Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Paddock Watch Begins
After tonight's loss to the New Jersey Devils, we can probably say that a "Paddock Watch" is now officially under way.
And not just for losing his job.
The watch is now on to see who will be the first Ottawa columnist to say anything negative about John Paddock instead of hauling out the usual "players have to do better" template that we've seen all year.
In fact, the Senators might make NHL history by firing a coach before he even gets a bad word said about him in the papers.
The Senators came out flat against a New Jersey team that played an overtime game the night before and arrived late in the night in Ottawa. With a two game losing streak of their own, the Senators showed no urgency until the last five minutes of the second period. The effort was stellar after that but it amounted to another notch in the loss column all the same.
You have to question the motivational skills of the monotone Paddock when you couple the flat start with his trademark black-hole of emotion behind the bench. When the Senators were getting nailed with multiple penalties in the first half of the game, the CBC cameras were quick to try and catch Paddock's reaction.
He barely mustered the energy to shake his head. Not even Jacques Martin was that catatonic on the bench.
But don't expect any articles questioning his tactics in tomorrow's paper. You'll read how neither one of Martin Gerber or Ray Emery is grabbing the number one role and how the players just have to work harder.
Maybe the players aren't working hard because they're tuning Paddock out. It at least warrants a look by somebody who can officially ask questions.
By The Way:
Shean Donovan only got 4 minutes and 13 seconds of ice time despite playing well in recent games. He still managed 2 shots on goal in those 4 minutes. Compare that with Randy Robitaille who got over 13 minutes, had one shot and was minus 2.
Dean McAmmond got just over 5 minutes of ice time and Brian McGrattan was a healthy scratch once again.
It's clear that Paddock has no use for the "foot soldier" type.
Strangely, it's those types of players who often are very important in the playoffs.