THE GOOD, THE OKAY, THE UGLY
THE LIFE OF A COACH
The life of a coach can be good, okay, and even ugly. It's no different for the new coach of the Calgary Flames, Mike Keenan.
The Stats were found at two sites http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Keenan
And also at http://www.hockeydb.com/i...ts/pdisplay.php3?pid=2667
New York Rangers 1993-1994
The Rangers won the Stanley Cup over the Canucks in 7 games. Keenan built his team by acquiring 6 former Oilers, which instantly gave them experience and leadership skills and gave them the will to win. Sergei Zubov led the team in scoring and also had a career year in points. Adam Graves led the team with 52 goals, his best year as a pro under Keenan, and he won the Clancy Memorial Trophy that year. The Rangers were 2nd in goals against and were led by Mike Richter, who again had a career year in goals against and wins under Iron Mike. Make no mistake, this team had one Captain, and the heart and soul of the team, Mark Messier. Iron Mike motivated him to carry the Rangers on to a Stanley Cup. Mark set the example in the playoffs by guaranteeing that the Rangers would beat the Devils in the divisional finals. The Rangers had not won the cup since 1940. Keenan was a hero for the Rangers until he left to coach the Blues.
Philadelphia Flyers 1984-1985
This year under Keenan, the Flyers were the best team in the Prince of Wales Conference. The team was led by Brian Prop, who had a career year in goals, and matching his career high in points. Brian Prop had his best years by far under Iron Mike. Tim Kerr had his second straight 50 goal plus year. They were 2nd in goals against. The only team ahead of them in the goals against stat for the year 84-85 were the Sabres. Their goal tending was led by Pelle Lindbergh, who tragically passed away in a car accident. Keenan won the Jack Adams Trophy as the Coach of the Year this season. They were eliminated by the Oilers in the final in five games.
Philadelphia Flyers 1986-1987
Philly placed first in the conference, led by Mr. Kerr, again having a career year with 58 goals. They were 2nd in the NHL in goals against, led by Ron Hextall, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Vezna. Hextall was one of the first players on a losing team to get the Conn Symthe trophy. The Flyers lost in the cup finals in one of the best finals I had ever seen, which was high-lighted by Hextall's slash on Glen Anderson. Iron Mike prepared his team very well. The final could have gone either way. Keenan proved this year that he can work with young players and with a hot goalie. Still, the vets were a huge part in their success. Philly defense was anchored by Mark Howe and Brad McCrimmon.
Chicago Blackhawks 1989-1990
This season, Iron Mike led the Blackhawks into the playoffs. Their goal tending was not that great. It was in the lower echelon of the league. It was split between Jacques Cloutier and Alan Chevrier; neither of them took the bulls by the horns, therefore the Blackhawks never did have a true number one player during the season. Steve Larmer led the team in scoring 31 goals and 59 assists for 90 points, with Savard scoring 27 goals and 53 assists for 80 points -- but only in 60 games. The Blackhawks had one major Dman that led the way, and that was Doug Wilson with 23 Goals and 50 assists. The leading goal man was Steve Thomas with 40 goals and 30 assists. Goal tending and defense seem to be the team’s weakness. Greg Millen and Michel Goulet were acquired late in the season from Quebec. The Blackhawks were eliminated by the Oilers in the conference finals
St Louis Blues 1994-1995
Again, Mike Keenan coached the Blue into the playoffs. The Blues had middle-of-the-pack goal tending handled by Cujo, who really didn’t have much support. Bret Hull led the team with 29 goals and 21 assist and Shanny had 20 goals and 21 assists. The top dman was Steve Duchesne with12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points. The Blues were pretty much average all season. The lack of depth seemed to hurt the Blues. The Blues were fine offensively; it was keeping the puck out of their net that was their downfall. They were taken out by the powerful Wings.
Florida Panthers 2003-2004
Ugly is putting it mildly. Florida was a young, rebuilding team, which Iron Mike could not do much with, resulting in a 12th place finish in the conference, and out of the playoffs. Oli Jokinen was just getting into his groove. He led the team in scoring with 36 goals and 29 assists. Roberto Louongo was the goalie, and even with him, the Panthers were in the lower part of the league. The offense was pretty much non-existent, and leadership was lacking. Either the team was not ready yet, or rebuilding, or they just plain stopped listening to Keenan. There seem to a lot of rumblings that Keenan lost a couple of power struggles with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers. The only thing I know for sure was he was let go by the Blackhawks and resigned in Florida. Sure, there were a lot of rumours to the effect that Keenan lost in power struggles, but I am not going to speculate on that matter.
If Keenan can arrive with a established team, he can get that team to make the necessary steps to get to the next level. Calgary is a established team with many powerful veterans; the exact formula for Keenan to be successful. The years that Keenan had success started with a goalie, and the Flames have a star goalie in Kipper. They seem also to have that one dman to lead in scoring. The Flames have two of them: Dion and Aucoin. Keenan’s teams are very responsible in their own end, just like when the Flames were number one two years ago in goals against. If Keenan succeeds, they will be back there again. In short, if Keenan has success, it will be pretty much how the Flames did it in 03-04; keeping the puck out of the net and with the just the right amount of offense. Whether they can remains to be seen. It will be an interesting year in Calgary.