Thursday, October 18, 2007

First Panic

Only six games into the season, the Atlanta Thrashers were the first team to panic. Yesterday, they fired coach Bob Hartley. The Thrashers are off to a slow start this season. They have lost all six of their games so far. The only player on their roster who has scored more than one goal so far is Ilya Kovalchuk. This comes after last year where the Thrashers made playoffs for the first time in team history. General Manager Don Waddell made an ill-fated series of trades to build for a playoff run. This run never happened and Atlanta quickly lost in the first round of the playoffs. That poor move put Waddell in the hot seat and he responds by firing his coach when the team has a bad start (in an effort to try to save his own job). Until a new coach is found, Waddell will coach the Thrashers.

Atlanta is a better team than this start would show. I think they could still be a playoff team. They did it last year with a similar lineup and Ilya Kovalchuk having a less than stellar year. When Marian Hossa gets on track after recovering from his groin injury, Atlanta's tide will likely turn around. Of course that turn around would have little to do with coaching (it would have happened anyway), but nevertheless Waddell (or whomever has been hired as the new coach) will be given credit.

Here is TSN's story on the Hartley firing.

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