Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Los Angeles Kings Desperation

The Los Angeles Kings are in a tight playoff race, but they look to be one of the teams that will likely barely miss out of the playoffs. Currently, Los Angeles is tied for the eighth and final playoff berth with the Edmonton Oilers, except Edmonton has a game in hand - which would leave them in nineth. Only one point back of this is the San Jose Sharks who are one point back of the kings but have three points in hand. Most likely, it looks like Los Angeles will finish 10th (that is where Mudcrutch Hockey predicts their finish).

Los Angeles would desperately like to make the playoffs. They made a move to try to accomplish this. Last night, they fired coach Andy Murray. Murray is a pretty good coach. he has proven that over a few years of NHL employment and Canadian National Team coaching. They hired as an interim coach John Torchetti. Torchetti is a minor league coach, who was a failed interim coach for the Florida Panthers at the conclusion of the 2003/04 season. He had a losing record there and has done little to make one believe he is a good coach at the NHL level. Why was he hired? Torchetti was hired because he was available (read unemployed) and had credentials that made it possible to pass him off as an NHL coach. Nobody would claim that Torchetti is a better coach than Murray. I think most would claim Murray is a far better coach.

So why would Los Angeles make this move? Why would they think it might work? A major shake-up on any team often leads to a short term unsustainable improvement on the ice. Firing the coach and bringing in somebody from outside the organization to coach is as big a shake-up as can be made after the trade deadline. It is very poosible that Torchetti could lead Los Angeles to a short term improvement that might push them into the playoffs.

I would bet against Torchetti succeeding, but it is not too improbable a scenario. What is the cost to the Kigns for this move? They lose Andy Murray as a coach. Likely, some competitor in the NHL will grab him in the off season. Los Angeles will be stuck with Torchetti as coach, unless they fire him and hire another coach. In the off season, there is a good chance that Los Angeles will be able to find a coach with ability similar to Andy Murray. Its much harder to find a coach during the season. Most (if not all) good candidates to coach a team have found some other employment for the season and are not available. Is Los Angeles in worse shape going into next season coach by Torchetti? Probably. But they won't do this unless he succeeds. Unless the Kings make the playoffs under Torchetti, he won't be back next year.

Los Angeles is desperate to make the playoffs. Their firing of coach Andy Murray and hiring of John Torchetti as an interim coach is really a high stakes equivalent of pulling the goalie. Most of the time, that risk fails, however, the odds of success while taking that risk are higher than if they do not take that risk.

Here is TSN's article on this story.

Comments:
obviously you are a fucking idiot. Torchetti has proven himself to coach in the NHL. He took over two struggling teams and did pretty well. Andy Murray is a high school coach, he can't disipline an NHL player hes too nice, so keep writting stupid stit
 
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