So Calgary beat Vancouver in six games. I predicted they would and it’s always nice to be right. I’ll leave this up to the Canucks fans to decide but I think this was a case of Vancouver lacking a killer instinct and grit rather than it was Calgary being a better team. It happens sometimes in a series and this was one of them.
This is what I liked about this Calgary team. For me it starts with them not firing Bob Hartley. Either your coach can or can’t coach and if you have one that can, you don’t fire him because he misses the playoffs with a bad roster. Instead Calgary stood by Hartley through the good and the bad and in the end he made the team into what he and also Brian Burke thought would win (and it did).
I don’t understand why teams don’t do more of this. I look at the firing of Peter Chiarelli as Boston’s GM. It seemed like the Jacobs were more angry and instead of going, “our roster aged more than we expected, we had some injuries and we still ended up with 96 points, it happens to the best of them,” that decided that someone has to pay and it’s the GM.
Good franchises don’t do this. They have a plan and they stick to it. Bad teams like Toronto and Edmonton never seem to stick with a plan and instead replace the coach over and over and over again. It is also his fault despite everyone (including the fans) knowing it really isn’t. The next coach is always going to be the saviour. In reality a hockey coach probably has less to do with wins and losses than anyone other than a baseball manager (I have read someplace that the difference between a good manager and a bad manager is about 5 games a season in baseball).
So back to my point, good job for Calgary sticking to the plan, good job for Edmonton getting a guy with a plan (and demoting those without one), and while I love Boston, I am really, really nervous about the move to get rid of Chiarelli. The ownership transition from father to son is not going well.