, but when it's 2-0 and 3-0 the goalie hasn't played any worse than the rest of the team.
I don't think he "singled out" Freddy. He was asked a direct question about the goaltending, to which he basically responded "no comment". Granted, that in itself is saying something, but certainly nothing worse than he said about the entire team. JMO.

--Granny

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Old
03-29-2008, 03:02 PM
  #37
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JF, let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Good retort Bob. It basically says what I believe... that until we make the playoffs EVERYONE, including Hitch and Howson, have something to prove.

Plenty of blame to go around... here's some for Hitch:

Hitch has said and done some things that I don't agree with.
He waffles for one thing. For example: he makes a big deal several times about how Z and Nasher can't play together. Then who does he pair against Nashville?
Do Hitch's line assignments really matter? You could find Nash playing with almost anybody at SOME point in a typical game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Second example: He talks openly about goalies needing confidence. The he smirks and says "no comment" about Freddy No's holding Nashville to 2 goals. That was bush league. And one of the goals was a clear deflection. Don't tell me he didn't know that. He knew. His video guys report everything to him during the game.
So he should have spared his ego by answering the question and blasting him in public? The second goal buried us and that was all Freddy. There were several other chances Nashville SHOULD have scored on but did not. Other teams have backup goalies that can come up and play just as well as the starter. We need the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example three: Coach complains about us having AHLers on the roster. But he repeatedly says that he lets Scott Howson make the personnel decisions. Does anybody really believe Hitch is THAT hands-off about personnel? And if he IS hands-off, then he's not as good a coach as some would have us believe. Man-up coach. Tell Scott and John H who you want (which you SHOULD have done last summer, last Fall and before the deadline. (Please don't insult my intelligence by saying Hitch doesn't make personnel decisions).
Hitch influences personnel decisions, but certainly doesn't make them. As Hitch has commented when XGMDM was here, it's the coach's job to get the most out of the players he's given by the GM. This is where you could assign blame to Hitch - in shootouts and on the nights where the players didn't seem interested in competing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example four: Vyborny's crappy crappy season. Coach protected him, made numerous excuses for him. Yet WHO DOES HE ALLOW TO BE TRADED? Fedorov who was having a good season with us. (Please again....do not insult my intelligence by saying Hitch doesn't have a say in personnel with Howson).
Of course Hitch protected him. Would blasting Vybes in public for sucky play make him break out of his funk any faster? And I'm sure Vybes would have been traded if anybody of value would have been offered for him. You don't know that Howson had offers and I don't know that he didn't, but I strongly suspect Howson had no takers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example five: Brule and Brassard. Coach said Bru was better off playing in the AHL and yet allows him to stay up and continue to suck. Coach said they wouldn't play Brassard til he was ready, and that when he was up "he was up for good." Hello! Coach says "confidence" is an important factor in dealing with our young guys. But his moves with Bru and Brassard contradicted what he said.
This is a clear example of Hitch and Howson not being on the same page. Brule was called back (by GMSH) too soon. Hitch painted himself into a corner with his comments about Brassard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example six: Who else got sick and tired of Hitch saying "we're still in this!" Is there anybody up here who HONESTLY thought we were still in this 5 games ago when Hitch was still selling that kool-aid? I've been asking in posts for Hitch to breath more fire. Instead, Hitch has sounded like a church pastor.
What did you expect him to tell his players five games ago? We're out of and have nothing to play for, but go give em hell boys?!? I'm glad that he admitted yesterday that we're out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Final example (though I could mention plenty others): Coach says "the minute you trade Shelley you're out looking for another guy like him." So he repeatedly scratches Shelley and let's Howson trade him without replacing him. Coach says "team toughness" is not about fighting. He talks a good game about toughness. But nobody who's watched the Jackets would ever accuse them of being tough. In fact, we're STILL soft and everyone in the league knows it.
I won't argue this. It seems that even with Shelley, and was proven again last night, we can either be tough or effective, but not both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
We gave Hitch a pass all year because of his pedigree. So now he's had more than a season and several player acquisitions to prove himself. Yet his "defense first" approach has produced a horrible offensive output. Ok...I can hear his sycophants gearing up to defend him as if "Hitchcock" is a lock for the HOF. But last I looked, he was fired from Philly and hired by the lowly Blue Jackets who are once again NOT in the playoffs.

We are a mere 8 pts out of the playoffs. That's four games we should have won... but didn't because Hitch has been unable to solve the offensive puzzle.

JF CONCLUSION: Coach it is also you YOURSELF who has not put this team in a position to score.
I'm holding my opinion on Hitch until upper management stops sending him into a gun fight with a pocket knife and expecting miracles.

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Old
03-29-2008, 03:09 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
We are a mere 8 pts out of the playoffs. That's four games we should have won... but didn't because Hitch has been unable to solve the offensive puzzle.

JF CONCLUSION: Coach it is also you YOURSELF who has not put this team in a position to score.
Hitch has to take some responsiblity sure. However, we knew going into this season that the offensive output was going to be an issue. Even his largest supporters knew that we only going to win if we could keep the score low and get some people to chip in goals. We weren't going to win many wide open games.

There's enough blame to go around. This was an organizational effort. If you want to single out Hitch, whatever.

Our GA/GF differential has went way down. We needed about 30 more goals from this roster. We didn't get it. The coaching staff can only coach what needs done, it's up to the players to execute.

This team has stabilized under Hitch and we are playing far better then we were under GG. I'm happy giving Howson and Hitch more time to turn this around. This off season is huge.

I don't buy your conclusion. I don't even buy most of your examples.

Either way, pray that ownership cuts the budget. You can yell at them, which would make you happy. Hitch would likely coach this team to another .500 season and would leave. That would be the best of both worlds for you.

Hitch allowed Feds to be traded? Feds was having a good year? Come on....


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Old
03-29-2008, 03:19 PM
  #39
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I am somewhat surprised by most of this discussion. First, I think that both HCH (Head Coach Hitchcock) and SH can see what we need--- players with actual NHL talent. but there is another component called management. Could it be that the ownership group imposed the "status quo for one year" rule?

I am sure that many of you went to those open houses that were held with HCH last June. Even at that time, right after Howson was just hired, HCH was saying that there would not be any major acquisitions in the off-season. I really think those instructions to HCH came form someone other than Howson.


Also, if you will recall, at the time that the Sanke Oil Salesman posturing as a GM was fired, there was a lot of talk that the decision to finally fire the idiot was due to teh red ink that was flowing from the combination of dumb large contracts (Foote & Feds) with declining attendance due to fan disgust. I have a hunch that Howson received a strong message that they did not want a new GM throwing around wild contracts like the old one and so a "moratorium" on spending was imposed by the ownership.

Now with the fan uproar, I think the ownership group has received a clear signal that the fan base is on the verge of complete abandonment unless the owners open the purses and get real NHL players in here. Myself I am glad to hear HCH saying that good hockey involves more than "hard work". It involves hard work by good hockey players. Bravo !!!! The cat is out of the bag.

I know for me and several other PSL holders, this off-season is the last chance for Mr. Mac to perform like a competent owner and put up the money for SH and HCH to go shopping for what they need.

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03-29-2008, 03:25 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by EDM View Post
I know for me and several other PSL holders, this off-season is the last chance for Mr. Mac to perform like a competent owner and put up the money for SH and HCH to go shopping for what they need.
IOW, this season the McConnell's should either be buyers or be sellers (of the team to someone who will operate this franchise in a major league manner)

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03-29-2008, 04:45 PM
  #41
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Well said!! I think it is time to look at Hitch's performance under a microscope. Have the CBJ really improved that much under Hitch? Still 13th in the Conference and 8-10 pts out of a playoff spot. Enough said.
Gallant's second season as coach (first full season) he had 35 wins. Hitch is sitting at 34 presently. This shocked even me.

Its not all Hitch's fault, but the "In Hitch We Trust" mantra is spent. Its time for Hitch, Howson and Mr. Mac to get this team the talent it needs instead of making excuses that the effort isn't there. Everytime Hitch cries about this in press conferences it begs the question--why can't you get them to buy into your system?

.500 is not acceptable. And the buck doesn't stop with the players. It goes all the way up the organization to Hitch, Howson, Priest and Mr. Mac. They really should give the season ticket holders to July 30th to renew to show they will do what it takes to win.

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03-29-2008, 04:50 PM
  #42
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I would agree with most points made here...

Though, I think that it is nearly impossible to put all of your blame in one area
The organization as a whole must ice a winning team (Owner, GM, Coach, players, etc.)

Relieved to hear Hitch admit defeat yesterday after the game, now I can watch the few remaining games without going crazy if we lose
Hoping for a good game against CHI tomorrow!

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03-29-2008, 05:12 PM
  #43
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I'm on board with many of the comments of leesmith and EDM. SH was more than responsible in moving Feds at the deadline (though I agree that he was far more valuable to this team than most on this board would admit) and discarding Foote (anytime after Foote's behavior and the tampering by COL). The value in return from WAS was good for the salary dump the CBJ received and the comp from COL was better than they would have every received through the NHL if they had the tampering on tape. I really don't see how you can seriously question SH for the moves he was able to accomplish on deadline. Now, the trades he didn't make, that's debatable.

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03-29-2008, 05:18 PM
  #44
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I think we are all feeling the same things (disappointment, frustration, etc.). I think it is also obvious that Hitch is feeling the same way. It just seems that we all have differing ideas on who to fault for the problems the Jackets have had this year. We can blame Hitch, Howson, owners, management, particular players.. I personally believe that probably everyone involved has to shoulder some responsibility for the way the season has gone. I also believe that there is probably no single Jacket player (save perhaps Nash and LeClaire) who will automatically be considered "keepers" for next season. Maybe this is as it should be. We can point fingers at individuals and someone else (with an equally valid position) will then say that this player/coach/manager would be fine save for the other players in front of/behind them.

When Hitch made his post game comments last night one could read a whole lot between the lines. I think when he said we were working hard but that wasn't enough, I took that to mean, yeah, we (given who we are) have to work hard in order to have any chance at all to win games. And when he made the comments about losing offensive battles and not shooting the puck from the best positions he was then asked if it was possible to "teach" players how to score goals. I read that as his feeling that by the time a hockey player gets to the NHL level they ought to be able at least to recognize the best position on the ice from which to shoot the puck!! (Especially when we do it so poorly anyway).

I don't think we can blame any one in particular for this tangled mess. It was/is a collective effort that is going to be very difficult to sort out and set straight. Frankly, I don't envy anyone involved, but I do wish them (and all of us) the very best of luck.


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03-29-2008, 06:11 PM
  #45
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What is lost in the equation through all of the "Hitch" evaluation (yes his performance should be evaluated) is that the coaches he is being compared to in this thread (Trotz, Gretzky and MacTavish) all have more talented players than Hitch has at his disposal.

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03-29-2008, 09:21 PM
  #46
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What is lost in the equation through all of the "Hitch" evaluation (yes his performance should be evaluated) is that the coaches he is being compared to in this thread (Trotz, Gretzky and MacTavish) all have more talented players than Hitch has at his disposal.

Seriously? You think the Coyotes have more talent than the Jackets?
That's highly debatable. What they have is a HOF Coach who has GOTTEN RID OF players who didn't match his intensity and demanding style.

I appreciate everyone's comments, and if you read my posts, you'll see I'm not laying the entire blame at Hitch's feet --just ending the honeymoon.

What I would like to hear out of our coach at some point is HIM shouldering SOME of the blame -because it's obvious he needs to make some changes, and should have some time ago.

Suggestions:
"This off-season I'm going to be re-evaluating our scheme to see where I can change to help this team."
"This off-season I'm going to work more closely with Scott to express our needs."

Which leads me to my next question.... do we have the right COACHING STAFF in place? Malarchuk's Luongo/Leclaire credentials are gold. But Ags and Noel in my opinion, should be replaced. They are the equivalent of third liners - role players when we need allstars. In particular, I'd like to see some coaches with Energy and Fire. I've watched Ags and Claude at practices. They're laid back.

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03-29-2008, 09:38 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Seriously? You think the Coyotes have more talent than the Jackets?
That's highly debatable. What they have is a HOF Coach who has GOTTEN RID OF players who didn't match his intensity and demanding style.
Yeah, I saw them the beginning of the season and they were one of the worst hockey teams I've ever seen in the NHL. Gretzky deserves some credit--and I'm not a huge fan of his. Of course, getting handed Bryz didn't hurt either.

Quote:
Which leads me to my next question.... do we have the right COACHING STAFF in place? Malarchuk's Luongo/Leclaire credentials are gold. But Ags and Noel in my opinion, should be replaced. They are the equivalent of third liners - role players when we need allstars. In particular, I'd like to see some coaches with Energy and Fire. I've watched Ags and Claude at practices. They're laid back.
Its not their style I'm bothered by, its the lack of competence. Our power play is horrible--that's Ags responsibility. Claude also seems clueless (i.e. the infamous "two goals" quote). Hitch needs to sack both of them.

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03-29-2008, 09:44 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Seriously? You think the Coyotes have more talent than the Jackets?
That's highly debatable. What they have is a HOF Coach who has GOTTEN RID OF players who didn't match his intensity and demanding style.

I appreciate everyone's comments, and if you read my posts, you'll see I'm not laying the entire blame at Hitch's feet --just ending the honeymoon.
No explanation necessary, it's good conversation fodder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
What I would like to hear out of our coach at some point is HIM shouldering SOME of the blame -because it's obvious he needs to make some changes, and should have some time ago.

Suggestions:
"This off-season I'm going to be re-evaluating our scheme to see where I can change to help this team."
"This off-season I'm going to work more closely with Scott to express our needs."
I thought I heard him say something very similar to that in the last presser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Which leads me to my next question.... do we have the right COACHING STAFF in place? Malarchuk's Luongo/Leclaire credentials are gold. But Ags and Noel in my opinion, should be replaced. They are the equivalent of third liners - role players when we need allstars. In particular, I'd like to see some coaches with Energy and Fire. I've watched Ags and Claude at practices. They're laid back.
Everyone knows I don't care for Agnew. I'm trying not to crucify Noel for one misstatement/stupid comment on TV.

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03-29-2008, 09:50 PM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Gallant's second season as coach (first full season) he had 35 wins. Hitch is sitting at 34 presently. This shocked even me.

Its not all Hitch's fault, but the "In Hitch We Trust" mantra is spent. Its time for Hitch, Howson and Mr. Mac to get this team the talent it needs instead of making excuses that the effort isn't there. Everytime Hitch cries about this in press conferences it begs the question--why can't you get them to buy into your system?

.500 is not acceptable. And the buck doesn't stop with the players. It goes all the way up the organization to Hitch, Howson, Priest and Mr. Mac. They really should give the season ticket holders to July 30th to renew to show they will do what it takes to win.
Bang on.

And kudos to whoever said OT losses don't count - the Jackets are well under .500.

Good thread, JFan. And good point about the coaching staff - Ags and Noel gotta go, although it's hard for us to tell whether Hitch is getting what he wants from Claude. I've been saying for years Murph's gotta go too, but he deserves some credit for the improved play on D. I think Cap'ns right about those guys - style isn't the issue, competence is. I think HItch is teaching them at the same time he's teaching players. It might be too much to ask.

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03-29-2008, 09:53 PM
  #50
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What I would have liked to hear Hitch say was:
"College, Juniors and the AHL are for teaching. When they get to the NHL it's about winning." I've heard him say something similar in the past. Maybe he thought it would be too flippant of an answer to the reporter's question?

Re: the comparison of Gallant's win totals to Hitchcock's, let's remember Gallant's team won a lot of games late when they were already out of the playoffs (not playing the other team's best).

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