Friday, March 12, 2010

This blog is not intended to be coach bashing central.

Stop trying to turn us into the Leafs circa, well, now.

I know that in the months leading up to Andy Murray's eventual dismissal from the coaching position in St. Louis that I was critical of him - critical of the random line changes before, during, and after the games, and critical of the doghouse technique. I felt that he was over-intimidating the team into wins, which is why it wasn't getting any. It's very hard to win a hockey game when you're paranoid. It's even harder to win when your paranoia's founded - tell that to Patrik Berglund, formerly of Andy Murray's doghouse and currently of the six game point streak.

Murray was relieved of his coaching duties, and the Blues have picked up play under consistent lines, and not having to worry about who the consistent scapegoat du jour is.

The Thrashers could probably benefit from the same technique, but for a different reason. Where Murray was OCD, intimidating, and mildly scary as hell, Anderson's quiet, cuddly, and has an amazing ability to not call any player out. No, I don't like calling them out in the press constantly and obviously. Anderson, however, cannot just say "so and so had a bad game." Look at the excuses he was making for Pops after the Nashville game. Pops screwed up, and it was a "bad bounce." Needless to say, tonight's game was full of bad bounces by the fragile Thrashers, to use a few of Anderson's buzzwords.

Stop it. Just stop. The more you talk like that, the more they believe you. This team isn't fragile. You are. We actually have a very solid, playoff capable team on paper for the most part. We're not going to win the Cup, but the Thrashers could make the cut if the team stopped getting fed the emo whatever it is that they hear in the locker room, and that the press gets during the postgame press conferences.

You hear something enough, you buy into it. Perron and Berglund heard how horrible they were enough from Murray, and they started to play like it. The Blues got their butts busted every practice, and they played like they were skating on eggshells until it was safe to come out to play. The flip side is true in Atlanta. The Thrashers keep hearing over and over and over that they're fragile and victims. How are they not supposed to get that mentality?

This is frustrating for the fans, and it's easy to point to the screw ups on the ice as the reason - but tonight wasn't a night of screw ups entirely. There's an attitude that's leading to these problems, and if that isn't fixed in, oh, 10 minutes, we're even more done than we were before.

Just leave that marshmallow in the fire, Coach. It's not crispy enough.


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