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Today's Nuggets look at what coach Paul MacLean has done right during his first 100 games in charge of the Senators.
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?
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- 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)