Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Coaching – Tough Job

It was the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi who said “Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing. The result.”

Words of wisdom there from a much respected source and they are words that can be applied to every coach in the NHL. The pressure will be on for those at the head of the coaching tree very shortly as we head into a new season. 

All 30 NHL clubs, however successful they have been, will once again be under scrutiny and the man to take most of the blame should events go wrong are the bench bosses. So who has the toughest job in living up to Lombardi’s wise words and guiding his team through yet another punishing NHL schedule?

It may seem strange to select Darryl Sutter as a candidate for being under pressure especially as he led the Los Angeles Kings to a remarkable Stanley Cup triumph from a very tough playoff position. That was impressive but can he achieve an encore? 

The team has plenty of playing depth but he’ll need to motivate them to win the Holy Grail again - and there hasn't been a repeat Stanley Cup winner since the Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98. For the Kings to remain on their throne, Sutter is going to have to push all the right buttons.

No matter what the sport the expectations are always high in the “Big Apple”, and although New York Rangers bench boss John Tortorella knows what it takes to guide a team to the Stanley Cup - the Tampa Bay Lightning - he will feel more pressure than ever in New York. 

As bench boss of the New York Rangers, he runs a team that lost in last year's Eastern Conference Finals but won the Rick Nash sweepstakes over the summer. Plus, with returning players such as Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist, this team is loaded up for another assault at the top of the NHL standings.

So can the temperamental Tortorella guide the Broadway Blueshirts to the six more wins they need to capture the franchise's first title since 1994?

Both these puppet masters have plenty of talent to control, it’s just a matter now of getting results.

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