Sunday, November 16, 2008

More on Melrose's Firing From the Lightning on Friday

Barry Melrose was on CBC during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday explaning his side of the story in the whole situation. He had some interesting things to say on the whole situation.

"I think the players didn't want to play for me," he said." You don't have to be Kreskin to figure that out. I demand players play hard and play with passion and courage. If you don't do that, I let you know. I'm not a guy that sings Kumbaya around the fire. I let you know if I'm not happy with you.

I think that Melrose is probably right about that. Melrose had a style that was having his assistants run the bench more than he did. This culminated in Melrose skipping practice on Tuesday to let his assistants run the show so the players could have a different voice. Other knocks against Melrose was that he never really had a plan to begin with starting camp. This can be seen in how the Lightning play. They are very chaotic and very disorganized in how the play. They looked so good in Buffalo just because the Sabres were that terrible that night.

Melrose is a coach that felt that a player would have to earn ice time rather than have it be handed to them. This makes sense in the eyes of a fan because we would rather see players that are playing well get more ice time than the struggling player who is trying to work out the kinks or is just plain bad. See Max for this scenario. Lecavalier and Stamkos were the two players that were scrutinized by their ice time. Lecavalier had the lowest ice time that he had in the past few seasons and he was taken off the penalty kill during Melrose's reign. The major reason for this was that the Lightning seemed to have less energy during last season and saving Lecavalier for more of the third period may help this situation. Stamkos is still an 18 year old rookie but for the Lightning, he is their overhyped rookie. Because of that, more people wanted to see what he could do and have him basically help turn around the club.

All in all, Melrose was a terrible fit for this club just for the fact that he has been out of the game for so long. Rich Tocchet will take over the bench and as long as he can stay out of those tempting Florida casinos he has a chance to turn around this club. Tocchet seems to be a better fit for the Lightning and the players will probably respond better to him than they did to Melrose.

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