Archive for the ‘Don Granato’ 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!

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…

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…

Town Hall with Wolves’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff

February 21, 2009
Town Hall meeting Prior to Game Against Milwaukee

Town Hall meeting Prior to Game Against Milwaukee

"Chevy" Addressing a Fan's Concern of Team Inconsistency

"Chevy" Addressing a Fan's Concern of Team Inconsistency

 

I attended the Wolves TownHall meeting with GM Kevin Cheveldayoff before the Wolves played (and lost) to the Milwaukee Admirals.

The GM was extremely candid and answered all the fans questions with candor, not dodging any questions at all.

Insights (and quips) from the GM:

  • When asking his players why they play hockey at the beginning of the season, they answered, “for the money,” “because they love the sport,” etc.  The ‘correct’ answer (paraphrased) according to the GM? “I’m playing because I want to win the championship.”
  • Boris Valabik needed someone to have shot him before he’d admit to being injured.  He used Valabik as an example of how pro athletes need to know the limits of their own bodies, know when exceeding those limits would hinder play, and communicate this to the coaching staff.
  • When Mike Hoffman was recovering from his first hand injury this year and he was at the end of his healing time, he called the team doc to ask permission if he could fight in the upcoming game.  “Yes, Hoff, you can fight.”
  • Also joked that “Hoff” has a problem with breaking his hand on other player’s faces.
  • A pet peeve of his is when players miss the net on shots.
  • Believes that the AHL will stick with one referee due to cost constraints.  The times that two refs has been used is usually when a seasoned ref is paired with a rookie.
  • Players need to shoot more but it’s something that can’t be forced, players need to grow into that habit.
  • Players develop more fully when they’re on winning teams as opposed to losing teams.  Experience gained by Wolves players in the Cup run last year has helped players know what it takes to succeed and helps them deal with pressure more effectively.
  • There are players that have not performed to their expectations . The coaching staff and management noticed this and players have received a talking to.
  • He said on multiple occasions (paraphrased): “You see the same things we see, you know the game…” when discussing problems with the team’s performance. (This was nice to hear as we’ve heard players and coaches  in other sports in Chicago who don’t hesitate pointing out that the fans or the press aren’t playing and so somehow don’t know the game.)
  • Poor Special Teams have been one of the reasons for the inconsistent play.  He pointed out the importance of a good powerplay and how in some games this year he almost hoped the Wolves wouldn’t get powerplays early.  The reason being that the team had no rhythm and a bad powerplay would be worse than no powerplay.  Also reiterated that on the power play, the four guys out on the kill will be working extra hard, so contrary to popular belief that it’s easier with a man advantage, the guys on power play have to step up and play even harder and work to find the seams.
  • This management team is committed to winning a championship.
  • Pointed out the new President of Business Operations, Mike Polisky ,  reiterated the commitment to the fans and how there will be some great new things for the fans next season (he hinted that maybe some things will be seen this year, but  for sure there will be changes next year to heighten the fans’ experience.)

First class all the way.

If you were there, what were your thoughts?

Anything you wish would have been asked but wasn’t?

When is a Broken Stick a Sign?

January 31, 2009
Broke Multiple Sticks in Loss Tonite

Broke Multiple Sticks in Loss Tonite

Well, the Chicago Wolves dropped a heartbreaker to the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night.

The key goal was a shot that Pavelec saved but then gave up a rebound to the slot which a wide open Kelsey Wilson ripped into an empty net.   Pavelec then responded, furiously breaking his stick over the cross bar.  He then went to the bench, got a stick and broke that one.  Grabbed a third and kept it for the game.

In defense of Pavelec, the shot was low and hard to control. 

Yes, he should have controlled the rebound better.  But, a goalies responsibility is the first shot.  Rebounds are the responsibility of defensemen.  Wilson was WIDE open and not a Wolves player was even close to him when he scored.

Pavelec may have broken the stick because he got down on himself for giving up a rebound on a shot that even the best goalies have a tough time controlling (and he’s one of the best in the AHL!).  I think there was also latent frustration in missed defensive assignments that led to the stick breaking as well.

MORE TELLING…

He got a two minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Not a good thing when you have to come from behind late in the third period.

The game before Brett Sterling got a penalty for mouthing off as well.

Players are starting to take selfish penalties and that’s not a good sign.  There’s a frustration among the players that’s starting to show and when teammates get frustrated with the team-that’s not good.

I think Coach Granato is back on YELLOW ALERT.