NHL coaches On The Hot Seat Going Into 2018

With the new year upon us, it’s time for NHL fans to get back to keeping a close eye on which teams are serious and which teams will be looking for new coaches at the end of the year. With most teams approaching the halfway point this article will look at which teams will be in the market for a new coach.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Vancouver Canucks;  It must be tough being a Vancouver Canucks fan. They haven’t won a playoff round or qualified for one since their game seven loss to the Bruins in 2011. Head coach Travis Green could be a victim of circumstances if the Canucks can’t get past round one of the playoffs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The only problem is the 16-19-5 Canucks haven’t been playing that badly. They sit in seventh place in the Pacific division, and fans are thirsty for a competitive playoff team. The Canucks also have a goaltending issue. The Canucks are getting solid play from both Jacob Markstrom and Tom Nilsson. Markstrom has an impressive 2.79 GAA while Nilsson has been respectable in 14games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The season could be determined in a couple of weeks as the Canucks have a tough five= game stretch against Montreal, Toronto, Minnesota Columbus and the Rangers. The Canucks need to play sixty minutes of hockey and find an identity soon or Travis Green may be out.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Arizona Coyotes; Like any team that’s been at the bottom the Coyotes are a team searching for answers. First-year head coach Rick Tocchet brings a defensive style of play to a 9-27-5 team who has had its share of losing seasons. The team has made it known for quite some time, that veteran Anthony DuClair is available. The question is who do they get in return? At this point, the Coyotes will get a high lottery pick. Number one pick Dylan  Strome has been a bright spot but is a victim of growing pains. The other bright spot has been goalie Antii Raanta. Ranta has an impressive5-10-2 record. If the Coyotes want to climb back in then Raanta needs to be their star player. Only time will tell.                                                                                                                                                                                3. Buffalo Sabres;  The Sabres are another team that has been cellar dwellers for quite a while. Head coach Phil Housley is trying to guide the 10-20-9 team to respectability. In order to do this, the Sabres need solid production from Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, and Evander Kane. Eichel  got off to a slow start but recently has elevated his game.                                                                                                                                                                                       Goaltender Robin Lehner is 4-7-5 in his last twelve starts. Lehner and the Sabres have been victims of the overtime curse. The Sabres are a 1-0-2 in their last three overtime wins. If Housley is to hold onto his job, then the Eichel line and team need to play a full sixty minutes of hockey, for the rest of the season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Like any team trying to win at a high level,s it ‘s going to take some time. Drafting lottery players is a great place to begin, but successful teams find ways to win. Two ways to win are, one play sixty minutes a game. And two is to play smart. All three coaches mentioned are good coaches but fans are waiting patiently for a winning team.

One thought on “NHL coaches On The Hot Seat Going Into 2018

  1. The only coach I agree with that may need firing is in Buffalo. But that is more owner Terry Pegula’s fault. Pegula got impatient with his gm and coach after seeing the progress in Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, etc. and fired them and now has a worse product. Getting rid of Housley now is going to mean a direct hit on himself.

    Vancouver? It’s the same situation as in Detroit. The glory days of the Sedins are over and now the Canucks have to rebuild with high draft choices. That’s not Green’s fault. In my first quarter report, I even thought the Canucks overachieved. Green seems to be a good coach, trying to make chicken soup out of chicken feathers. Give him some top draft choices to develop and see how he does.

    Arizona? In my first quarter report, I called Tocchet, Mr. Naïve. So anxious was he to become an NHL head coach that he took any position, choosing that of the horrible Coyotes. Perhaps he should be fired but the real story in Arizona is whether there is going to be any Arizona Coyotes at all. With their horrible record, they won’t get any public money now to build a new arena. Even the NBA Suns don’t want to have anything to do with them. I’ve speculated that what will happen is that the NHL will add Seattle, Houston, and another western expansion team and then shift the Coyotes to Quebec to get rid of racist bidder Pierre Karl Peladeau whom they can’t stand. In this situation, it is impossible to know how good a coach Tocchet is. I doubt if any coach can do a good job and the coaching issue probably won’t be really settled until the future of the franchise is determined.

    The one coach that I think deserves firing is mediocre Edmonton coach Todd McLelland. Edmonton played better in this second quarter but not good enough to make up for their horrid first quarter. And what I warned about in my first quarter report has come to pass. 7 other western teams have pulled away and probably can’t be caught. Realistically unless Edmonton goes on long winning streaks, only the last playoff position is available and that is rapidly flickering away too.

    Actually in my first quarter report, I argued that it was at the general manager position where changes should be made. I listed Montreal, Arizona, Florida and Minnesota as possibilities. And there is the untried Buffalo gm, thanks to Pegula. We’ll have to see what happens.

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