Archive for the ‘Coaching’ category

Time to Kick it in to Gear-Don Granato Gone as Coach of the Wolves

October 19, 2009

I’m here in Cincinnati checking my email and there is the press release I’d been hoping for.

Don Granato and Jason Christie have finally been let go.

I know they tried but something never quite clicked under them.  I appreciate the effort but this team has seemed like it’s been going through the motions for too long.  The change was needed.

Now it’s on the players and it’s time to kick it in to gear and start playing like they can.

Go Wolves!

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Don Granato Has Got to Go…

October 16, 2009

sinking-ship Jason Krog has never received a misconduct in his professional career…until tonight when he slammed his stick against the glass and shattered it (the glass not his stick!) during the Wolves’ 4-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs.

This team looks as bad this year as it did at the end of last year.  At this rate the Wolves will be out of the playoffs before the season gets underway.  Although Coach says he hates to lose, apparently there’s a disconnect because with the exception of Jason Krog, losing has become the norm with this club.

Wendell, I know that letting someone go is never easy, and it’s a drag that as the new GM you’re going to have to be the heavy to a guy you coached with, but it needs to be done. 

Like now…

It’s Almost Over

May 24, 2009

melt michael plishka 2009

The meltdown occurred.

A young Blackhawks team that has battled its way out of adversity in the past has met its match.  Now, while the series is not yet over, being down 3-1 and being drubbed 6-1 in game 4, in your home building, is basically a cue to get tee times ready for next week.

I was particularly puzzled and disappointed by Coach Q’s complaint about the officiating, especially when there were plenty of other things to find fault with, namely the play on the ice. 

Once again, Brian Campbell made it clear why his playoff play has been questioned in the past by making us question it again in the present.

I’ve been pulling for Huet and saying he can be as good as Khabibulin but he wasn’t great today.  He was great at times, but overall, when he needed to make stops, he didn’t.

Duncan Keith and the rest of the defensive crew once again showed that when the pressure’s on, they make stupid plays.  

Again, Kane and Toews couldn’t get free and threaten.

Oh, did I mention that this loss was to a Detroit team that was minus stars, Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk?

I’m not disappointed in what the Hawks did this year.  They surpassed my predictions and expectations, but I had a feeling, as I mentioned before, that this round would be the end of the line – or the beginning of the line to the First Tee.

It’s been a good run. 

Thanks, Hawks, and I hope you at least can bring the Wings back to Chicago for a better send off for yourselves and the Wings.

This year deserves better.

8 to Go

May 11, 2009

Wow…

I was wrong.  Hawks won.  They keep finding ways of pulling it out.  They keep making sloppy plays in their own end, they keep falling behind, yet they come from behind, score goals in frenzied bunches and win.

Vancouver lost today because the Hawks had them where they wanted them.  After the first two games, Vancouver tried different game plans and never found their groove.

After the game 5 win, Vancouver panicked and totally left their game plan.  The result was a disastrous 7-5 loss.

So what does it mean for the Hawks?

Vancouver was tougher than Calgary and the next round tougher still, but the teams that the Hawks will face prior to the finals have not played the greatest against the Hawks in regular season.

Does this mean I’m predicting the Hawks to win it all now?

The stars are aligning, some big teams have gotten bumped already and it’s beginning to look alot like Christmas for this year’s Hawks.

So…will they win it all?

I’ll wait to see who they play next round before predicitng, but as I said at the start of this entry, I don’t think you can come from behind forever, and make bad defensive plays forever and win the Cup.

I’d love to see it and as these playoffs are going, they now have a shot.  But I think it’ll go wide.

I’m hoping for a tip-in in overtime.

Let’s go Hawks!!

Wolves Run Aground Against Admirals -Out of Playoff Hunt

April 5, 2009
The Man Behind the Helm of the Wolves

The Man Behind the Helm of the Wolves

With the calmness and coolness of the Captain of the Titanic, Coach Don Granato let his team drift into oblivion for the ’08-’09 season after never getting control of the ship all year.

With the loss to the Milwaukee Admirals today, the Wolves have failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in their illustrious history.  As I sat in Milwaukee watching today, I found it hard to believe that the team I was watching took 57 minutes to finally  play with something resembling desperation. 

The fans of the Wolves, and the AHL, deserve better.

A Winning Work Ethic? It’s Not What I see, Coach Granato.

March 31, 2009

Ok, at first I was going to do a video rant about last nite and ask twitterville to make it viral, but I decided against it.  So,  I waited 24 hours after the debacle so that I could cool down and not say something I’d be sorry for.

I wouldn’t be so ticked about the loss to Milwaukee (Ok, maybe I would be) if I didn’t read the article entitled “Work Ethic” in the new, Breakaway magazine (which is a great idea and looks great!).

You see, the article is about Head Coach, Don Granato and discusses his philosophy.

“My coaching philosophy is simple: it is based solely on work ethic, and this team has proven day in and day out that the philosophy works.”

Ooookay, now it’s clear someone doesn’t see what I (and others!) see. 

This Wolves team is only three games above .500 and 3 points out of the final playoff spot, tied for 5th place with Iowa only 2 points ahead of Quad Cities.  In the worst case, but still realistic scenario, the Wolves could finish in 7th(!!!) place.  

Is this indicative of a work ethic that is good? 

If so, your standards are waay too low, Coach.

Call us Wolves fans spoiled, but I see (more…)

Chicago Hockey Playoffs Approaching – One Message: WIN!

March 28, 2009
The Last Cups

The Last Time

Here in Chicago we’re approaching the end of the regular season and that means the playoffs!

By this time, the Blackhawks are usually already out of playoff contentions and the Wolves are rolling towards another successful Cup run.

Instead, the Blackhawks are fighting for Home Ice Advantage and the Wolves are fighting for the last playoff spot.

After a lull, the Blackhawks are showing signs of life again, knocking off two of the better teams in post-regulation play.  I still am not high on their chances to get past the second round, but at least they’re going to be there, which unfortunately I’m not sure I can say about…

the Wolves….

I’m shocked I’m actually saying it.

The Wolves might not make the playoffs.

In fact, if they don’t put a string of wins together starting tonight against Quad City and tomorrow against Milwaukee, their chances do not look good.

Some latest front office moves are baffling to say the least.  They sign Justin Taylor on the 25th and today they release him (probably to make room for Josh Soares).  Then they bring up Dan Turple so that Atlanta can call him up?? 

The Wolves wouldn’t be in this mess if they didn’t swoon so much mid-season, a swoon that I still believe is largely the responsibility of Head Coach Don Granato.  This team has no trouble slipping into funks but alot of difficulty building and keeping winning streaks going.  

That’s bad.

The fact that the team shows glimmers of great play and then collapses is indicative of coaching  (primarily) and personnel problems (secondarily). 

What else can be said?

This is the time of the year when, more than ever, it’s about winning.

It’s simple really…