December 15, 2005

Eddie got a Raw Deal: I really can't stand the NHL unspoken custom of firing coaches when you clearly have a personell problem. Olczyk is just another vicitm of personell getting old, injured, unmotivated, ect.

posted by HATER 187 to hockey at 09:00 AM - 21 comments

I bet Bruins fans wish the coach had been fired instead of trading Joe. I think the Penguins' problem this year was setting the bar too high. They were still a year or two away from contending for a playoff spot in the East. The free-agent signings were too much, too soon...and too old. The pre-season hype was insane, atleast I thought so. Next year, if Malkin hops the pond, and the rest of the young Pens continue developing, and Fleury grows into the goalie he should become, they'll have a much more realistic shot at making the playoffs.

posted by garfield at 09:38 AM on December 15

I just the NHL policy of crucifying coaches when there is little they can do. Who thought Driver 8 (Recchi) would look so old. I was happy getting rid of Leclair because of his injury problems (bad call on the GM's part). Gonchar is a fourth foward who has lost his scoring touch and Marc Andre is just a kid who I don't think has the skills to live up to the hype already projected around him. Sid is where its at, he is the future of this franchise all he needs is a younger supporting cast kind of like the Rangers, small, quick, harworking, great net minding. Goal has been the Pens weakest point so far this season

posted by HATER 187 at 09:58 AM on December 15

I totally disagree with you guys. Unless you live in the area, or you have watched at least 6 of their games you should hold the comments. I have been a Pittsburgh fan for over 20 years and follow them all year long. This team is in shambles. I don't care about age. There is no reason what so ever that their power play should be ranked this low. Not with all the scorers they have. I knew at the start of the season they would have issues with their defense. That I can handle, but not their scoring. He has lost the locker room and the confidence of the players. The coaching move they made was a good one, it just should have been slightly different. I mean not gutting the staff. Obviously management felt that they needed a major shake up. Edzo is a good guy, but I questioned alot of his moves and saw this coming. Mentioning the goaltending- Have you seen Fleury's last 5 starts? He has played great. Once again no support from offense. This guy Therrien-the new coach- has done a phenomenal job at Scranton/WB. Why not promote from within? This firing was very justified!

posted by phillygator at 10:13 AM on December 15

Philly's right. Whether or not the players have been very good, the Penguins are lethargic and uninspired. You can't ditch the whole team, so it's time for a shake-up before the entire season -- and possibly the new arena -- melts away.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:19 AM on December 15

Yes - this franchise is under fire. The hype was too much pre-season, for sure, but the fact remains that tinker-time is done. If there is to be a team in PIttsburgh in 2 years then some things need to be sorted out now. Eddie wasn't getting through. His is the first of many changes needed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:31 AM on December 15

i take back what i said, i think this was a great move, i love the penquins!! GO STEELERS posted by garfield at 9:38 AM CST on December 15 I agree garfield

posted by steelcityguy at 10:39 AM on December 15

I bet Bruins fans wish the coach had been fired instead of trading Joe. I would have preferred the GM. I like the coach.

posted by yerfatma at 10:53 AM on December 15

I think I've watched enough Pen hockey to know what I'm talking about. Fleury has been great lately, and I think he'll be a quality NHL tender. The NHL workload is the question mark, especially with a porous defense in front of him. Whether or not the players have been very good, the Penguins are lethargic and uninspired I don't understand how you can separate the two. Change all the coaches you want, until Mario is either a player or a coach or an owner, and not more than one, the team will suffer, in my opinion. and whoever the fuck you are, don't speak for me.

posted by garfield at 10:56 AM on December 15

yerfatma, I can see that. I was just commenting on the standard 'fire the coach' solution to wake up a team.

posted by garfield at 10:57 AM on December 15

Yes, it's not the best move - but I think it's the only one they can make. Short of trading Gonchar as soon as humanly possible.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:00 AM on December 15

Lo and behold, someone else finally agrees! Mario has to make his mind up whether to be an owner, a player, or whatever. Perhaps withan irregular heart, he should just be an owner, his scoring was way off, his skating was horrid compared to four years ago, and he had no hands left. Now, if he decided to be both a coach and an owner, that MIGHT work. Player and owner, no. Maybe owner and GM, but owner and player, much less captain, no friggin' way.

posted by mrhockey at 11:44 AM on December 15

mr, I agree, and have for a while. and I thought about that after I posted; owner/coach or gm/owner can work, but no combo with player will pan out, especially with his dominant personality.

posted by garfield at 11:56 AM on December 15

My first thought when I saw the "clean sweep" of the coaching staff was that they could determine the ability of Edzo's staff by swapping WB for the Pens staff. If the Wb team suffered horribly as the Pens have, then EdZo was the problem not the players. Personally I think the "super signings" who are skating like they are in a mudhole are to blame. Then again maybe its like in the movies. The owner is trying to gut the team so he sell and retire.

posted by Ice Goblin at 12:06 PM on December 15

mr. hockey i totally disagree with you. Putting Mario in as head coach would be a HUGE distraction. Not only is he not a big disciplinarian, which this club desperatly needs right now, he does not stress defense. The Pens own the worst defense in the league. And some of you guys are right, Fleury has played pretty well the last week or so, but there's nobody protecting th net for him and that will only last so long. Thibault was a bust. Recchi is playing solid for his age, Gonchar has been horrible (I thought he used to be a Penguin killer with the Caps??), LeClair is sluggish and showing his age, Palffy has had good hop but just not getting the scoring chances. I'll tell u one thing, they have to get more 21 friggin shots on goal, this is pathetic, 21 shots?!? They should have that by no later than the end of the second. And while they're only getting 21 shots, their opponent has 40+, this is not a good hockey club. I don't agree with firing Slipery Rock Joe, this guy has bled black and gold for 3 decades and this sinking ship was not his fault. Speaking of black and gold, I'm sick of these new uniforms. GO BACK TO THE UNI'S WE WORE WHEN WE WERE WINNING CUPS!!! We haven't won shit since they changed uni's.

posted by sully44 at 12:33 PM on December 15

I don't doubt you've watched enough Pens hockey to make an enlightened comment, garf. I'm just wondering what you would have done instead of change coaches? Stay the course and watch the season tank while you're desperately trying to raise public awareness of the team to land a new arena? If not, who would you trade, and more importantly, what would you expect to get for them? This team flats sucks, and it's not totally Eddie's fault ... but he's also completely unable to make them any better or get them to play with much jump. I feel badly for Olczyk, but it's the risk of being a head coach -- warranted or not, you're the guy who gets drilled when things go south.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:53 PM on December 15

I guess not having such high expectations (and a high payroll to go with it) would be where I would start. But wishing the situation away wasn't an option. I don't have an alternative, and I'm sort of glad for him, because I wouldn't want to coach a team where certain players can do what they want, play when and how they want, and have a say in my professional future. It detracts and distracts from my guidance whic needs to be a focused, unified and universal message. Maybe that's where I would start; with having a talk with Mario and the GM to clarify roles so I know what I can do. But I think such boundaries needed to be established a long time ago. Off-hand, I would try and trade Gonchar to the Flames with Hamrlik on the shelf for a while, and maybe steal a good young defender in the process.

posted by garfield at 01:22 PM on December 15

ewww. the Flames don't want him. FLAMES NEED SCORING desperately. They are barely scoring more than they are giving up. Ottawa has like 60% more goals scored than the flames. (both of these observations were something I noted in looking at the standings over the weekend( Gonchar won't help. Please, no.

posted by gspm at 01:35 PM on December 15

don't listen to me...I suck at trade suggestions, evaluations, etc. Give me some actual hockey to analyze, and I won't embarass myself.

posted by garfield at 02:57 PM on December 15

Gonchar is a complimantary type of player. He should see some 5 on 5 time (7-12 minutes) and should see lots of power-play time. With Calgary's depth on D and powerplay woes he might not be such a bad fit, so long as they get him cheap.

posted by HATER 187 at 04:54 PM on December 15

Sully, where did I say I WANTED Mario to be their coach? I said he MIGHT work as one. Not would, might. But as both a player and an owner, screw that. It can't go. He has no concept of team where he is, and he stuck his nose in the coach's business far too much for what they are doing. Maybe is far different from should. You are right on one account, LeMieux tries to dominate everything he does, and just like R. Scotty Bowman, that does work at times. But he won't do that, because then he'd only have himself to blame if the whole works went t.u.

posted by mrhockey at 09:44 PM on December 15

The pens have all kinds of problems, but I think it's always logical to go for the coach first- A good coach can really make a team better than they were. Hasn't anyone ever seen the Mighty Ducks movie? But seriously, If you ever saw a team who was tanking in the first period go into the locker room and come out fired up for the second you've seen what a good coach can do. That fire hasn't been under the Pens asses all year- or last season. As nice of a guy as EO is, his record speaks for itself. I think we'll see a different Pitt team the second half of the season. If I'm wrong at the end of the season, I'll gladly admit it- but I don't think I'll have to.

posted by PhillyJosie at 01:11 AM on December 18

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