Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Paddock Fallout

The firing of Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock has seemingly woken the local reporters out of their year long slumber.

In today’s Ottawa Citizen (which has much better coverage of the firing than the Ottawa Sun), Ken Warren has written his best piece all year, detailing the slow unraveling of Paddock as head coach. Warren is the first local reporter to deeply analyze how the team has played this season through its systems, its allotment of ice times and its emotional character. Great reading and hats off to Warren who has always been a good columnist.

I’m not sure why Warren didn’t write any of this stuff earlier in the year, as it is evident by reading that he knew of the malaise long before it reached epidemic level, but hey, better late than never. Even his analysis of the Ray Emery situation is reasoned and probing instead of overly emotional and sensationalistic which is something Warren’s “professional” colleagues could take a cue from.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

“The early victories led to increased expectations, and Paddock continued to lean heavily on his top players, particularly Alfredsson, defencemen Volchenkov and fellow defenseman Chris Phillips. It wasn't uncommon for Alfredsson to receive 24 or 25 minutes of ice time in November and December. That ice time came at the expense of third- and fourth line players, who often played little or not at all in the third period of games. At that time, complaints from those on the bottom end of the roster were pushed aside because of the team's success.

Then came the burnout. The dominating speed of the top line has disappeared. In fairness, Alfredsson had a hip injury and Heatley missed a month with a separated shoulder, but it's simply not the same dominating line that it was when the season began. Fatigue has unquestionably become a concern, raising questions about whether on-ice breakdowns are resulting from mental mistakes. …

The lack of success resulted in constant line juggling by Paddock, searching for answers. However, with players moving around so often, little chemistry has developed. …

If players continue to make mistakes and continue to play, jealousies and animosities develop. Through all this, the Senators have created no fourth-line presence whatsoever. "

1 comment:

Peter said...

Maybe Scanlan just read the last few months of posts on this blog and realized what he'd been missing.