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The KHL Discuss the Continental Hockey League (Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga).

North American coaches need to learn the ropes on big ice

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Old
03-05-2013, 07:00 PM
  #1
Atas2000
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North American coaches need to learn the ropes on big ice

The first round is history. Both teams coached by North American coaches are out. Both teams have lost to a lower seeded team(I know they were #4 vs. #5 matchups, but still...).

Every series is different I know and yet I've read a bunch of comments on the Severstal - Loko series about Rowe's coaching(I didn't get to watch a lot of games of this series myself, but what I saw rather added to the picture given by other people than negated it). Rowe obviousy tried to let the team stick with the 'simple' game, positional attack a lot of dumps and 'secure' plays.

Even more telling is the story with Paul Maurice. He basically drove Kaigorodov out of the team right at the beginnig of his tenure. A mainstay on the team, а Magnitogorsk native and a fan favorite in Magnitogorsk asked for a trade after being scratched several times by Maurice. Maurice obviously didn't see him fit into his system. Well, we all know how it's eded. Kaigorodov just scored 6 pts in 7 playoff games against Magnitogorsk, also scoring the final goal of the series clinching the series win. Nice revenge for Kaigorodov. A lot of thinkwork for Maurice I suppose.

That all brings me to a conclusion that both North American coaches in the end couldn't embrace the concept of a different game on larger rinks, i.e. it needs different strategy and tactics and even the fact that different player types can play differnt roles on bigger ice. I don't say now they are bad coaches and I see Rowe staying with Loko(about Maurice I'm not sure), but they have to learn the european game of hockey more if they want to be successfull in the KHL.

Feel free to comment.

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03-06-2013, 02:50 AM
  #2
metmag
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You may be somewhat right, but I think your conclusions are premature. At the same time, your sample size is very small. I think it is hard to make an observation from one set of data. There are also multiple factors that come into play.

There are several factors that have nothing to do with nationality but simply for the fact that they are rookies. Also considering this: Metallurg was one of the most negatively affected team by the lockout end and the performance of not only the team, but also the players(mozyakin, etc) and the destroyed chemistry between them was apparent. This has nothing to do with style of coaching or nationality; any Russian coach would undergo the same situation. In fact, Ak-Bars explicitly chose to not play locked out NHLers (except Emelin who knew their system and had small effect) as they learned their lesson last time. In this sense it is more of a GM mistake rather than a head coach.

As you mentioned before both teams were 4 and 5 seeds so it is already expected to be tight. They all had competitive rosters (Shipachov, Koshechkin etc.) and even got reinforcements in a play off star Anisin(despite what people think of him, he produces points).
And again that has nothing to do with NA style or nationality.

First of all what do you mean by embrace the style? They embrace it. Do you mean emulate instead? Do you want them to adopt and coach in Russian style? Maybe thats not why they were even hired.
Teams and owners don't owe it to you to play the old USSR style forever just because they happen to be located in Russia. Maybe teams and owners are trying to be creative and looking for new ways and styles to teach.

Dont worry, influence is good. The NHL got a major positive from learning and influence from Russia and Europe. Whats wrong with a hybrid Russia-NA style on a big surface in an international league? And if so, people like Paul Maurice would be the best for the job. And that is exactly why I think that both should stay for another year.

Magnitogorsk for an example: If PM leaves now, It will be a waste of a year. There will be no result and nothing will be learned. If PM stays, he will be accustomed to the system. He will be used the league, he will also have a roster that he has helped build and knows, and management that he is familiar with; all these things matter. In my opinion that will be his real test as a coach. Not this rookie lockout year(even though the 1st round loss was tough). If there is a similar result next year, then fire him. In that case, maybe you will be right and we could make some trends and conclusions about NA hockey in KHL.

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03-06-2013, 03:58 AM
  #3
Atas2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metmag View Post
You may be somewhat right, but I think your conclusions are premature. At the same time, your sample size is very small. I think it is hard to make an observation from one set of data. There are also multiple factors that come into play.

There are several factors that have nothing to do with nationality but simply for the fact that they are rookies. Also considering this: Metallurg was one of the most negatively affected team by the lockout end and the performance of not only the team, but also the players(mozyakin, etc) and the destroyed chemistry between them was apparent. This has nothing to do with style of coaching or nationality; any Russian coach would undergo the same situation. In fact, Ak-Bars explicitly chose to not play locked out NHLers (except Emelin who knew their system and had small effect) as they learned their lesson last time. In this sense it is more of a GM mistake rather than a head coach.

As you mentioned before both teams were 4 and 5 seeds so it is already expected to be tight. They all had competitive rosters (Shipachov, Koshechkin etc.) and even got reinforcements in a play off star Anisin(despite what people think of him, he produces points).
And again that has nothing to do with NA style or nationality.

First of all what do you mean by embrace the style? They embrace it. Do you mean emulate instead? Do you want them to adopt and coach in Russian style? Maybe thats not why they were even hired.
Teams and owners don't owe it to you to play the old USSR style forever just because they happen to be located in Russia. Maybe teams and owners are trying to be creative and looking for new ways and styles to teach.

Dont worry, influence is good. The NHL got a major positive from learning and influence from Russia and Europe. Whats wrong with a hybrid Russia-NA style on a big surface in an international league? And if so, people like Paul Maurice would be the best for the job. And that is exactly why I think that both should stay for another year.

Magnitogorsk for an example: If PM leaves now, It will be a waste of a year. There will be no result and nothing will be learned. If PM stays, he will be accustomed to the system. He will be used the league, he will also have a roster that he has helped build and knows, and management that he is familiar with; all these things matter. In my opinion that will be his real test as a coach. Not this rookie lockout year(even though the 1st round loss was tough). If there is a similar result next year, then fire him. In that case, maybe you will be right and we could make some trends and conclusions about NA hockey in KHL.
It has nothing to do with nationality. Basically it's the problem of the rink size which dictates a lot of basics of the 2 big hockey schools.

Also the sample size is not that small. Paul Maurice and Tom Rowe aren't the first and only ones NA coaches in Russia. Well, of course we never had Scotty Bowman coach a KHL team, but still none of the NA coaches had any bigger success. The lockout turmoil is of course a good point and I never stated they should adapt the european system. It seems (and it's an indicator for the importance of the rink size) that you can't just copypaste the NA hockey to bigger rinks and it will obviously take more time for NA coaches to adjust their coaching to the requirements of the KHL. I mean european coaches seem to have it much, much easier to adapt.

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03-06-2013, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Atas2000 View Post
I mean european coaches seem to have it much, much easier to adapt.
Exactly. I think there are a lot of European coaches who are not as good and as talented and their decision make even less sense but when hiring them you know what you are getting. Meanwhile with NA coaches you are always unsure about it and even after this season maybe they will get better, maybe they won't.

I think lockout brought even more confusion. For example, statistically almost every Loko player underperformed (who's to blame?) and if not for Varlamov and Anisimov, who were a huge part of the team while it was actually winning games, an argument can be made that they would be in the bubble to make the playoffs (their regular season record after the lockout is 8-9-2-0).

Obviously, there are few success stories, like Bob Hartley has won a Swiss title a year ago but in the KHL jury is still out for NA coaches.

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03-06-2013, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundAndFury View Post
Exactly. I think there are a lot of European coaches who are not as good and as talented and their decision make even less sense but when hiring them you know what you are getting. Meanwhile with NA coaches you are always unsure about it and even after this season maybe they will get better, maybe they won't.

I think lockout brought even more confusion. For example, statistically almost every Loko player underperformed (who's to blame?) and if not for Varlamov and Anisimov, who were a huge part of the team while it was actually winning games, an argument can be made that they would be in the bubble to make the playoffs (their regular season record after the lockout is 8-9-2-0).

Obviously, there are few success stories, like Bob Hartley has won a Swiss title a year ago but in the KHL jury is still out for NA coaches.
you do understand that swiss league is practically a carbon copy of a Canadian Style of hockey

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03-06-2013, 12:04 PM
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you do understand that swiss league is practically a carbon copy of a Canadian Style of hockey
It's similar or lets say more similar than KHL, for sure. But there are many differences and Hartley spoke about them in his interviews. About how his players at first were struggling with his defensive systems because nobody in Switzerland plays like that and etc.

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03-06-2013, 02:25 PM
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Canadian influence has been extremely beneficial for the Swiss, and that didnt happen overnight. There is alot to be learned from NA, or anywhere for that matter.

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03-06-2013, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by metmag View Post
Canadian influence has been extremely beneficial for the Swiss, and that didnt happen overnight. There is alot to be learned from NA, or anywhere for that matter.
The problem though is that often when you learn something from one school of hockey, you lose something else from the other that worked well before. And there's the question - did you need to lear those things?

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03-06-2013, 03:23 PM
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Canadian influence has been extremely beneficial for the Swiss, and that didnt happen overnight.
Beneficial in what way? Swiss NHL superstars? Switzerland winning medals in WC or Olympics?
Swiss was 4th in WC 1998, last year's WC Swiss ranked 11th, 2011 - 9th... Schweiz seems to be good at U20 level but that has not translated well into adult hockey. Out of all forwards, only Brunner has been an impact player in NHL (not being drafted at all and sort of a miracle coming from nowhere). Of course there's also Bartschi, but before there were also promising guys, Niederreiter and maybe not that talented others... From 2000 there have been around 40 Swiss guys drafted and you can count how many of them are in NHL now....

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03-06-2013, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Latgale_fan View Post
Beneficial in what way? Swiss NHL superstars? Switzerland winning medals in WC or Olympics?
Swiss was 4th in WC 1998, last year's WC Swiss ranked 11th, 2011 - 9th... Schweiz seems to be good at U20 level but that has not translated well into adult hockey. Out of all forwards, only Brunner has been an impact player in NHL (not being drafted at all and sort of a miracle coming from nowhere). Of course there's also Bartschi, but before there were also promising guys, Niederreiter and maybe not that talented others... From 2000 there have been around 40 Swiss guys drafted and you can count how many of them are in NHL now....
Yeah, I don't see much benefits from Canadian influence too but otherwise number of Swiss players in the NHL is definitely increasing. At Vancouver Olympics they had Hiller and Streit playing in the NHL, in Sochi they will most likely have Hiller, Streit, Diaz, Nino, Baertschi, Sbisa, Weber, Brunner and Josi. So growth of Swiss hockey is indisputable.

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