“Get me Barry!”
It didn’t take long for St. Louis Blues fans to cry out for a different bald head coach with a goatee when the Washington Capitals and Barry Trotz decided to part ways today, less than two weeks after bringing Washington their first Stanley Cup.
Right away, it was forget Mike Yeo and get me Trotz. Blues fans, it’s not that simple. It’s not like holding down X and L2 on your game remote and hoping to score three goals at once. Championships aren’t won by merely replacing the guy who stomps around the back of the bench with a suit and tie on. The Blues have swapped head coaches since 1967 and still haven’t won a damn Cup. Think about it.
I get the initial urge to drool over Trotz. He just won a Cup and likes an offensive minded game plan that attacks the opposition’s defense like a Gatling gun mounted on a ship. He is a different head coach than Yeo and his hockey philosophy apples to the Blues’ head coach’s oranges. It would be quite a switch, but if you brought in Trotz for this current Blues team, they would miss the playoffs in 2018-19 or barely make it in.
Not a Yeo honk but Barry Trotz doesn't get this roster out of the 1st round. Doubtful any coach past or present can pull it off.— Art Lippo (@ArtLippo) June 18, 2018
The Blues don’t need a coaching change; they need a roster upgrade. The car doesn’t need a new set of tires, but a different looking engine instead. Possibly a new driver. Trotz can’t play center or play wing so a third liner can be bumped off the roster once and for all. He won’t get to log minutes and help the shooters stay away from Jake Allen. He’s a coach and that isn’t the Blues’ problem.
Only a bald-headed maniac drunk on espresso and bleach would think the hiring of Trotz is the key to the Blues reaching the promised land.
Head coaching, assistant coaching, and goaltending aren’t the Blues’ biggest problems. It’s manufacturing goals. Getting production from ALL four lines. Turning Patrik Berglund’s zombie mode off. Asking Alex Steen to kick it old school, or be the guy the Blues ordered when they gave him a four-year extension.
The Blues need to shed average talent and gain exemplary players. Make a bid for John Tavares, bring the big husky Pat Maroon home (don’t tell me about a hometown curse, because it’s bullshit), or wait until the dust settles and trade for Mike Hoffman (not his wife though).
The Blues need to be better on the ice, not behind the bench. Give Yeo that Capitals roster and he wouldn’t have gotten in the way of a Cup run. No way. Yeo was coaching an average Blues team last year and the end of the season brought that to painful light.
While a cast of raw-talented and wet behind the ears rookies won’t bring Lord Stanley’s most precious item to St. Louis, a new mind behind the bench won’t change a damn thing.
Stick with Yeo and give him better players. This is a big offseason for Doug Armstrong. He has to decide if he is going to write a check on his future based on another young core of players or steal Tom Stillman’s debit card and buy a couple sports cars. He knows a coaching change or goaltending switch (no offense to Ville Husso, who I’d like to see) won’t move the needle far enough.
Barry Trotz is a good coach. Maybe a great one. In a different world, he’d be a great addition to St. Louis. Maybe down the road (in other words, next January) if Yeo’s team doesn’t improve. Right now, he isn’t the answer.
Better players are. Get to work, Doug. Start thinking about it. Free agency looms.