Hello to my 2nd favorite city/team from Penguin land.
Congrats on winning the Lottery, and first shot at native son Jones. I follow the Winterhawks closely due to Morrow and Pouliot, and think Jones has a chance to be a Norris Trophy winner once he learns his trade. Of course, it will take him a few more years to reach his potential than a high scoring forward, but it sure does seem like a good match for you guys with the D issues and all.
So Tony Granato is our Assistant Head Coach these last few years, and there has been a lot of concern amongst the fan base in Pittsburgh recently about a staff that seems fairly inflexible, and that especially seems to ignore chemistry issues amongst the forward lines. We also seem to often scratch good performers in the bottom lines for slow moderately-physical unskilled pluggers, who then seem to make a lot of mistakes that end up in our net, without much in the way of accountability.
Don't get me wrong, we at least have a solid staff, however with our recent playoff record, there is a train of thought were the staff needs changed or dumped to ensure we don't waste the Crosby Years. A lot of us are wondering if the head coach is the main issue, or his assistants.
Just what where the specific criticisms of Granato Hockey when he coached the Avs? A lot of us are curious here in Pittsburgh....
Well, I guess I am looking for specifics from your knowledgeable fan base. What were specifically some of the ways he failed? No adjustments, too many adjustments, good system, bad system. How was he managing the lines? Was he a technical guy with no "feel", or maybe a personality type coach who could get guys to buy in, but did not really see the flow of games. Did he scratch the right players? Etc, etc....
He definitely was a proponent of scrubs. That belief you have is valid.
He also was absolutely freaking horrible on the PP. We didn't take very many shots from the point at all. Everything was trying to pass our way until we were 5 feet from the net. Frustrating to watch.
We lost enormous amounts of turnovers in the neutral zone, didn't really play any defense or attempt to stop the opposition coming through the neutral zone, and Granato shuffled lines what seemed like every game.
Granted our team was pretty bad in his second stint, but he mismanaged the hell out of the 2003 Avs squad that was loaded. If you can remember correctly, that was when Selanne was relegated to third line before he finally got the hell out of Denver and resurrected his career somewhere else. Most fans will never ever forgive Tony Granato for the incompetence of that year.
I seem to recall a hallmark of Granato's second stint being a complete inability to hold lines together for more than about three shifts if they didn't score.
In 08-09 there was a compendium of problems beyond Granato that made that season just so bad. It was the first time really for the Avalanche where they sucked. And when I say sucked I mean didn't look as if they could make the playoffs. Now there were injuries, A first line of Wolski-Arnason-Hejduk at one point rings a bell, but there was absolutely no point where you got the sense that Granato had the faintest idea what he was doing. There was no discernible system at any point, no accountability, no sense that he had any sort of authority or that players wanted to win for him.
Much like Sacco I remember him being described as a player's coach, and it's not something that works when he's the leader. The head coach isn't someone you're supposed to like, someone who's supposed to be your pal, if he is you get sloppy. You stop caring. And a lot of that happened in 08/09. There's a reason Ben Guite was our best player that season as far as I'm concerned, and it wasn't for his stellar offensive output.
And in 03/04 He had practically the best roster in the league, and we indeed finished well and had the Moore incident which seemed to deflate the whole team, but there's no point where he's ever inspired confidence in anyone. As an assistant, a complimentary coach I daresay he has some benefit but there's no way you would want him to be responsible for anything significant in terms of how your team plays.
__________________ ďItís embarrassing. Iím embarrassed to be here right now. Itís not even funny. And itís just embarrassing, the way we, you know, the energy we have in the room and the way we approach practices and the way we approach this game. Itís not how youíre going to win any games in this league." - Jean-Sebastien Giguere, April 8 2013
The one good thing I'll say about Granato--it was the failure of the power play that did in Hartley, and Granato actually did fix that pretty quickly. He at least knows that aspect of the game.
At this point I'd say he's a very capable assistant, but a disaster as a head coach.
Agreed the PP was pretty good under Granato, but it's so hard to tell what role assistants play in the success and failures of a team if you're not on the inside. I feel like Tocchet might have played a big part in the PP success during his tenure, just like it seemed Kono played a big part in the Sacco era PP success. Sacco's PP never really seemed to recover until the end of last year which is odd. I have no idea what might have changed, but it all of a sudden started to have a different approach and fired on all cylinders regularly.
It seems like Granato would make a very good assistant, but a bad head coach, but again who knows what success can actually be attributed to them rather than the HC. I would assume Pittsburgh is the same way, unless they have some pretty in depth coverage.
He's the worst coach I've seen in my history of watching hockey... I said this on another thread but as bad as Sacco is he is Herb Brooks in comparison to Granato.
He couldn't keep lines together and he'd just throw seemingly random people out there, he was awful his first run.. he ruined the 03-04 season with Kariya and Selanne.
He had Selanne playing on the 4th line with Peter Worrell... PETER WORRELL COULD HARDLY SKATE...
I remember after like 40 games of Selanne being in TG's doghouse he was put on the powerplay and scored like that first chance.. it was a beautiful goal.. he looked looked looked and out of the blue just ripped it home.. I think he scored a few after that and it seemed like his season was turning but it ended shortly after.