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Why Blaming The Coach Is A Giant Step Sideways

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Suggesting Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau is under heavy scrutiny is an understatement, but it is almost a knee jerk reflex to blame a coach when nothing seems to be working on the ice.

I've always found blaming the coach, without access to all to the details, and without being privy to the inner team functionality, to be the resolve of those with a weak hockey mind.

Or of those with absence of bigger picture concepts.

Like what else could be wrong except the perceived most dispensable and replaceble of team parts.

This blame usually occurs because it is much easier than singling out a player or players, or identifying a particular malaise unknown to fans at large that is infecting the team.

The concept of something inconceivable, a reason they may not see or know of or can pinpoint exactly, never crosses anyone's mind as being at the root of the rot.

The flaw in seeing things so narrowly, is that it rarely ever is one single thing or person that is to blame for team woes. Losing streaks are seven headed monsters that are conquered one beheading at a time - not that anyone should lose their heads.

Guy Carbonneau is not the reason the Canadiens are floundering. That is not to say he couldn't be one small part of a reason, or that he hasn't a grasp on the many reasons confounding the team.

If the coach, who is a member working inside the team, cannot see the solutions from within, it is highly doubtful that anyone viewing the problems from the outside has sounder ideas.

But the media wail will swell into all out "fire the coach" bandwagon sooner than not, but don't go believing that there is any more insight behind their view than there is in the common fan.
Reading this, is good reminder of perspective.

Memories can be short - and selective in passionate times. The last time Montreal ditched a coach, in December 2005, the fix did not necessary pay any long term dividends. After a spurt of rebirth in the post Julien era, the Canadiens quickly resettled into its similar mire of .500 hockey.

At that time, Bob Gainey seemed perterbed that Julien was not playing his 6 million dollar man Theodore, among other ails and ills, and axed a worthy man in order to shake up the team some. Gainey later fixed the Habs problems by dumping Theodore as well, returning back to where Julien had left off.

Julien has since coached at a higher success rate than the Habs since his first visit to the guillotine.

Today, it is different funks festering the Canadien's wounds, and it might take all five fingers of the hand to do the pointing.

It involves certain players sub par performances, confidence, defensive and offensive lackings, coaching questions, and compatability of roles as seen by everyone, possible including the players themselves.

All the fingers pointing, hence, should not all be aimed in one targetted direction.

Would it make any sense to bring in a new coach - some unsuspecting fresher sacrificial lamb - into the team fold, only to have him discover at a later date what Carbonneau is on the cusp of dealing with now?

The players have their share of responsabilities, and it all begins with looking long and hard in the mirror. Axing someone who may only represent a fraction of the problem (yet possibly be key in the solution), lets a team of players off the hook.

What do players learn from this?

They learn that dogging it works in absolving them of blame - for now!

In the end, no team improves this way, they simply meander back to where they were once before, forever destined to spin their wheels on quicksand.

While things may be hell for the Canadiens at present, sticking with Carbonneau is as good as being on solid ground. And as one wise man once said, when going through hell - keep going!