Losers of 10 of 12, the Rangers fired head coach Tom Renney yesterday and Ex Sens assistant Perry Pearn. John Tortorella takes over. Tortorella can now get back to doing what he does best - hating the media. Torts must have had a lot of self loathing going on over the last few months.
What is it with today’s NHL? How do good teams go so bad so quickly?
Last season the Senators started 14-2. John Paddock was named head coach of the Eastern all team. Exactly a month after the game, Paddock was fired. A year after that the Sens were firing another coach, Craig Hartsburg. The Sens have been mostly awful since November 2007, just 5 months after their Stanley Cup final appearance.
This season, the Pittsburgh Penguins had hoped to build on their Conference title. They re-signed their coach to a multi year deal then, in the midst of a tail spin this season, had to fire him. Finally the Rangers, who started this year 10-2-1, now look hopeless. They've lost 10 of their last 12 and fired Renney yesterday. If the Habs miss - unthinkable two months ago - Guy Carbonneau will have to go too.
Sure, all three of those teams made player moves that can now be questioned. But they shouldn’t be this bad. Each should be much better than they are.
I think it comes down to this. The salary cap has created a huge parity-filled middle class. There are still going to be teams like Detroit, San Jose, Washington and Boston who just assemble rosters that are better than other teams.
For everyone else, all that separates one team from another on most nights is health (injuries and amount of rest) and confidence. When one team is confident, feeling good about itself, they tend to make all the right decisions and support each other. It’s contagious too. So is lack of confidence. When you get going badly, as the Sens Rangers and Pens can attest, it’s awfully hard to straighten things out.
Three is NOT the Charm
It’s time the NHL abolished the one point for a loss. There should be two points on the line. The winners get them. End of story. They don’t share points with the loser.
Let’s think about why they eliminated ties. Because it was unsatisfying for the fans. Now you get two division rivals, meeting late in the season. You beat them in overtime. Woooo! Two points, yeah! Wait a minute, you’re giving them a point? For losing? Are fans really feeling satisfied with that?
The best solution is this. Play 4 on 4 overtime for five minutes then 3 on 3 until someone scores. No shootouts. Winner gets 2 points. Loser gets nothing but the will to try harder next time.
The Sens host Carolina tonight in a battle of two teams fighting for their playoff lives. However, only one is near death. In hockey you have 2 kinds of death. You have the common sudden death. Then you have the long, drawn out, painful death which the Sens are currently enduring. Their battery is showing only one bar right now and it’s flickering. The Sens are 15 points out of a playoff spot while Carolina is alive and well, just one point out. At least Bill McCreary is reffing. That's how you know the Sens will get a fair shake tonight.