News broke this morning that the Blues gassed coach Ken Hitchcock. And in reading a bit about it, the situation sort of mirrors Claude Julien’s with the Bruins.
Think about it … St. Louis essentially gave away assets (Brian Elliott, David Backes) and got nothing in return, unless you count Nail Yakupov (Note: don’t count Nail Yakupov). Then was asked to take that team to the playoffs in a really tough division. Oh, and they hired his replacement before the season!
Sort of like Boston, right? The Bruins gave away assets over the last couple of years (although not as many this past offseason), didn’t add much (Backes, sure, but a bunch of JAGs for the most part) and expected a playoff run. The teams have essentially identical records (BOS is 26-21-6, STL 24-21-5). St. Louis is 11th in GPG and the B’s are 22nd. The difference is Boston is 16th in GA while St. Louis is 27th. YIKES.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong went on and on today about how it’s partially on him regarding the Blues performance, and it’s more about the “note” on the front than the name on the back. Then why fire the coach if it’s the players? Say what you will about Bruins management, but they have, at least for now, seemed to acknowledge that it’s not so much the coach as it is whom he is coaching.
Seems to me that the Blues took the shortest, easiest route in firing the coach. Meanwhile the Bruins are being a bit more patient, knowing it’s not the arrow in this case, it’s the Indians.