ToddM wrote: #JTONTFJTGM wrote:
ToddM wrote:Exactly. Unless Hitch has Belfour in his prime or AV has Luongo/Lundqvist, neither of them can win for *poo poo*.
If winning the Stanley Cup is your requirement for determining coaching success then Vigneault wasn't successful with Luongo and Lundqvist.
My base line for "great coach" is someone who can make it past the second round of the playoffs relatively often. Hitch did it twice with Dallas, when he was indeed a "great coach." But he hasn't done much damage in the playoffs in the 17 years since then, so I'd downgrade him to "above average."
AV made it once with Vancouver/PrimeLuongo and once with NY/PrimeLundqvist, if my memory is correct. But the rest of his playoff coaching career has been meh, including a handful of first-round upsets.
I'd lump both in with coaches like Tippett and Trotz, who can win in the regular season but have abysmal playoff records.
"Great" coaches might have a few first-round flameouts here and there, but overall they take care of business in Rounds 1-2 and then either win or lose to another elite team. Coach Q fits that description perfectly. Mike Sullivan, in a really small sample size, looks like he's turned around a Penguins franchise that was burning through coaches every two years and losing to vastly inferior teams in the early rounds. Babcock started out "great" but is slowly drifting into Hitchcock territory: once great, but not much to write home about lately.
That's basically why I'm not really emotionally broken up about missing the playoffs. This current team wasn't going to do any damage --especially in a first-round matchup against Nashville or Winnipeg-- so just re-rack in the offseason and try again. But with a different, non-mediocre coach.
Quenneville has coached in a Conference final six times in 19 full seasons. The only non-playoff team of the three he inherited was the 2008-'09 Blackhawks he was hired to coach four games into that season after they'd had an 88-point season in 2007-'08. Patrick Sharp was 26 years old and coming off a 36-goal season, Brent Seabrook was in his fourth season, Duncan Keith was in his third season and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were in their second seasons when Quenneville was hired.
Hitch has coached in a Conference Final five times in 17 full seasons and spent two of them and parts of two others coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets who had never appeared in the playoffs before he got there and had topped out with a 74-point season in 2005-'06 and had 12 points in 20 games when he was hired during the 2006-'07 season.
Hitch coached the Stars past the second round of the playoffs in 1998, 1999 and 2000. And the main reason he hasn't been able to do it more often after that is because of the quality of the teams he's coached relative to that of the teams he's lost to in the playoffs, with the exception being the 2015 Minnesota Wild who weren't built better in any significant way.
But following that loss Hitch knocked Quenneville out of the first round of the 2016 playoffs when Quenneville was coaching the better built team, the defending Stanley Cup Champions who weren't missing any of their players.
Can you really be so ignorant about how sports works to believe that Hitch was a great coach from 1997-2000 but wasn't again until 2003-'04 then wasn't again until 2015-'16 and then wasn't again?
The man has been one of the greatest coaches this league has ever seen since his first full season coaching the Stars in 1996-'97 and he's gotten better since then, making every team he's coached better than they were the season before he arrived, which was why Jim Nill hired him and why he'll be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he's done coaching.