Finally, after two years of begging pleading and anger from the fanbase, Chairman Mo has been deposed…again.
In his place comes Kirk Muller–who, unlike Chairman Mo, has a Cup ring and actual experience as a coach.
Like the first time, I’m thrilled about this. This org really needs to take a good long look at itself and really decide to make decisions that need to be made to bring it on a nightly basis–even if they don’t win a Cup or go super-deep in the playoffs every year, the fans in this area will reward a team that is actually TRYING to get shit done. They also appreciate accountability. Mo didn’t have it. Captain Kirk, OTOH, does.
Of course, given the “all of this has happened before, and it will happen again” nature of this organization, this does beg the question:
When will Chairman Mo come back like a chronic yeast infection?
I hope that question never gets answered.
Next game tomorrow at home against the Florida Panthers. Can’t wait to see how the team responds.
…when, no matter how asstacularly the Hurricanes were playing that season, they could always be counted on to beat the Thrashers.
What in the blue hell was that last night?? Tomas Kaberle, whiffing on AN OPEN FREAKING NET. Really? Really?
Anyone who thinks that anyone not named Jeff Skinner, Chad LaRose, Brandon Sutter, or Cam Ward actually showed up and “played awesome” last night is either delusional or just plain stupid. I tried to watch the game again on the DVR to see if I could find at least something entertaining, but no–I finally had to give up and go watch a marathon of “Rocket City Rednecks” (which is highly entertaining, I might add–Safety Third!)
It was either that, or slit my wrists. Watching this team play under Chairman Mo is like being trapped in an abusive relationship, sometimes: you love them, they keep treating you badly, you really want to leave, but you keep going back to them because you love them.
Either that, or Mo is just the Coach of Life-Draining. Under any other coach, this team could actually play with some verve and maybe make some noise despite the fact that they’re relatively little and can be easily knocked-around. But under Mo?? Fuhgeddaboudit. Even Skinner and LaRose are starting to feel it.
Hell, under any other coach Boychuk and Bowman would actually get more than 5 minutes of ice time, Pat Dwyer would be on the 4th line where he belongs, and Chad LaRose wouldn’t get any higher than the third line. I would really, seriously, honestly, like for a Mo-apologist who doesn’t work for the Hurricanes to please explain to me why they feel Paul Maurice is an NHL-quality coach, when the previous FOURTEEN YEARS OF HIS CAREER have shown that he just isn’t.
Bonus points if you can manage to refrain from claiming that I have no right to say anything because I’ve never coached or played in the NHL.
The floor is open.
OK, so let’s get right to the point:
Mo Must Go, Again.
I’ve been saying it ever since he came back like a bad rash, I’ll keep saying it until he’s gone again. I say it every time I see a promising callup like Zach Boychuk or Zac Dalpe be relegated to the fourth line for five minutes a night rather than getting a proper shot, while somebody like Chad LaRose is in the Top 6. I love LaRose, I do–but he’s not Top 6 material.
(In fairness, as of this writing Rosie is no longer in the Top 6.)
I say it every time I see Musical Lines being played in the middle of a game. I say it every time I see evidence that the team is essentially being left to their own devices during a game. I say it despite being called a “bad fan” or a “fake fan” by the motards that flock to the Hurricanes’ facebook page. I say it every time I hear excuses after a loss, every time I see the defensive shell (which SUCKS), and every time I see players floating lazily around the ice and playing not to lose while Old One-Eye (and I am NOT talking about Odin, thank you) just stands there cracking his Big Red.
Is Dave Lewis allowed to do anything? Dudeman has way more coaching chops than Mo does, and it seems all he’s allowed to do is just stand there and watch. And the Warchief? Where is he when he’s not standing behind the bench looking stoic? Is he only allowed to coach faceoffs at practice? I find it absolutely incredible that they brought Mo back to save money, gave him two assistants to ostensibly prop him up….and the team is still functioning the way it did before the Interregnum.
The more things change, the more they stay the frelling same. Welcome to the Carolina Hurricanes, the best self-coached team in the NHL.
MO MUST GO, AGAIN.
Bleh. That’s all I have to say about that. Bleh.
This series is going to end on Tuesday unless the Hurricanes do the following:
1) The defence has to pull their collective head out and actually get in the game. Tim Gleason, I’m talking to you. Anton Babchuk, I’m talking to you. Dennis Seidenberg, ich rede mit dir. Expecting Cam to do all the work for you is grossly unfair, don’t you think? Dudeman was PISSED last night, and I don’t blame him one bit for it because he is getting less than no help from his defense. At least three of Malkin’s goals (not to mention a couple of other goals from Crosby and, say, Letang) in this series don’t happen if the defense? doesn’t fall down on the job and manages to clear the puck away from the net or even play the body. The refs have put the whistles away for the playoffs; the least the Hurricanes can do is actually get physical like they need to.
2) The best players on the team play like it. What is so hard about camping in front of Fleury, driving to the net, and doing something other than just firing the puck in the general direction of the net from ten feet out and hoping it goes in?? Come on guys–Chad LaRose may be the Chuck Norris of hockey, but the little dude can only do so much. There’s gotta be more traffic in front of the net, there’s gotta be more consistency that I am just not seeing.
Actually, I take that second part back–mostly–because:
3) Chairman Mo has got to have some faith in his fourth line, for once. Actually, he should have had some faith in his fourth line in the first and second rounds too. Not letting them see the ice more than once a period (if that) has left the rest of the forwards more or less gassed. He’s reverted to type, refusing to roll four lines and running his top three lines into the dirt. That’s not how you win a Cup or even avoid getting humiliated in the Conference Finals, dude. I suggest he watch some tapes from 2006 and see how Lavi did it (despite what the Slugfans will tell you, he won by–among other things–rolling all four lines consistently).
And people wonder why I refuse to believe the man has changed any during his time away from the team. Sheesh.
I finally get a decent amount of time to devote to the blog again (now that I’ve finished my first six months at the yob), and my back goes kablooie again.
I spend 2 days flat on my back and another 2 weeks trying to stretch and traction it back into shape with the help of meds, and the ‘Canes make the playoffs.
The ‘Canes make the playoffs, and I finally have a decent amount of time to devote to the blog again.
And we’re facing the Devils again. What a coincidence among coincidences.
I’m not very happy that the ‘Canes decided to lay down on the job in front of Michael Leighton on the last day of the season. I caught bits and pieces of the game while I was at work, and wasn’t really thrilled with what I was hearing.
I will give Paul Maurice due props for the work he and his staff have done with the team so far. Make no mistake, I miss Peter Laviolette and I will never speak ill of him (unlike, say, the Great Leader)–but he should have been allowed to leave after the 2006-2007 season. Coaches like Lavi and my favourite Spicy Italian, John Tortorella, who coach very aggressive and unadaptable styles of play, have a very short half-life unless everything goes just right all the time. The minute things go wrong, the rate of decay begins to speed up until you have what amounts to gold turning into lead.
Chairman Mo, on the other hand, has surprised me by showing that he’s learned to adapt to what he has to hand. I still see fragments of the defensive shell that drove me barking mad during his first go-round, but this time it’s actually doing something that I never thought I would see.
That said; for me to eat any crow when it comes to Paul Maurice as Hurricanes coach, the crow’s going to have to be served in the bowl of the Stanley Cup after a Game 6 win. And if it’s delicately seasoned with the bitter tears of Red Wings fans, so much the better.
Which brings me to my next topic as we head into the playoffs: Hate vs. Respect. For this, I will bring out Crown’s Exhibit A: The Detroit Red Wings.
As anyone alive knows, I hate the Red Wings and have for almost 30 years. I hated them when the Norris family was running the team into the ground. I hated them when they went from asstacular to decent. I hated them when they won their last 4 Cups. I’ve always just flat never liked them.
But I respected them. I respected them when they were shitty, because of their history. I respected them when they started getting decent, because they were trying. And I respect them now, because they’re an example of what happens when you formulate a plan and stick with it. They’re an example of great scouting (take a look at when Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were taken in their drafts–not even Lou Lamoriello could pull off something like that). They’re an example of astute management. And they’re an example of outstanding development and coaching.
Do I wish my team was the Red Wings? If you mean, “do I wish that my team would actually try to emulate a team growth model that works” (hint to ‘Canes manglement: that means “knock off the penny-ante bulldada and invest in some actual scouting and development”), then the answer is yes. If you mean, “do I wish that the fanbase was loaded with the hockey equivalent of Wal-Mart UNC fans”, then the answer is of course oh hell no. I’d like to not be embarrassed by my fellow fans, thanks.
(aside: What do a State fan and a UNC fan have in common? Neither of them went to UNC. *rimshot*)
Thank you, I’ll be here all playoffs. Pass the mead.
As all seven of you are no doubt aware, Peter Laviolette is still officially in limbo here–will he stay, will he go? Who knows? I’ve got this absolutely sick feeling that Lavi’s going to get the boot and wind up in Atlanta, while we’ll get Chairman Mo back behind our bench. HOPEfully it’s just the mead talking, because if Mo comes back I can about guarantee you that we’ll see triple-digit attendance at the RBC Center if we’re lucky and we’re playing Ottawa on a Tuesday.
If Lavi goes, don’t be surprised if a company man gets the job barring a miracle. Crazy Ron I don’t want to see here–I don’t think he’ll sit well with the populace–though Joel Quenneville (former member of the ’86 Whalers team) would be nice to have, as a nice nod to the team’s past (the Avs’ recent playoff performance notwithstanding–sorry Avs fans, but the Hurricanes kinda roont Jose Theodore for y’all way back in ’02).
The folks at The Hockey Show have put together a fun little video for all y’all–Bret of the Gimpy Hip and his lovely wife Kristi Yamaguchi take the viewer behind the scenes of her rehearsals for Dancing With The Stars (which, unlike EJ Hradek, I do NOT watch), and Gimpy learns to do the Cha Cha.
I’ve really had a hard time getting into the playoffs, since the four teams that are left are teams that I either despise (Detroit, who I hope gets bought and moved to someplace like Apalachicola, FL the instant Mike Ilitch kicks it) or intensely dislike (Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh). But since Wife 1A is a Pens fan, I’m suckin’ it up and waving a black-and-gold pompom for her.
ECF Game 3 in Philadelphia tonight. Puck drops at 7:30 at the Wachovia Center, and it should be an interesting game. Wonder if the Pflyers will try to get down and dirty with Evgeni “Slewfoot” Malkin?
The Toronto Maple Leafs have finally fired their GM. — TSN I am amazed that it took them this long, really. Of course, with Dick Peddie doing his best to screw things up at every turn, my amazement is admittedly minor. Word on the street is that Chairman Mo is next on the block, but I have it on pretty good authority that he’s signed another contract with Old Scratch and will be in power for a bit longer.In other news, the Hurricanes ride a two-game win streak into the second half of a home-and-home with the Islanders tonight. No TV for this one, so if you are not in the house to get your life-size Ray Whitney figurine you will have to listen to ChuckandtheletterK on teh radio.Now watch, because I blogged on a game day the ‘Canes will get their collective face pwned. It would be my luck.
I watched bits and pieces of the Leafs-Sens game last night. At several points I had to check my TV to make sure that the colour was right, because I could have sworn that I was watching the 96-04 Whalercanes.
All I can say to you, Leafs fans is:
I told you so.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been flamed senseless by Leafs fans for warning them about what to expect from Chairman Mo (and, for that matter, Jeff O’Neill). “I’m tellin’ ya,” I said, “all that stuff that you bitched about during the 2002 ECF? You’re going to see that again.”
But no, nobody listens to AQ.
Good luck, Leafs fans. Y’all look like you could really use it.