Tomorrow, Paul MacLean will be behind the bench for his 100th regular season game as a head coach of the Ottawa Senators. After the Sens managed a 3-1 victory last night against the Islanders, much of the discussion was about MacLean's awesome coaching: his system, his work with a depleted line-up, his work with young players and his communication skills. There are even rumblings that MacLean might join his former boss Mike Babcock at the Sochi Olympics should NHL participation happen.
Today's Nuggets shows the man with the ‘stache some love: what has been MacLean's best move as Ottawa's head coach?
For me, Paul MacLean's handling of Erik Karlsson has been his best move. Karlsson began the 2011-12 as an offensively-gifted, but relatively inexperienced talent. MacLean, to his credit didn't try to change his future best player's game. MacLean didn't force Karlsson to sacrifice his offensive creativity in favour of defensive play. Instead, the coach instituted a playing style which suited the skills of his best offensive players - Karlsson and Jason Spezza - allowing Ottawa's possession game to flow through the pair. MacLean effectively managed Karlsson's ice time; while Erik killed penalties in 2010-11, MacLean cut down #65's PK time and upped his even strength and PP time and the defenseman responded with a 78-point season.
What do you think has been Paul MacLean's best move as head coach?
- Nightbreak speaks! Learn about his role at SBP (S7S)
- Wayne Scanlan looks at how the Sens have changed their game plan without the team's biggest offensive stars (Senators Extra)
- James and Varada discuss the merits of acquiring Dennis Duffy (WTYKY)
- A Silver Linings Playbook for an injury-filled Sens season. Unfortunately it does not come with crabby snacks and homemades (Ian McLaren)
- Scoring chances against the Islanders (6th Sens)
- How to improve Hockey Day in America for next year (SB Nation)
- Sarah Connors debates the relative merits of PEI and Nova Scotia and along the way provides some nice pictures of sports museums (Stanley Cup of Chowder)
- What's with the ice at the Consol Energy Center? (Pensburgh) It seems like everyone has a problem with it (Broad Stree Hockey)
- Emilie explains the anguish of covering a farm team; I'm sure those covering Bingo can relate (Hockey Wilderness)
- Another night, more questionable plays: first from the QJMHL (Backhand Shelf); the second from the Chicago-Blackhawks game (Puck Daddy)