I know that I don't know everything there is to know about hockey. I am sure that people making millions to direct the game probably have more tricks up their sleeves than I do.
But I've been around the game a long time as a player, parent, fan and beer league captain. And my fucking head is about to explode.
Donut King must have found my notes sitting around the link factory because he wrote the article that has been boiling in my head before I got around to it, but I still need my therapeutic vent.
Here are somethings which seem painfully obvious to me.
Pretend we are on the floor of the Blues Fan Hockey General Assembly and I am making an impassioned speech in favor of a resolution of a vote of "no confidence' for the entire fucking coaching staff. Read my points, then cast your vote.
And don't even think about trying to fucking filibuster me.
- Edmundson isn't cutting it and needs to go back down. I see they finally did this today, but it's been true for a while. He is hesitant when hesitation is fatal and doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the pace. We are doing more harm than good to him at this point. He got his taste, now let him go work on what he needs rather than ride the press box.
- Hitchcock keeps talking about 'the system' and how we don't stick to it. Well, bossman, maybe there is a problem with your fucking system. This illusive system of yours gets talked about all the time, but I haven't seen any semblance of a team identity in the last 2-3 years that suggests there is an underlying system that we just keep deviating from.
- Hitchcock said that people stop following 'the system' because they won't have success for a couple of minutes and they will give up on the system. Well, what about the system is so counter-intuitive or difficult that people are so eager to break away from it? As a leader of any sort, you have to tailor your style and approach to your group. I think maybe the system is incompatible and the coach who is married to it needs to go.
- Also, I want to point out that it's pretty fucking rich for Hitch to bitch about people breaking away from the system when it doesn't seem to work for minutes considering that is EXACTLY what he fucking does with line combinations.
- Speaking of line combinations. Stastny and Steen have amazing chemistry. Follow your own advice and stop breaking up key pairs because they had a couple pedestrian shifts. The only experiment with those two should be who plays on the other wing.
- Lehtera looks terrible and uncomfortable at left wing. He is a center, and a pretty good one. Probably the second best center from a skills perspective on the team. Moving him to wing is bad leadership.
- Lehtera and Tarasenko have amazing chemistry. Lehtera is much more effective with Tank and your shiny Russian centerpiece is usually much shinier with Lehtera by his side. Why does Hitch feel the need to constantly fuck with that?
- Does he have no appreciation for chemistry? Every league I've ever played in the more I was alongside someone, the better we got together. Games where we need to switch things up because of lineup issues are usually our worst games. Hitch changes things up EVERY FUCKING GAME, MID-GAME. Why? That short-attention span leadership is pathetic and uninspiring.
- One of the biggest telltale signs of a team that has no rhythm or chemistry is off-sides. HOLY SHIT. I would have been embarrassed if my beer league team had that many blue line offenses in a game, and half of us are usually buzzed before the puck drops. What in the actual fuck is so broken that we can't enter the offensive zone without tripping over each-others' dicks? I can't tell you what it is, but I can tell you that it is the fault of the coaching staff.
- Our defensemen are generally a skilled bunch, so why are we making risky behind-the-back passes in front of our own net and turning the puck over (and over, and over) in our own zone? These guys are making mistakes they talk about in defenseman 101. What are they being told to do? What are we working on in practice? This is yet another symptom of an underlying problem with the way this team is coached.
- Has anyone noticed that we seem to work hard to get in prime scoring real-estate only to PASS the fucking puck, many times to someone in a less desirable position? I mean, I get when a guy like Gomez is always looking pass, but this is guys like Steen and Tarasenko dishing off to other guys in sub-prime spots. What about our offensive 'system' is causing so many skilled players to lose their fucking minds once they get in the red zone?
- I don't care what is going on in the man's head, why would he think it is a good idea to stand up at a post game press-conference and say "I don't know?" He sounded like I do when my kids are all disobeying and I am calling a friend to explain that we can't meet them at the park because the kids decided they didn't want to behave. "I don't know what their problem is, but until they fix it there will be no park fun time." As a parent, talking about 1 - 6 year-old kids, I feel like that is an acceptable answer. (Plus, I don't get paid for this shit anyway, so no one can fire me). But for the coach of adults who is paid handsomely to know the fucking answer, this is unacceptable. I don't care whether he knows the answer or not, you don't fly your flag of apathy and exhaustion publicly like that.
- Backes basically gave the same 'I don't know' in the locker room.
After last season's playoff implosion, we were mad. We wanted change. We didn't get it.
This issue of looking tired and disinterested and breaking away from some magical 'system' has been our broken record excuse for 3 fucking years. It is time to change.
We have a decent team. We have skilled players. We need a coach that has the answers and can figure out how to get this team winning.
Interest around this team is dwindling. Attendance is down this year and we are sitting at 20th in the league with a 95.2% average attendance. Look at the GDTs here, which used to get hundred of impassioned comments by emotionally invested Blues fans and now we are lucky to get 100. Blues fans are emotionally broken. We see the writing on the wall and if we don't TAKE ACTION now, the damage to the collective moral of the fan base may take years to repair.
We have a great team on paper with cornerstone players like Tarasenko and Shattenkirk. This should be the time of great excitement. Hitchcock doesn't deserve to be coaching this team, and us, as fans deserve a better coach.
Please vote YES on the vote of no confidence for the cock.