Tuesday, April 03, 2007

about the coaches head

lewis may or may not be a good coach i do not know. i do not believe he has a good enough team to make a judgement yet. i do believe that the people calling for him to be fired have been tricked by previous regimes. in the past when the gm and owners have been unable or unwilling to put a product on the ice that was not a legitmate contender, they ownership and managment, tricked the fandom into believing that it was the coaches fault. when really the managment was unable or unwiling to get the job done. then when the owners couldnt blame the coaches any longer they moved the managment out. so here we are with a fan base that believes the coach is to blame for a bad team.

i believe the door to lewis's office might be of the revolving variety filled with the lingering smell of burns, keenan, ftorek and sullivan's. this teams ownership, management , coaching and players have all come and gone like parts. the thing is people run on emotions and to play with their emotion by treating them as parts and you will not get far. you need to develop bonds and commitments by trusting and showing trust in each other. its hard for me to tell these players they need to commit to this team when this team has been unable to commit to any of these people for sometime now. right now we have gathered on causeway street a bunch of strangers that play hockey.

pc and lewis and the players that we are being told are our core have to believe they will be here going through this together to become a team. this begins by not firing lewis until he gets a chance with this "core" for a second season with more extra and maturing parts to fill the massive voids that were apparant on this team from day one.

if we are still seeing bad penalties, uncommitted play, lack of stick-upped-ness, folding the tent a year from now at this time - well then i believe this coach did not fit these players, but its just too early and peter c knows this. he said on the radio yesterday that the entire coaching staff will stay. i say good decision peter. this is one step towards building trust in this pucked up town.


Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

"right now we have gathered on causeway street a bunch of strangers that play hockey."

Amen to that!

1:13 p.m., April 03, 2007  
Blogger jimbuff said...

Been flicking channels today and I would rather watch "... a bunch of strangers that play hockey." and not make the playoffs over any baseball game no matter how good it is supposed to be.
Let's petition to make hockey year round and get this baseball garbage off the tube!

3:23 p.m., April 03, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

Here's a story from the 7/9/05 Detroit Free Press when Dave Lewis lost his job in Detroit (courtesy of Factiva):

Being known as a player's coach is just fine with Dave Lewis.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, while officially announcing Lewis' departure Friday morning, intimated that Lewis' close relationship with players had prevented him from getting more out of them.

Lewis defended his coaching style in a phone interview with the Free Press on Friday afternoon.

"My philosophy on coaching wouldn't change much," said Lewis, who produced back-to-back 48-victory seasons. He said he viewed his ability to communicate with players as "a definite asset."

Under Scotty Bowman, Lewis was the players' sounding board. He was often referred to as "Lewie" by his players. That didn't change when he became head coach in 2002.

Holland didn't think Lewis' transition from an assistant coach to head coach went as seamlessly as Lewis did.

"I think going from an assistant coach to a head coach, to me, is like going from the traditional mother to the traditional father," Holland said. "You have a softer touch as a mother, and when you become the head coach, or the father, you have to lay down the law and got to have a completely different relationship. And I think Dave did the best he could in making that transition, but I think it was a big, big challenge."

Although Lewis, 52, learned a lot under Bowman -- who was highly successful and highly disliked by many of his players -- he patterned himself after another mentor, New York Islanders coach Al Arbour. Lewis played seven seasons (1972-80) under Arbour, who guided the Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups in the '80s.

"He was a very successful coach through the regular season and, then growing with that team, went on to win four Stanley Cups," Lewis said. "When you're a young puppy, you're influenced by the first people you're around."

Lewis said he was "very proud of my record" and pointed out that in 2004 the Wings "won the Presidents' Trophy with 400-man games lost" to injury.

So why did he think he was let go?

"It's the playoff record," Lewis said. "This team is built to win and be successful in the playoffs."

Under Lewis, the Wings were swept in the first round in 2003 by Anaheim and lost in six games in the second round to Calgary in 2004.

"You try to figure out what type of goals weren't we scoring," Lewis said. "We played a certain style that was very effective during the regular season. And yet, when it came to the point when we counted on some guys to put the puck in the net, it never happened."

Lewis said that during the lockout he talked with associate coach Barry Smith and assistant coach Joe Kocur about the need to change their approach offensively.

"You have to be willing to get to the net or be strong enough to get there," Lewis said. "We were going to try to improve on that."

Lewis said he met Holland on Thursday night at a Northville restaurant and learned that he would not be back as coach. Holland, though, offered Lewis a position as a pro scout.

"Surprise would be a fair statement," Lewis said. "All the indicators said that we would have conversations later on and I just assumed those conversations would be in regard to the contract. That was an assumption on my part."

Lewis wouldn't rule out becoming a Wings scout, but he said he would take a couple weeks to pursue coaching positions. He said he is appreciative of the Ilitch family and "to be involved with such a great group of players."

"I've had an unbelievable opportunity since I came to Detroit at Jimmy Devellano's invitation," said Lewis, who has been in the organization since 1986. "I'll cherish every day I've been involved with this franchise."

3:52 p.m., April 03, 2007  
Blogger Pekese said...

Nice find on the story Doobie. He is way too much of a players-coach and that never leads to success.

10:12 p.m., April 03, 2007  
Blogger Skyhound said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:26 a.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

Pekese, you are looking for evidence to fit your hateful view of Lewis.

If anything, the objective evidence idicates the opposite this year: it appears that there has been so much criticism of the players that they have lost confidence. That was at least true of Boyes. I think there is a good chance that is just part of the process toward remaking the team and next year, with all that behind them, they will flourish, just as Kessel has begun to flourish.

9:53 a.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

Hey, opposing viewpoints are what makes these conversations interesting. I'm also up in the air about Lewis. You'd like to give a coach at least two years to get his kind of players in and to establish his game plan. My biggest concern right now is that the team seems to be regressing (shutout AGAIN last night), not improving. You don't want to see that to end the year.

One more thing: it's very possible that Lewis has changed since Detroit. The good coaches learn from their mistakes and adapt. Go ask Cleveland fans who are still wondering if that Belichick guy in New England is the same one who coached their team in the nineties.

11:11 a.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

Not only is it possible that Lewis has learned from his mistakes, but the Detroit situation was different. He had trouble making the move from assistant coach to head coach with the same players. Changing roles like that with the same guys has got to be difficult, especially if you haven't done it before.

11:56 a.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger neb said...

presently this team is playing with 2 lines. the absence of murray and axelsson can not be overlooked in the results. this results in them essentially skating two fourth lines.

i actually thought the "team" played ok last night. they looked aggressive and sharp at times.

unfortuanlty two plays where individuals did not do there job were the break downs (albert and chara fishing for the puck off of koivo when they should be parking his ass).
allowing montreal the first goal kills this team as they cannot play from behind, why?. only two real nhl lines at the moment

12:15 p.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

I thought they played a great game last night. Toivanen looked really good and there was hustle all night long. I thought the reason they lost was nicely summed up by Lewis: "We played extremely hard, we fought, we hung together,” said Bruins coach Dave Lewis. “We just couldn’t buy a goal."

I think the reason they couldn't score was mostly attitude. Hustle you can control, but when you are snakebit you think yourself right out of a goal. And rather than hitting the open spot, the puck hits the pad. Of course, with a veteran sniper like Murray playing they likely would have at least scored one goal. And that could have been the difference.

Which reminds me of something. I was thinking about Kessel and Murray. When Muzz shoots his stick is often clear of obstructions. When Kessel shoots his shots are more often than not tipped wide or over the net by a defenders stick. I think that's the main thing getting in the way of his scoring. I'm not sure what you do to get a clear shot in the NHL, but I'm going to bet he'll get the hang of it next year and when he does, look out!

2:11 p.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

One major concern I *do* have is whether or not Lewis has the ability to adapt.

Under Lewis, the Wings were swept in the first round in 2003 by Anaheim and lost in six games in the second round to Calgary in 2004.

"You try to figure out what type of goals weren't we scoring," Lewis said. "We played a certain style that was very effective during the regular season. And yet, when it came to the point when we counted on some guys to put the puck in the net, it never happened."

Think about this comment from 2005 and think about the Bruins' 3rd period play this year. Time and time again the Bruins got outplayed by their opponent. Were the players just worn down, or did the other team just start figuring out how to play the Bruins and make adjustments that the B's couldn't counter?

And why has the team only won five of the last twenty games now? There's a striking similarity between the last quarter of the season and how the Bruins have played in the 3rd period. Maybe the league as a whole now has figured out how to beat the Bruins much easier. Sure, there have been injuries, but that shouldn't explain why they've been shut out four times since St. Patrick's Day. With all due respect to Murray and Axelsson, they're not exactly Gretzky and Messier (nor are they Savard and Chara)...overcoming their losses might be difficult, but not impossible.

4:28 p.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger neb said...

savard and chara have struggled the most with out murray and axelsson... especially the last 20 or so.

i see the third period issues a little differently. this team does not play wide open well. yet they need to play wide open to play catch up. we saw it last night... they pressured pressured and then it was in our net. -1 for third period.
when this team was doing well they were scoring the first goal and playing "the system" while the other team "played wide open".

so there were many games this season where they needed a third period goal or two and playing "wide open" they end up giving up 2 more goals in the third. this is how you end up with 20 7-3 losses or whatever. while the other way around they had very few big wins.
why no ability to play catch up? only 2 real nhl lines most of the season.

by the way playing "wide open" also makes goalies look real bad.

6:19 p.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

Under Lewis, the Wings were swept in the first round in 2003 by Anaheim and lost in six games in the second round to Calgary in 2004.

Lets not forget that the very same thing happened last season too.

6:27 p.m., April 04, 2007  
Blogger Nevets said...

hey jimbuff- tough town to say baseball sucks in.....

you enjoy that last 60 minutes of hockey in the B's season. I will too, and then I'll enjoy a long Red Sox season!!!

See you in October.

Thanks, everyone, for entertaining me in this tough year!

9:19 a.m., April 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about hanging on to Lewis. While you have some good points, I see a team that was in the playoff hunt less than 3 weeks ago that played flat, spiritless hockey. When they got shutout by Montreal, he should have blasted the team in the locker room, undressed them in the media, and prayed that Chara, Savard, SOMEONE in that locker room would step up and lead the team. It isn't up to the coach to provide the day-to-day motivation. It is up to the coach to be the rudder, & point the team in the right direction, and let the players be the energy and the motor. They've been playing flat for over a month. Lewis didn't figure out the formula. This is the NHL, not the minors. It is WIN today or at least die trying. They missed the die trying part and for that I look to the coach and the Captain. Z played too much hockey and is worn out (again, the coaches decision). I guess the only other problem would be, "who else would we hire?"

4:42 p.m., April 06, 2007  

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