It's dismal in the desert

If you've been watching the late games on NHL Center Ice, chances are you've seen more than your fair share of contests involving the Phoenix Coyotes. Keen observers, too, will notice that the team is marking its 10th season in Arizona with a jersey patch "Decade in the Desert."

Last night, against the Calgary Flames, Phoenix fell 6-1 to start the season with a embarrassing 2-8 record. And, unless something changes very soon, an embroiderer will be called in to change the stitching to a more appropriate "Dismal in the Desert."

After watching some of these games, mainly out of loyalty to a certain Wicked hockey fan, I'm convinced the team's logo is not of a howling coyote, but one that is screaming "What the hell is going on here?"

Granted, just because the team is coached by The Great One, we can't expect the Coyotes to be winning games like the Edmonton Oilers did back in their heyday. The team is young enough, has some speed as well as plenty of talented veterans who know how to play the game.

The problem, however, is they've been getting shellacked, including a 9-2 loss to Detroit and back-to-back 4-0 losses to Los Angeles and Dallas. And as much as I believe Curtis Joseph is a flippin' jerk, it's unfair to place the blame all on his shoulders.

To me, it's painful to see Wayne Gretzky, who made the game look so simple as a player, struggle as a coach, bedeviled by a lack of scoring, poor defensive play and what I believe to be a lack of discipline, namely a steady stream of Coyotes heading to the penalty box for lazy penalties -- hooking, holding and interference.

Recently, Gretzky was quoted as saying he could become the first owner to fire himself as a coach. Thankfully, he's since backed off of those comments. Here's an idea, though: Pull a Mario Lemieux, add himself to the roster and show the team how hockey is supposed to be played. If that wouldn't get the team fired up, I don't know what would.


Blogger Drew said...

Maybe it's just me, but it seems the guys who were the best players rarely make good managers in any sport. Gretzky is struggling in Phoenix. Maurice Richard lasted two games as a WHA coach. The Espositos had tons of trouble with the Lightning. Bryan Trottier was far less than successful as the Rangers head coach. I could go on but I'll just leave it at that.

But then you get a total stiff as a player who becomes a great coach-- Scotty Bowman, Sparky Anderson, Connie Mack, Jim Leyland, Pat Burns... None of them were anything great in their chosen professional sport but all went on to become great coaches.

Just a little food for thought.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

you can't imagine how frustrating it is to be from winnipeg, working at the Air Canada Centre, and not being able to see your home team smash the Leafs!....bring hockey back to where it belongs

2:39 AM  

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