Yes. That is how much it will cost Francesco Aquillini to free Torts from his responsibilities.
Whatever those are.
I mean, he runs as few practices as he can get away with. Doesn’t attend game-day skates. Heck, he’s even delegated his in-game tirades during time-outs to his assistant coach.
The point is, whatever it is that John Tortorella does for the Canucks, it’s not coaching.
So if it’s true that Tortorella was not Mike Gillis’ candidate-of-choice for to replace the departed Alain Vigneault last summer, but rather a hire made at the insistence of the Canucks’ owner, then Gillis has a very small window to fix that mistake before it costs him his job. And if there’s one thing Gillis should now a thing or two about, it’s rapidly closing windows.
It’s quite fitting that this opportunity is manifesting itself as the Canucks get ready to play the Caps on Friday night. Bruce Boudreau’s experience in Washington is illustrative. You see, it’s quite often during PDO slumps that coaches get fired. Normally, I would be arguing that firing a coach during an abysmal PDO stretch would be a bad thing, because PDO is really just a proxy for puck luck, and is bound to revert back toward the mean. But in this case, we’re dealing with the Mariana Trench of PDOs:
So this is like Mike Gillis’ one and only chance to convince Aquillini that Tortorella is the wrong coach, at the wrong time for the wrong team.
If it hasn’t already, that PDO will bottom out and start trending back toward 100. It may even get back to 100 by the end of the season. It already looks like it may be starting to climb up the other side.
String a few of those together and all of a sudden we might be back in simply explaining this all away as bad luck and injuries. Sure, that’s actually true, but Tortorella has not given us any sign that he has any progressive, innovative coaching ideas.
He is more Mike Keenan than Scotty Bowman.
And while I’m not generally a big subscriber to the idea that coaches can significantly impact on-ice performance, there is one exception:
Now, while I don’t think Tortorella is down in Bill Laforge territory, he is sliding up that curve and is not that different from Keenan, or even, gasp, Randy Carlyle.
Where Alain Vigneault had a process, which was based on puck posession, Tortorella apparently has a structure, which if it’s based on anything, it’s territory: collapse down low when it’s in your end, throw it through the neutral zone, and dump it into the offensive end and if you happen to gain possession, fire it at the net. There’s little attention to who has the puck; it’s more about where it is.
Instead of actually coaching the players, his attitude is apparently, “Suck it up, you’re professionals. That’s our structure and you’re going to play it.”
Unfortunately, they appear to have heard the first word, and then tuned him out.
Anyway, this was not meant to be a point-by-point takedown of Tortorella. The bottom line is that Gillis has a limited-time, PDO-driven opportunity to act. As they say, never let a good crisis go to waste.
Unless moral victories are now one of the standings tie-breakers, Tortorella’s stint as head coach of this team is just as pointless:
RECENT GRAPHIC COMMENTS
There aren’t any. If you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t put up a post since early January. That’s right, I gave up on this team before it was cool. Or maybe I’m the cause of the slide. We’re a stats-driven blog here at Canucks Army and there’s a pretty high correlation there…
But if you want some not-so-recent Graphic Comments, here you go: