Saturday, July 23, 2005

Coach Enjoys Kissing His Sister

At the risk of treading all over The Elder's hallowed territory, I'm going to comment here about the end of the NHL lockout. Specifically, this St. Paul Pioneer Press article about the newly approved rule changes contains a few quotes from Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire that really caught my eye.

One of the new rules eliminates the ridiculous practice of calling a game a tie if neither team scores a goal in the brief overtime period and replaces it with the always exciting shootout. Lemaire had this to say about that:
The shootout is great for fans, but the results are not always good. I think it will favor the top teams. You go into a shootout against Colorado, who's got the better chance to win?
Yes, Jacques, Colorado has a better chance of putting the biscuit in the basket during a shootout than the Wild does. Please tell me how in the hell that makes the shootout any different from the 65 minutes of hockey that both teams just completed.

What the elimination of the tie actually accomplishes is that it prevents both teams from skating around in circles for the entirety of the overtime period in order to guarantee at least one more point for each in the standings.

Coach Lemaire continues:
If you're home, the fans will be excited about a shootout, no doubt. But what if you don't win? Sometimes you tie games in the end and you're happy. You go to a shootout and lose, as a player, you still lost, and that stays in your mind.
Moses, smell the roses! What utter tripe. Part of your job as coach, Mr. Lemaire, is to make damn sure that every single humiliating and demoralizing loss by your team DOES stick in their minds...so much so that they never want it to happen again. I have zero confidence in a team that is coached by a man who claims to feel happy after achieving an incredibly ignoble tie.

If Lemaire's attitude regarding shootouts is any indication, it looks like the Wild players (or is it "the Wild's players"? God, how I hate that name) will be joining the Minnesota Twins in watching their sport's post-season from the comfort of their easy chairs.

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