Friday, February 1, 2008

Paddock Walking A Fine Line With Comments

There it was in today's Ottawa Sun, the headline that read:

"Coach calls out Spezza. Paddock says play of top centreman in loss against Bruins is 'stupid'"

Paddock didn't come right out and call Jason Spezza "stupid" but the Sun sure implied that. Regardless Paddock always seems to come out with guns blazing in press conferences, ripping players here and there and tossing the limp bodies into the media pit to be devoured.

Some have deserved it, such as Ray Emery. But when will the players get tired of being reamed in a very public way? What purpose does it serve to rip Spezza who is obviously struggling without his regular linemates.

There is no proof that Paddock has been succesful using this method. The guys he has publically ripped all year, such as the rest of the team outside of the big line, are still struggling. In fact, the Ottawa Senators are getting worse despite Paddock doing his coaching in a way meant to publically shame the players into better performances.

If it's not working now, why will it work in April?

To this writer, it's become quite obvious that these very public criticisms are taking the heat off the coach himself who has guided a Stanley Cup finalist he inherited into a very inconsistent season.

Yet not one word is written questioning Paddock's style, tactics and decisions.

If the Senators keep struggling, the free ride will end for Paddock and there may not be an Emery or a Spezza screwing up to shift the focus to.


RZ said...

Hear hear. Paddock should have been long gone before the first losing streak was over. I have zero confidence in him, and the players likely have none either. He's run the top line into the ground with injuries, gives none of the other lines regular shifts, confuses the heck out of our goalies (I think alternating goalies with every game was his style with the Jets as well, but my memory could be fuzzy), and is now publicly shaming the top line.

The media is really not touching this issue. Ottawa's a small town, but not that small.

Gareth said...

I agree. We have all seen the slide of the sens into a defensively soft and porous squad. The team's defensive play has been its true weakness this season. There are players that can wear individual blame (Redden and Corvo), but consistent defensive play by the team as a whole is the coach's responsibility and Paddock wears this quite plainly.