Therrien/Renney Out, Bylsma/Tortorella In. But Will it Matter?
February 23, 2009 by Big Tony
There was only one game Monday night but that didn’t mean the NHL would be lacking in drama after an action packed weekend both on and off the ice.
On the coaching end Pittsburgh’s new head man Dan Bylsma picked up his first two victories as an NHL coach in two 5-4 victories over Montreal and Philadelphia respectively. The Penguins lost to Washington on Sunday but five points out of a possible eight in Bylsma’s first four games is a good start for the new headcoach who is hoping to guide the Penguins back into a playoff spot after a disappointing start to the new year for Pittsburgh.
Staying in the Atlantic Division takes us to New York where the Rangers fired Tom Renney this weekend only to name John Tortorella as his replacement on Monday. Many close to the team believe Tortorella can provide a spark for the Rangers they could not seem to get from Renney. Tortorella has a history of calling out players publically which may inject the Rangers with just the right amount of energy to help save this sinking ship by not only keeping it afloat but guiding them to the playoffs. There is no denying that Renney is a great coach who will ultimately get another job and most likely be successful in that new position. However, Tortorella sweetens the pot by adding his Stanley Cup ring and that demands the utmost respect; something Renney simply couldn’t add to the mix.
In the future there will undoubtedly be many coaching changes across the sports landscape—especially in the NHL. In reality, mid-year coaching changes tend to do very little to change the course of a team especially when they are made toward the end of a season. The players normally don’t change—save for a few here and there—while a season is ongoing and so the chances of a different outcome no matter the coach is slim to none. And this year will probably be no different as both the Penguins and Rangers will probably continue on the paths they were on before coaching changes were made because personnel remains basically the same. If there’s one thing the sports world can learn from the Pittsburgh Steelers is that consistency in coaching and upper management yields sustained, long-term success.