Monday, November 27, 2006


It's all Trent Yawney's Fault, Dammit!

Another coach gets fired in Chi-Town and takes the fall for bad management and even worse ownership. This time? It's Trent Yawney taking the fall...

Trent Yawney was fired Monday as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, who have lost 12 of their last 15 games. He was replaced by assistant Denis Savard.

Yawney, in his second season coaching the Blackhawks, had a record of 33-55-15. Chicago has 16 points this season -- only Columbus has fewer -- and could be on the way to missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years.

"The bottom line is wins and losses, and we need to win more," general manager Dale Tallon said on the team's Web site. "We've had some injuries, but in spite of that we're a better team than our record shows."

Savard is a Hall of Fame player who joined the Blackhawks in 1997 as an assistant coach. His first game in charge will be at home Wednesday against Dallas.

"I've always wanted to be a head coach," Savard said. "The circumstances are not the greatest because when you take over for somebody midseason it means things did not go as well as we all expected."

A better team than your record shows?

Hmm, with Handzus and Havlat out of the lineup, and Rene Bourque recovering from a skate to the throat(!) just how 'good' does this team look?




Ok, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these lines, since I can't find the real line combos for this team anywhere. Even with Havlat and Handzus and Bourque, does this look like a playoff team to you?

I don't know if Yawney is a good or bad coach, as I don't follow the Hawks closely enough to know. Still, how is it his fault that Khabibulin forgot how to stop the puck like a real NHL goaltender? How is it his fault that he's saddled with a roster...gah...just look at it!! Brian Boucher as a backup? Who in their right minds thinks that the players above are going to get anywhere near the playoffs? I barely know some of the players, myself!

So, once again, another coach takes the fall for Wirtz and Tallon and now Denis Savard can be the fall guy. Savard has always wanted this type of position, and now he'll quickly find out that he got the worst possible head coaching position in the NHL. He'll get little support from his bosses and he's saddled with a club that has more weaknesses than the petroleum industry's 'studies' on Climate Change.

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Here are the (original) lines for the last game, against Edmonton:

Since my brat-- er, boy, went to Chicago, I've paid them a lot more attention this year. The fans have been calling for Yawney's head since last year. It was relatively quiet through the pre-season and the 4-2 start, though not completely silenced by any means. Once the majority of the best players went out in a 24-hour period and the team went on to get shut out for 3 games, the howls grew louder again.

Like you, I thought, yeesh, what did Yawney have to work with last year? Now when he finally has some real talent and it's suddenly ripped away from him, how can you hold him accountable? But with Marty out, I continued to watch the games.

Yawney couldn't/wouldn't hold lines together. He didn't seem to use players to the best of their potential (Salemlainen may not belong in the NHL, but if he's going to be there, he definitely doesn't belong on a 4th line--and this is just one example, there are others--and it was becoming an issue between Tallon and Yawney). Boucher actually played fairly well for the Hawks when Khabibulin was injured, but they couldn't find a way to score. And speaking of goaltending, Khabibulin has looked pretty good this year.

Is Savard going to do any better? Who knows, but he sounded good in the press conference today. He has definite ideas, wants the team to play a more up-tempo game. Plugs and questionable talent can accomplish a lot under the right coach (see Toronto, right?)...

I think there's a lot more heart in the Blackhawk team than has been shown yet this year, and I think Savard will have a better chance of tapping into that, just because of who he is and what he did as a Blackhawk.

They may not win any more games under Savard than they would have under Yawney, but I think they'll be more fun to watch. That's a win too.
You forgot to mention Bob Pulford, Wirtz's henchman in the folly that has been the Hawks for many years
Wasn't Savard, as assistant coach, simply part of the same coaching staff that was repsonsible for the results they've been having this season?

Or was Yawney just doing everything himself and were the assistants just there for the show?

Instead of taking part of the blame and be solidarily with Yawney, he is stating he's happy to take the job. The job of the guy who he supposed to be loyal to. Speaks volumes about the guy if you ask me.


Savard wasn't hired by Yawney, nor does he owe him any sort of loyalty beyond doing his job as (at the time) an assistant.

Savard has always coveted a head coaching job (it's no secret), so maybe there was a little backstabbing involved.

As the for the Hawks, they had Yawney on the farm for a few years and should have known what they were getting. Either their faith in him was misplaced or they got burnt by going cheap yet again. This team never learns from its mistakes.

PS: We really know it's all Havlat's fault, anyhoo.

PPS: Pulford is simply a puppet and not worth the mention, but he is a part of the problem for sure.
I'm with the first guy. Yanni had Rene Bourque killing penalties but not playing the PP. That's bad enough on a team desperate for goals, but that's also how he got his neck stepped on. Yanni should have been fired before the first stitch went into Bourque's neck.
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