Friday, October 07, 2005


Coach Gretzky - Not so Great

Hmm, the Coyotes are now 0-2, appear to be the Keystone Cops on Ice Tour, and now Wayne Gretzky is making some rather dumb mistakes with his lineups.

...and I thought his brilliance would translate into wins? (rolls eyes)

Wayne Gretzky committed the first major mistake of his NHL coaching career against his old team, and nearly got away with it.

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night, Gretzky's second loss in as many nights behind the bench.

The rookie coach was responsible for a mixup in Phoenix's lineup at the start of the game. Right wing Fredrik Sjostrom was on the ice despite being listed as a scratch.

Los Angeles coach Andy Murray knew it and even double-checked the rule book, but had planned on keeping quiet unless Phoenix scored with Sjostrom on the ice, which would have nullified the goal.

But the Kings' stat crew noticed Sjostrom and alerted referees, who ruled Sjostrom ineligible for the rest of the game. Phoenix center Petr Nedved was the actual scratch, but he was listed as being available.

A subdued Gretzky called it an oversight that was "just inexcusable."

"It's my responsibility," he said. "It just was utter nonsense that it happened and I feel bad for Freddie and I feel bad for the team. It happened and it won't happen again."
Of course, the real reason the Coyotes loss was Teh Greatness of Pavol Demitra. Pavol got the game-winning goal and an assist to boot.

Gretz is already giving tons of ice time to rookies Ballard and Michalek on D. Oleg Soprykin is the best Coyote on the ice right now. Geeesh, it's like watching the 'Canes.
I don't think anyone thought the Coyotes would be decent with that lineup this season.

Besides, lots of teams are a mess right now with the first hockey games after over a year and all the new rule changes It's not that suprising that a talent weak team like Phoenix is struggling.

If they're still this disorganized in a month then I'd start to worry.
Hopefully Gretz can pull it around, they got some talent over there.
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