Time for a New Coach to Go Along with the New G.M
The Coyotes, fresh off a loss to the Avalanche and an even more embarrassing lay-off of employees, need a new general manager.
Assuming that they eventually do pick someone new, their biggest move is to get a new coach.
Rick Tocchet has been a disaster on almost every level. The little success he has had has come from the emergence of Darcy Kuemper as a superstar.
The game that Tocchet chooses to play is absurd. Its 90s hockey for the dead puck era and its ineffective in today's game.
Sure, you can beat a team if your goalie is rocking a .930 (or in Columbus' case, a .980) but when was the last time a team playing garbage hockey did more than make it a bonus round or two in the playoffs?
The last 15 or so years have seen long periods of competitive excellence from Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, L.A, Vancouver and Chicago. Not one of those teams played like that.
Yes, the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and (to a lesser extent) the Canadiens were able to have some success playing loser hockey *(where you assume you can't win in a fair game, and collapse to your goalie, try to keep shots to the outside and never have the puck).
Watching the Coyotes dress Garland, Schmaltz, Keller, Kessle, Dvorak, Chychrun, Hayton and OEL and still playing like they were the 1997 New Jersey Devils was not only boring, it was pathetic.
I don't know how much evidence you need to realize that this style of hockey can't win over the long term, but I'm starting to feel a little like Marsha Cross here (going to play like its 1997 then my references are going to follow suit).
The Coyotes have been terrible at developing young players under Rickie T. Remember Dylan Strome? Putting up team leading scoring rates from the fourth line, but not good enough to lay down at centre ice and clog up the neutral zone.
And his Norm MacDonald impression was weak; the guy couldn't play devil sticks to save his life.
This year we saw Hayton struggle to break in, and we saw Connor Garland inexplicably play a low amount of minutes, often on the bench when a goal was needed.
And who can forget playing Richardson more than Taylor Hall in several playoff games? (5v5)
What I hate the most about Tocchet and guys like him is that they always talk about how important a winning attitude is, then they go out and implement a strategy that is about not losing, instead of about winning.
This quote pretty much sums up everything you need to know about Rick Tocchet. His team got dusted in pretty much ever game of the playoffs, the ones they won were exclusively due to unsustainably great goaltending, and he wants to stay the course.
I want to send Tocchet to the Islanders along with Brad Richardson and every non-skill player on the roster.
As for ownership, hopefully they do the right thing and re-hire their staff. Billionaires are the worst and we need to start holding them accountable.
The Coyotes new GM should be someone who is heavily into analytics, eschews old-school hockey mentality and despises dump and chase hockey.
Someone young, brilliant and who isn't considered one of the "two hundred hockey men"
The Coyotes need more of the thinking that allowed them to hire a 25 year old GM. Maybe it didn't exactly work out the best - but I think overall Chayka was easily the best GM in franchise history and I would have liked to see what he could have done with some more time to grow into the job.
To sum up: whoever the new GM is, he has to get rid of Tocchet.
Thanks for reading.