There has been almost no one as critical of the performance of Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean than I have been this season. Right from the start of the season I have been bewildered at some of the decision in terms of system, deploying personnel in-game and player selection.
Now, it looks like the players have also quit on their coach. Either that or the coach himself is looking to get fired and out of the situation.
Last nights 7-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens was yet another debacle in a season of shake your head games. The complete lack of attention to anything on their own side of centre ice is confunding and either MacLean has no defensive system in place or the players refuse to listen which means MacLean has lost the room.
Either way, that is the type of game that costs people their jobs, in many instances. However, MacLean hasn’t even started his 3 year contract extension and I can’t imagine Eugene Melnyk is high on paying MacLean for 3 years not to coach the team. It would also be the 4th coach Bryan Murray has canned in his 7 year tenure as the team’s GM (John Paddock, Craig Hartsburg, Cory Clouston). That doesn’t look good on the GM either.
I will have a more in-depth breakdown of what went wrong after this disappointing season is over, but there will have to be some tough decisions made, because quite frankly, the biggest change from last season to this might be the attitude and demeanor behind the Senators’ bench, right from the start of the season. And this isn’t hindsight, because I have said it from the start.
And the way the team is playing for him, it appears the players, either consciously or subconsciously, are trying to help that decision along.