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Tag: Ken Hitchcock

Stars Take It To Golden Knights, Again

Maybe this is getting old? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was bound to happen at some point. The Golden Knights have been playing historically great hockey at home, there was no way it was going to continue forever. Maybe it doesn’t need much analyzing. It could be possible the Stars were more prepared for the Golden Knights after losing to them on opening night. They were a hungry team in need of a road victory.

Vegas is a hell of a hockey club. They’re the fastest team we’ve played all year, quickness on pucks, quickness on attack, so it’s a hard game for a goalie. Vegas comes at you with numbers and puck possession… That’s the challenge when you play against Vegas you are going to give up chances off the rush and you just have to negate them. -Ken Hitchcock, Dallas Head Coach

Opponents have consistently talked about the Golden Knights team speed. Hitchcock went ahead and called them the fastest squad Dallas faced all season. The Stars apparently learned after the first matchup how to defend against the Golden Knights speed. Add in their elite offensive skill, superb goaltending and it’s no surprise Dallas won 3-0.

I think Dallas came in with an attitude that Vegas is playing good hockey here and we’re going to come in here and work real hard. I thought their team played an excellent game.. We just couldn’t create any scoring chances. I think a lot of that had to do with how Dallas played. -Gerard Gallant

It’s reasonable to think teams previously burned by the Golden Knights will come in with an attitude. The Stars planned on defending speed and possession, specifically by muddying up the game early and then making exiting the defensive zone and going through the neutral zone difficult for the Golden Knights. It’s no secret the way to beat a fast team is to slow them down and keep them off the puck, most teams just haven’t been able to do it.

Jamie Benn was one of two NHL Captains (Henrik Zetterberg) to leave Las Vegas in a good mood. He smiled when I asked about the atmosphere in the T-Mobile Arena.

It was awesome. It was pretty electric and these fans were great tonight. We’re glad to bring along our Dads, brothers and mentors as well. – Jamie Benn, Stars Captain

I continued to snoop around and asked Benn if the team would take advantage of their time in Las Vegas? He sent me away with an answer only a veteran Captain would give.

Nah. We’ll get dinner tonight and start getting ready for Chicago. -Benn

This is when I thought I saw multiple Dallas Dads hiding their laughter. He may be the captain of the hockey team, but no one is the captain of the Wolfpack.

Don’t Hate Too Much On Cappy

This week we got a surprisingly bad reaction from fans regarding the coaching direction of the Golden Knights. The Creator’s “unwillingness” to overpay for Claude Julien started a conversation about financial commitment. Some even went as far as to call him cheap. Let’s clear something up, the man is about to finish to paying off $500 million for an NHL team, he’s not cheap. But fans are getting nervous that The Creator won’t do everything he can do to win hockey games. When he said $4.5 million for Julien was too much for Vegas, fans took that as not being fully invested.

If Vegas chooses a coach like Jack Capuano or Gerard Gallant fans are going to voice themselves. The Creator is realistic, the organization is committed to the future. Passing on a big name coach isn’t a sign of cheapness, it’s a sign of a responsible approach eyeing that future rather than instant gratification.

I’ve written about Capuano’s fit in Las Vegas, but he’s not a popular among fans. Here’s a comment from SinBin.vegas on Capuano back in late November.

Take Capuano, please. Take his assistants, too. They make no adjustments. They have ruined more players (high draft picks) than they have developed. The GM might be part of that, too but playing time & in game is on the coach. They have stopped playing hard, and for the past two plus seasons, I have never seen so many late goals (both end of periods & games) given up in 45 years of watching hockey. I will drive him to the airport if you want. -pfh64

 

Many people think Capuano underachieved in New York. Complaints are he cannot develop talent and won’t use analytics to assist his decisions. All are very good reasons to be down on a potential Vegas coach. However, is that really Jack Capuano? Or is that what you say about a coach who was just fired?

I’m here to tell you, he isn’t anything like the comment above, and the countless others we’ve received on social media.  Let me try and quiet the storm in Las Vegas. Here’s how Jack Capuano compares to other available coaches.

 Jack CapuanoClaude JulienKen HitchcockLindy Ruff
Seasons as HC6142119
W-L227-192538-332781-474724-542
Win %.536.603.606.562
Playoff Appearances481410
Playoff Record10-1461-4786-8266-54
Playoff %.417.560.512.550
Stanley Cups0110
Key PlayersTavares, HalakBrodeur, Chara, ThomasModano, Nieuwendyk, Belfour, HullHasek, Satan, Peca
 Jack CapuanoDan BylsmaGerard GallantJon Cooper
Seasons as HC6865
W-L227-192310-176152-140172-114
Win %.536.624.518.591
Playoff Appearances4613
Playoff Record10-1443-352-425-25
Playoff %.417.551.333.500
Stanley Cups0100
Key PlayersTavares, HalakCrosby, MalkinJagr, Nash, Ekblad, LuongoStamkos, Bishop, St. Louis, Hedman

 

Here’s a breakdown of Capuano vs. the more experienced coaches in their first six seasons behind the bench.

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Drop The Gloves: Don’t Get Too High On Claude And Hitch

It’s been a while since we’ve had any disagreements worth a Drop The Gloves post, but that changed with the recent coaching news including Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock, and Mike Modano. So here goes.

Yesterday we had our fourth NHL coach relieved of their duty. Not many were surprised when Boston axed Claude Julien or when St Louis canned Ken Hitchcock last week. Boston and St. Louis fans don’t accept underachievers and both organizations were forced to act. The result is now the Golden Knights have two Stanley Cup winning coaches to examine. Ken wrote about Julien’s dismissal yesterday and it’s potential impact to Las Vegas. He noted the former Bruins coach fitting George McPhee’s qualifications.

Experienced, a guy the hockey community knows, fits the culture, and someone who they do not have to evaluate. Julien also brings one more aspect that no one would ever admit is necessary, legitimacy.”  –Ken, SinBin.vegas (We’ve officially hit a new low quoting ourselves. Oh well.)

The one thing McPhee’s wishlist didn’t have was ‘Stanley Cup winning coach’ because they don’t grow on trees. Two are now available. But as established as Hitchcock and Julien are, neither are the right fit to coach on the Strip.

Trotz said Julien probably already has offers, which isn’t far-fetched for the previously longest-tenured coach in the league who has a Cup ring and one of the strongest resumes around. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights could have interest in Julien, Gallant, Hitchcock and Capuano since general manager George McPhee is believed to want experience behind the bench. –USA Today

Let’s start with Hitchcock. Anything but the perfect candidate. Hitch has coached since 1995, starting off in Dallas and leading them to a gift Stanley Cup in 1999. No Goal! In seven years with the Stars, Hitchcock led his team to five playoff appearances, three conference finals, and one Stanley Cup championship. From there Hitch had continuous success in the regular season but couldn’t get his teams deep. Only three times since 1999’s Cup victory, Hitchcock made the conference finals. Not a great track record in 16 seasons. Hitchcock’s .606 regular season winning percentage drops significantly to .512 in the postseason.

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Former Great Volunteers Services To VGK

The Vegas Golden Knights are quickly turning into the hot girl before prom. Everybody seems to want a piece of that action. The latest is former Dallas Stars great Mike Modano tweeted out his willingness to relocate to Vegas earlier this morning.

Hitch is Ken Hitchcock, former Blues head coach and coach of the 1999 Stanley Cup champion Stars led by none other than Mike Modano.

Hitchcock is 65 years old, has been a head coach in the NHL since 1995 missing just one season in 2010-11 between gigs in Columbus and St. Louis. He’s has one Stanley Cup, two appearances, five trips to the conference finals, and took his teams to the playoffs in 12 of the 13 seasons he coached all 82 games. Resume wise, he’s right up there with Claude Julien, but the age is obviously a bit of a concern. Nonetheless, the package deal with Mike Modano is intriguing.

After retiring Modano served as an alternate governor and executive advisor for the Stars. Here’s what he said he did while on the clock for the Stars.

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