Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carlyle gets two-year extension, will he crack a smile?

While the rest of the California teams have opted to fire and replace their head coaches this offseason, the Anaheim Ducks have taken a more controversial approach: extending Coach Carlyle's contract another two years. Carlyle, like 85% of Anaheim's roster, was set to have his contract expire at the end of the coming season.

Now I'm not a guy (surprisingly?) who has a whole lot to say about coaching: a lot of what makes a good coach is a good team, and Carlyle's certainly done well when his roster is stocked with its proper dosage of Pronger and Niedermayer. Aside from his players, though, much of a coach's impact is tough for me to isolate. How good a coach would Carlyle be behind the Kings' bench, for example? I'm not sure, but I can say this: Carlyle is one of the most diligent line-matching coaches I've seen, and he has gotten great mileage out of having Pahlsson manage the murderer's minutes and Getzlaf or Selanne milking the easy minutes. I can also appreciate how his blue line is managed; allocating minutes to Niedermayer and Pronger seems like it would be an easy task, but there's certainly in-game considerations that need to be made.

While I can't fully explain or articulate all the strategic nuances that make Carlyle a good coach, I will add that I appreciate his overall grumpiness. One thing that struck me about the last two cup-winning coaches (Carlyle and Babcock) is how awkward they both looked in trying to crack a smile after their final win. In both cases, the attempted display of joy turned out to be a little bit scary and awfully short-lived; smiles were clearly not a practiced expression for them.

It really makes me wonder: how much of good hockey coaching is demeanor? Can a good Xs-and-Os coach be betrayed by a jovial attitude? I don't really know, but regardless, I'm glad to have the grump extended. His system seems to work for the Ducks, and as Superintendant Chalmers once said semi-approvingly about Principle Skinner, "He seems to know the kids' names."

Go Ducks.


RudyKelly said...

He looks like Larry Bird in the same way Randy Quaid looks like Dennis.

Ken said...

You watch The Simpsons way too much....LOL

Earl Sleek said...

Even in that ancient playing picture, Carlyle's attempted smile gives me the shivers. Put that atrocity away, at least until you know how to use it!

Doogie2K said...

That is some surprisingly awesome hair.

Anonymous said...

My sister made him laugh...just minutes after getting off the bus from that disapointing loss in Dallas.

Twas awesome.

Black Dog said...

Good idea - he's an excellent coach I think. From afar I look at this club and I think he gets the most out of it that he can.

He actually played junior in my hometown when I was a kid back in the 70s. The Wolves, and every other junior team, looked like the cast from Dazed and Confused.

Great team - Ronnie Duguay, Rod Schutt, Dave Farrish, Hector Marini and Hustle Bobby Russell. Carlyle was awesome.