RE 17-18 TODD MCLELLAN: TOM SAWYER

Todd McLellan is the most popular member of the Oilers management and coaching group. Don’t believe me? Check out the ovation on opening night this fall. McLellan’s verbal is a perfect match for a city like Edmonton, intelligent with some humble elements thrown in, and a few words about our friend hard work. Oilers fans have strong opinions about every coach, impossible to please everybody and plenty of negative on the Al Gore about McLellan. Does every 103-point season delivered represent success for the head coach? Of course! (Tom Sawyer).

  • 2015-16: 31-43-8, 70 pts (199-242) (GD: -43)
  • 2016-1747-26-9, 103 pts (243-207) (GD: +36)
  1. What was the best thing about the Oilers 2016-17 season? The 103 points, making the playoffs, McDavid’s season and awards. Lots of positives.
  2. What statistically impressed you most? Oilers at 5×5. Edmonton finished No. 8 in 5×5 goals (165) and No. 9 in goals against (139). In 5×5 goal differential, the Oilers finished No. 6 with a 54.3 goals-for percentage.
  3. How far is the gap between McDavid on and off ice 5×5? According to Natural Stat Trick, Edmonton at 5×5 was 77-47 with McDavid on the ice, 89-93 without. Need to tighten that up  to win Stanley.
  4. What can McLellan do to improve it? I think separating 97 and Leon is a start and Peter Chiarelli adding Jussi Jokinen is going to help. Losing Andrej Sekera is going to be a challenge however.
  5. What are the PP and PK percentages? Power play was 22.9 and that was good for No. 5 overall. PK was 80.7, good for No. 17 overall. PK needs work. Via NHL.com.
  6. Any PK additions over summer? Jokinen can help but if you’re looking for an Achilles the 4×5 is probably a good place to start.
  7. Why does McLellan like Russell so much? Good things happened when he was on the ice. McLellan wants to win hockey games and Kris Russell was doing things in games that the coach values. The question for you is this: Are the Oilers valuing the right things?
  8. No! Well, I think Todd McLellan sees Kris Russell stand up at the blue line (or at least longer than Mark Fayne) and scoot back to retrieve the puck and likes what he sees. He also likes Russell’s ability to cover and block, just as he likes it from Larsson.
  9. Are there things you wish he would do differently? Personally? Oh God yes.
  10. Like? I think putting Leon on 97’s line cost this team in a big way in contract number (to come), would have run Eberle instead. I wouldn’t  play Russell RH side and would play Mark Fayne on the third pairing. I’d have played Pouliot more, would have kept Lander and God knows what else. In the end, doesn’t matter. You hire a coach to win games and he won 47 of the damned things. Game, set, match.
  11. But he could have done it more efficiently and put the general manager in an easier spot! Damn straight. Would have been better in my opinion if they had recalled Jesse Puljujarvi late winter, too. The point is moot.
  12. The point is moot? The point is moot. We’re talking pieces on a chess board and Todd McLellan is dealing with 23 live humans. There are all kinds of pressures and expectations and maladies we don’t know about in these situations.
  13. Lots of people don’t think McLellan is good at in-game management. Meh. I read chapter and verse for a long time about how dumb the power play was and then it caught fire. Again, these are not pieces on a chess board and this group is/was still relatively new. I think fans are impatient and I get it, but there has to be some allowance for time and experiment.
  14. Is he good with rookies? I would say he is typical of veteran coaches. By that I mean a young player has to be patient because opportunities are rare and veterans are preferred. This was McLellan’s best year in recent memory for it though, although the quality of rookie was also very good.
  15. What did he do well? I think he managed the roster well, despite the things mentioned above. I would have tried Pouliot with McDavid (it had worked the previous season) but so many media folks said ‘he didn’t deserve to play with 97’ one imagines that may also have been the opinion of the coach. That said, I like that he recognized Benning was Benning early, and that he had a good feel for the roster in areas like Leon moving from wing to center.
  16. He would have recognized Benning eventually, though. Ah, I don’t know. MacT was late on Hejda and never did see Jeff Petry for what he is, although he was general manager by then.
  17. What was the best thing about McLellan’s season? For me, he recognized that bringing along the youths (Nurse, Benning) slowly was a big part of roster maturation. He didn’t have a chance in year one, when Nurse moved up, but this year he stubbornly stuck by his guns. Good health aided him, but still.
  18. What was the worst thing about McLellan’s season? I feel he could have given the roster more depth if he trusted some guys more. Anton Lander, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, I would mention all of those names who should probably have played more.
  19. Did he cost them in the playoffs? No. He ran into some filthy luck against the Ducks (up by a bunch late and the Bermuda triangle moved in) and lost Sekera at the worst damned time. I thought he adjusted well (Leon to center) and deployed his troops effectively. A small quibble would be that Desharnais maybe should have played more but that’s really stretching things.
  20. Did he roll four lines or tighten up? Late in games he would shorten the bench if necessary but I thought he used the whole roster. Letestu played 9:49 at evens per game, that’s a good number for a 4C.
  21. What about blue? He pushed his top two pairings and spotted the third pair when required, everyone got in on the PK and only Klefbom and Sekera spent a lot of time on the PP. Matt Benning got a little love there, more on the way.
  22. What kind of rookies develop under McLellan? I’ve looked at this going back to his San Jose days, and McLellan jumps on the fully formed rookies (McDavid, Benning) but all others are vulnerable to the bench, pressbox or minors. I would say that is typical of a veteran coach.
  23. Does he have unique roles to match unique skills? There is that wrinkle in his coaching style, yes. I think Letestu on the power play is an example, suspect he’s morphing Nuge into a Ralph Backstrom role as well.
  24. Why this song? Although much of McLellan’s coaching is what we might call typical, he does have tendencies and things that make him stand out from the crowd. He’s also very focused on getting players he trusts (Russell over Fayne) and willing to ride his best (McDavid played a lot last season, to the point where Mike Babcock felt a need to step in and say something).
  25. What does Peter Chiarelli need to find him? I keep saying Dan Boyle because a lot of the breakouts (EVs and PP) during his San Jose years were based on getting it to a defender who could pass and transport with equal aplomb. I’d like to see a brilliant passer on every pairing. because all three duos will play with 97. That headman pass is a stunning offensive weapon when McDavid is catching it.
  26. Is he a better coach than MacT? I was a big fan of Craig MacTavish as coach, just a splendid 5×5 manager of the game. For me, McLellan brings many of the same elements to the game and his teams traditionally have a lot of offensive success. I’m tempted to say McLellan is a better coach because of the offense at 5×5, but it’s also true he has had some of the supremely talented players in the game (Thornton, McDavid) wearing the same uniform during the anthems.
  27. What are his strengths? His teams are prepared, he does not hesitate to make a change even if it means sending $4 million to the minors. Given the challenge of line matching or making sure he gets the best six out there at a given time, he’ll take the fresh troops.
  28. What are his weaknesses? I think he (like MacT) has a bit of a blind spot in that once he makes a decision on a player it’s done. Benoit Pouliot would be an example.
  29. Can the Oilers win a Stanley Cup with McLellan as coach? Yes. He’s a veteran coach, has taken his teams into the playoffs consistently and should get 10 or a dozen sorties before 2030. I think he’s in a great spot.

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59 Responses to "RE 17-18 TODD MCLELLAN: TOM SAWYER"

  1. Jethro Tull says:

    Should we read in to anything that the song is a cover version?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Should we read in to anything that the song is a cover version?

    No, not at all. I’ve been using covers (Baker Street) here and there during the RE, thought this one deserved a listening (plus the video is a live version from Edmonton featuring local talent). I used it for McLellan because he is his own man and the song reflects same.

  3. Lowetide says:

    WG: Yes. Corrected and I thank you.

  4. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide,

    Cool. But maybe Have A Cigar may have had a shot.

    Seeing how Floyd is better than Rush.

    *maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh*

  5. Barcs says:

    Peter Chiarelli’s decision to buy out Pouliot still puzzles me.

    Financially, it would have made more sense to bury Poo in the minors and then buy him out next year. PC has not used the extra cap space yet to date.

    Between that, his history of wearing out his welcome with teams, and the coach’s handling of him this past year – even accounting for his poor play – I am left wondering if there wasn’t more going on behind the scenes.

    But as you say LT, there is no way for us to know anything for fact. That buy out still puzzles me, though. Hopefully the money gets put to use signing old man Jagr. ☺️

  6. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Lowetide,

    Cool. But maybe Have A Cigar may have had a shot.

    Seeing how Floyd is better than Rush.

    *maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh*

    I actually plan to use “Have a Cigar” later in the series. 🙂

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    Barcs,

    Chia’s never been afraid to cut bait. Pou wasn’t doing what Pou did best and one thing we needed him to be was a role player. The Pisani. Being an ‘Actual NHL Player’ doesn’t cut the mustard when more is expected. Plus he was slipping in even doing that.

  8. Brantford Boy says:

    Kinda forgot about that Babcock interview… maybe thats why Nuge is still here (Toronto MSM)… regardless I still like the coach… as you said players are prepared…

  9. Barcs says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Sure, loan him to a AAA team in Siberia, or whatever. But they had the cap space to keep his contract for another year with no problem, and they haven’t made any use of that space yet so far.

    If they had done that and bought him out next year, they would have ~1.32M against the cap for the first two years of McDavid’s new deal. By doing it the way they have, it’s ~1.33M for the first three years of McDavid’s deal. Please check my back-of-a-napkin math, though.

    Maybe I’m nitpicking, but 1.3M could mean the difference between signing a Jokinen type or not.

  10. deankb says:

    So I was at this show and this dude rocked it! Also, he was not a plant, he lives and works in Edmonton. Great moment. Nice pick Al!

  11. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! That was a fun video to wacth/listen: A U.S. band doing a cover of one of the single greatest rock songs IMO, in Canada, with a dude from the stands: really great, thanks for that gem!

  12. leadfarmer says:

    MacTs game plan in 06 against Detroit was pure genius. Sit in your own zone and let Detroit wear themselves out pounding pucks at Roloson.

  13. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    leadfarmer:
    MacTs game plan in 06 against Detroit was pure genius.Sit in your own zone and let Detroit wear themselves out pounding pucks at Roloson.

    – Save the run at the Cup, which was I attribute greatly to Pronger (which is fair, as they didn’t make playoffs the year before or year after without Pronger): MacT was not a good coach IMO: Certainly his track record doesn’t merit him being called a good coach: Lost in 1st round twice, missed the playoffs 5 times. Most coaches don’t last that long with such brutal results

    – On a real team, not run by OBC, he would have been fired well before, on performance

    – That’s why I get a kick out of those criticizing McL based on his work

    – MacT did not like talent, he was mean-spirited in throwing guys under the bus, he was smug when he had no business doing so.

    – I love that he is on record over-stating his contribution to the Oil teams that won Cups: he was a good foot-soldier, and I agree he coached the heck out of foot-soldiers, but he had no appreciation for what it took to win based on his track record and the style of play he advocated

    – As bad as he was as a coach: he’d fire coaches who performed as bad as he was when he was GM, and not give them the rope he was afforded.

    – So glad to have professional management. I just hate that he and OBC are still around.

    – I think Nicholson must have Chia’s back, as a buffer from the buffons who still hang on

    * remember when MacT went back to sit on the bench to “babysit” Todd: yeah that was a bold move:

  14. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: Yes. Corrected and I thank you.

    deleted my post

  15. Lowetide says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Kinda forgot about that Babcock interview… maybe thats why Nuge is still here (Toronto MSM)… regardless I still like the coach… as you said players are prepared…

    That was one of the most fun parts of the season for me, Babcock commenting on McLellan’s team. Man. This rivalry is going to be fun, we’ve never had an Oilers-Leafs rivalry.

  16. dustrock says:

    Talking about 23 players plus the organization and not knowing the full picture I do wonder about Pouliot and his personality.

    There are guys who struggle and the coach likes them and will give extra slack and then the opposite.

    Pouliot is clearly an NHL player, he has a well-rounded skill set, and wears out his welcome with most teams (Julien, etc) quite quickly.

    It’s not just having a bad stretch I think.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of course there are going to be individual moves that the fan-base will question but you can’t argue with the coach’s body of work last year. The Oilers took a massive step forward – the improvement in goal differential was just insane. The Oilers were for value for their place in the standings – they did not ride a high PDO or somehow reach the top 10 despite a poor goal differential – they were 8-12 in almost all team categories all year long and ended up there in the standings.

    The biggest coaching head scratcher for me was starting Caggulia, a rookie pro winger coming off a 6-week injury, at center – I just don’t understand how that happened or why he stuck with it for so long.

    I did like how he managed ice time – rolled two d-pairings and spotted the third. Rolled 4 lines unless he needed a spark.

    I do think the general health of the lineup helped him with him in-game deployment of players and I think that will be challenged more this year – we already have a more material injury than we did all of last year and its August.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Barcs:
    Peter Chiarelli’s decision to buy out Pouliot still puzzles me.

    The decision initially puzzled me as well but I’ve come to believe that it was due to the need to get rid of the contract due to the 50 contract limit. Once Drai is signed we’ll actually have 51 pro contracts (48 after 3 slides – Wells, Benson, Yamamoto).

    If we didn’t buy out Pouliot we would be at 49 contracts which doesn’t give much room to work with for mid-season improvements.

    I’m still shocked that we couldn’t trade the contract with $1M-$2M of retained cap hit but it is what it is.

  19. Newton says:

    Hey LT, on point #19 – perhaps splitting hairs here….what were your thoughts on the deployment of personnel during the 3 minute meltdown in game 5? I was disappointed to see Maroon (just didn’t have the presence stick positioning /speed) out on the last two goals defending a lead. In hindsight would have he deployed differently or does he just chalk it up to the fog of war and a learning lesson? Of course there were many breakdowns and circumstances at play (No Sekera) however I have been pondering this since the pivotal game.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I actually plan to use “Have a Cigar” later in the series.

    Is Zdeno Ciger coming out of retirement? I loved that guy!

  21. kgo says:

    Barcs,

    The risk that Pouliot might get hurt this season, and be ineligible for buyout next year, wasn’t one Chia was willing to take.

  22. McNuge93 says:

    kgo:
    Barcs,

    The risk that Pouliot might get hurt this season, and be ineligible for buyout next year, wasn’t one Chia was willing to take.

    I think Chia and McL will quickly move guys out if they are not part of the program. Instead of letting Yak continue to be a distraction he was offloaded. I think same with Pou and at the same time they may have had Jokinen in mind. Fayne is similar. Didn’t trade him but put him out of sight in the minors. Their number 1 focus is to have everyone on team on the same page

  23. kgo says:

    McNuge93,

    Good point, but imagine the disaster if Pouliot was stuck on the books when Connor’s 12.5 kicks in.

    They could have sent him to the minors and bought him out next year

  24. godot10 says:

    Might as well get everything off my chest again! -).

    #HisGoodOpinionOnceLostIsLostForever
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CICL1hYUccw

    #ThoroughlyMediocreCoach

    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

    #MediocrityIsADifferentKindOfHell

    #MartySchottenheimer.

    Babcock thinks he can still steal Todd’s lunch, just like he did with the Wings over the Sharks, even though he spotted McLellan McDavid.

  25. godot10 says:

    //Can the Oilers win a Stanley Cup with McLellan as coach? Yes. He’s a veteran coach, has taken his teams into the playoffs consistently and should get 10 or a dozen sorties before 2030. I think he’s in a great spot.//

    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby, but McLellan better do it quickly, or he will not get more than a couple of chances, especially if Babcock beats him to the Cup.

  26. jake70 says:

    Newton:
    Hey LT, on point #19 – perhaps splitting hairs here….what were your thoughts on the deployment of personnel during the 3 minute meltdown in game 5? I was disappointed to see Maroon (just didn’t have the presence stick positioning /speed) out on the last two goals defending a lead.In hindsight would have he deployed differently or does he just chalk it up to the fog of war and a learning lesson?Of course there were many breakdowns and circumstances at play (No Sekera) however I have been pondering this since the pivotal game.

    Good question. I was wondering if anyone did a breakdown of those minutes (sort of like Willis used to do with “anatomy of a goal against” – used to like those) and what decisions TM was making. I recall posting also about Maroon specifically being on the ice for 2 of 3 goals against and wondering why.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Bryan Murray passed. RIP.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Newton:
    Hey LT, on point #19 – perhaps splitting hairs here….what were your thoughts on the deployment of personnel during the 3 minute meltdown in game 5? I was disappointed to see Maroon (just didn’t have the presence stick positioning /speed) out on the last two goals defending a lead.In hindsight would have he deployed differently or does he just chalk it up to the fog of war and a learning lesson?Of course there were many breakdowns and circumstances at play (No Sekera) however I have been pondering this since the pivotal game.

    Maroon had been one of his best soldiers. It’s like Letestu, damned puck jumped over his stick. Or Eberle, who didn’t eat the puck. Or Nurse, who went swimming with a Duck in the crease. You can blame McLellan or those players, but the entire four minutes was basically impossible. The Nurse bit was the one you regret but that’s a kid you hope to see in that situation many times in the next decade, so it’s an investment too.

  29. John Chambers says:

    godot10,

    The problem with your position is that it’s hard to argue that McLellan wasn’t the best available coach when they hired him. They couldn’t possibly plod McDavid’s first couple of years with the Oilers through an uncertain coaching carousel.

    The end result of a number of Chiarelli’s moves, whether it’s hiring McClellan, signing Lucic, etc etc was that it sold Connor on signing an 8-year extension. So as far as the last two seasons of Chia & TMac’s work, we can safely say Mission Accomplished.

    Imagine pursuing Babcock two summers ago, with McClellan not willing to wait for the drama to play out, and having it not come to fruition only to embarrass the Oilers (again) during 97’s inaugural month as an Oiler. Woof.

    Best coach in the league? No. Top-10? Undoubtedly.

  30. OmJo says:

    “I think putting Leon on 97’s line cost this team in a big way in contract number (to come), would have run Eberle instead. I wouldn’t play Russell RH side and would play Mark Fayne on the third pairing. I’d have played Pouliot more, would have kept Lander and God knows what else. In the end, doesn’t matter. You hire a coach to win games and he won 47 of the damned things. Game, set, match.”

    LT for president (of hockey operations)! #MakeOilersGreatAgain

    Hm… Maybe for tomorrow’s post talk about how you would play Yamamoto all season in the NHL, definitely not sign Jagr to a one-year deal, and undoubtedly trade Nuge this summer.

    I think we might have found a way to control Chia and TMac 🤔

    I think my biggest gripe with TMac is his veteran “stubbornness”… Todd Nelson got the best out of those players by playing them in situations to succeed. McLellan doesn’t give as long of a leash to his players. If you don’t buy in right away, you’re basically gone. Do or die, in a way.

  31. Munny says:

    Lowetide: Maroon had been one of his best soldiers. It’s like Letestu, damned puck jumped over his stick. Or Eberle, who didn’t eat the puck. Or Nurse, who went swimming with a Duck in the crease. You can blame McLellan or those players, but the entire four minutes was basically impossible. The Nurse bit was the one you regret but that’s a kid you hope to see in that situation many times in the next decade, so it’s an investment too.

    Yes!

  32. trencan says:

    Sorry, little bit off topic. I just came from bronze medal match on Hlinka Memorial Cup. Very interesting and dramatic match, it was joy to watch all the talent on the ice – Sandin, Boqvist, Wernblom on swedish side, Shabanov, Zavgorodni on russian team. Especially Sweden have strong draft year 2018 in defense. Congrats to Canada for gold medal and enjoy the tournament next year in Edmonton.

  33. Ribs says:

    Sad to hear about Murray. One of the good guys.

    McLellan seems to know what he’s doing. I appreciate that he’s always looking for ways to be better. If you’ve got that drive and dedication, you’re going to eventually find ways to be successful. It’s also notable that he tries to keep things as simple as possible, which I feel is important because we’ve seen previous incarnations of this team that were clearly overwhelmed with what the coaches were trying to teach them.

  34. stush18 says:

    John Chambers,

    I honestly think he’s just trolling about this. No one can possibly believe tma isn’t one of the best coaches in the league.

  35. Pink Socks says:

    dustrock:
    Talking about 23 players plus the organization and not knowing the full picture I do wonder about Pouliot and his personality.

    There are guys who struggle and the coach likes them and will give extra slack and then the opposite.

    Pouliot is clearly an NHL player, he has a well-rounded skill set, and wears out his welcome with most teams (Julien, etc) quite quickly.

    It’s not just having a bad stretch I think.

    In Pouliot’s first pro seasons he played in Houston and at that time I was working for the now gone Aeros. Without getting into unnecessary detail, Pouliot is … not real popular with authority. It would not surprise me if he was bought out just to get him out and the additional cap penalty was money well spent.

  36. Thinker says:

    I have never listened to a TMac availability and not thought that he didn’t have things 100% under control. I may gripe with stuff in game, but it is unfair to say that for example lander would do better, since there is no way to prove or disprove it.

  37. JDî says:

    While that was an entertaining version of Tom Sawyer, I never want to hear it again.

  38. Georges says:

    The Oilers’ points per game improvement from 15-16 to 16-17 is among the very best turnarounds (ranked 22nd) going back to 80-81. Ending that miserable, futile regular season stretch after the 05-06 run and ending it decisively, let’s put it in the category of major achievement because there’s no other place to put it. I thought the Oilers could’ve gone two rounds further in the playoffs. Oh well.

    TMac isn’t a young or an inexperienced coach. Much credit to him for getting the team to play as a team. The Oilers are no longer a basket case. We have CMD. The future’s bright. But TMac is not on a young coach’s timetable. And TMac has never coached in the Finals.

    I live in godot’s world now.

  39. tcho says:

    Has anyone brought up the Hall trade yet in this thread?

  40. JDî says:

    tcho,

    Not yet, but surely some asshat will.

  41. godot10 says:

    stush18:
    John Chambers,

    I honestly think he’s just trolling about this. No one can possibly believe tma isn’t one of the best coaches in the league.

    #MartySchottenheimer

    Regular season: 200–126–1 (.613)
    Postseason: 5–13 (.278)

  42. godot10 says:

    Thinker:
    I have never listened to a TMac availability and not thought that he didn’t have things 100% under control. I may gripe with stuff in game, but it is unfair to say that for example lander would do better, since there is no way to prove or disprove it.

    Lander was doing fine this past season, playing better than the guys they kept up over him. They could have used him against Anaheim.

    #StubbornToAFault

  43. John Chambers says:

    godot10,

    So hypothetically, in June of 2015 as GM you would’ve hired …

  44. Thinker says:

    John Chambers:
    godot10,

    So hypothetically, in June of 2015 as GM you would’ve hired …

    Nelson and Krueger. Co-coaches.

  45. godot10 says:

    John Chambers:
    godot10,

    So hypothetically, in June of 2015 as GM you would’ve hired …

    I have never claimed that the Oilers should (or should not) have hired him or anybody else. That is not my point. I understand why the Oilers hired him. After the decade long CF, it was the safe decision, like buying IBM in the eighties, Cisco in the nineties, if one was a CIO.

    As I pointed out #MedicorityIsADifferentKindOfHell

  46. leadfarmer says:

    godot10: Lander was doing fine this past season, playing better than the guys they kept up over him.They could have used him against Anaheim.

    #StubbornToAFault

    Lander is in a long list of players that can dominate the lower leagues but cant break into the NHL. I’m sure he will dominate the KHL. Speed is the name of the game in the NHL and Lander doesnt have it. Landers slow speed would have just played into Anaheims game plan.

  47. John Chambers says:

    godot10,

    Cisco is still a great investment. It’s like owning a high efficiency furnace, a Prius, or a coach who knows the league and is reliable like a Cat 6500 core.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: I have never claimed that the Oilers should (or should not) have hired him or anybody else.That is not my point.I understand why the Oilers hired him.After the decade long CF,it was the safe decision, like buying IBM in the eighties, Cisco in the nineties, if one was a CIO.

    As I pointed out #MedicorityIsADifferentKindOfHell

    Hmmmm, i am having trouble reconciling a statement re: mediocrity being a different kind of hell with the desire to have put Lander in the lineup in the 2nd round of the playoffs – poster boy for mediocrity!

  49. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Hmmmm, i am having trouble reconciling a statement re: mediocrity being a different kind of hell with the desire to have put Lander in the lineup in the 2nd round of the playoffs – poster boy for mediocrity!

    Lander isn’t mediocre on faceoffs.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sure, fair enough but I don’t think a player being above average on faceoffs but below average at everything else except for decent defensive responsibility takes the player out of mediocrity.

    Anyways, I wouldn’t have been against Lander getting more of an opportunity last year – I’m not sure why he didn’t – just kind of playing Devils’ advocate with the mediocrity statement.

  51. Thinker says:

    I like lander over DD, but without him we would have been down 3-2 against the sharks. It is really hard to debate what someone might have done. Kinda like the problem with proving God doesn’t exist. You can’t really argue either side.

  52. godot10 says:

    Thinker:
    I like lander over DD, but without him we would have been down 3-2 against the sharks. It is really hard to debate what someone might have done. Kinda like the problem with proving God doesn’t exist. You can’t really argue either side.

    One doesn’t have to play the same depth players in every series.

  53. Bag of Pucks says:

    TMac has the 6th best regular season winning percentage of all time. He’s ahead of Toe Blake, Babcock, Hitchcock, Sather and Quenninville on that list.

    Put up those kind of numbers and you’re a great coach imo.

    Suggesting he’s not cos his team’s have underachieved in the playoffs underrates the importance of goaltending in the playoffs (Todd never had a money tender in SJ) as well as the crucial role the players themselves have in those failings.

    Schottenheimer is a good comp because he was a fantastic coach who got far more out mediocre talent than most of his peers. Like MacLellan with goaltending, Scottenheimer rarely had elite quarterbacks. When he did with Kosar in Cleveland, his team’s lost on a goal line fumble and ‘The Drive.’ Both of these men consistently put their teams in a position to contend with superior preparation and they don’t make errors that cost their teams wins.

    If being a consistent winner in the regular season was easy, how come so many fail to achieve it?

  54. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    TMac has the 6th best regular season winning percentage of all time. He’s ahead of Toe Blake, Babcock, Hitchcock, Sather and Quenninville on that list.

    Put up those kind of numbers and you’re a great coach imo.

    Suggesting he’s not cos his team’s have underachieved in the playoffs underrates the importance of goaltending in the playoffs (Todd never had a money tender in SJ) as well as the crucial role the players themselves have in those failings.

    Schottenheimer is a good comp because he was a fantastic coach who got far more out mediocre talent than most of his peers. Like MacLellan with goaltending, Scottenheimer rarely had elite quarterbacks. When he did with Kosarin Cleveland, his team’s lost on a goal line fumble and ‘The Drive.’Both of these men consistently put their teams in a position to contend with superior preparation and they don’t make errors that cost their teams wins.

    If being a consistent winner in the regular season was easy, how come so many fail to achieve it?

    Schottenheimer had Kosar, Montana, Breez, Deberg, Gannon, Rivers at various points in his career.

    Montana went tomany Superbowls and won with another team.
    Breez went to a Superbowl and won with another team.
    Deberg went to a Superbowl and lost with another team.
    Gannon went to a Superbowl and lost with another team.
    Rivers is one of the greatest quarterbacks to never make a Superbowl.

    So to say Schottenheimer didn’t have good quarterbacks is not true.

    The Drive corresponds to McLellan blowing a 3-0 series lead against LA.
    The Fumble correspons to McLellan blowing the game against Anaheim with three late goals against.

  55. godot10 says:

    The other “similarity” between McLellan and Schottenheimer is that Schottenheimer did things his way, even it was the “dumb” way.

  56. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    godot10,

    Given your choice, available or employed, who would you replace him with?

  57. Side says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    godot10,

    Given your choice, available or employed, who would you replace him with?

    I’m still waiting for the day godot actually says why Todd is “mediocre” and why other coaches are better.

    But he never, ever does.

  58. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10,

    None of those quarterbacks were in their prime when Schottenheimer had them. Montana was nearly at the end after multiple surgeries, Brees was a rookie, Rivers was a rookie. Gannon was a journeyman and actually had his best seasons as a starter under Marty, before taking it to another level under Gruden.

    The one valid criticism of Schottenheimer is he favoured run first offence and dominant defence in an era when the west coast offence was winning championships.

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