Monday, April 28, 2008


Kipper & Keenan, cont'd

Jean Lefebvre covers it all -- including the unanswered (and unanswerable) questions.
There's amazingly little grey area in this discussion, with one side vilifying Keenan and the other accusing the media of being sensationalistic making a mountain of snow out of a mole hill.

While the media (a very broad classification that unfortunately makes no distinction between those who operate on opposite ends of the professionalism and reasonability scales) in the past has indeed been guilty of blowing things out of proportion, it's very surprising to see so many fans so quickly ready to sweep the entire matter under the rug and shrug it off. Really, it shouldn't be easy to take at face value either hypothesis, that it's either a irreparable crisis that will necessitate either the coach or goalie leaving the organization, or that this is all entirely a media fabrication and that there's no problem at all.

Read the whole thing.


Lefebvre's the best sports columnist in town.

Hands down

It's the gift of Keenan. Give him another year and he'll have some people wondering about Iginla. Mike Keenan can help teams win by coaching them but it's an extremely small window.

I'd say it would be a good idea to walk him now. Seriously.

The question seems to be: does Keenan make this team better?

Or they only as good as a first round exit?

Naturally as an Oilers fan, I'm leaning towards the second option, although that Game 7 goalie pull was a grade-A cock-up.

It's the gift of Keenan. Give him another year and he'll have some people wondering about Iginla. Mike Keenan can help teams win by coaching them but it's an extremely small window.

I just don't buy the "Keenan ruined Kipper" argument. All the Kipper stats I've seen have been focusing on his performance over 4 seasons. Here's (most) of his performance this season:


If playing under Keenan is affecting Kipper, I hope it continues.

The question no one seems to be asking (outside of Sutter) is, If Keenan goes, who would replace him?

The thing that confuses me about the Keenan haters is the attitude of, 'how dare he try to win Game 7 of a series when he risks wrecking Kipper's attitude for next year'. Hey, people, Kipper was letting in bad goals, in a game 7, Keenan is trying to win the friggin' game, not soothe his goalie's psyche. Who knows if the Flames even make the playoffs next year, anything could happen over the summer, but one thing for certain, Kipper looked shaky during the game. Now, I'd agree that you can make the argument on the merits that Kipper is still the better option vis a vis Joesph, but all this griping infantilizes Kiprusoff's ability to shake off a benching. Sure, let's have the debate about whether Kipper should have been pulled in Game 7, but it shouldn't include metaphorically walking around on eggshells less Mikka hears somebody whispering something bad about him.

It's my policy, and a smart one I believe, to never disagree with something that both Tom Benjamin and Lowetide agree on. So I'll stop short of that regarding Keenan. What I will say is, I don't see it, at least yet. Regarding both Kipper and Huselius.

Perhaps Keenan was emotionally destroying Kipper behind closed doors, because there is roughly zero *public* evidence from this past season that Keenan was jerking him around. He almost never pulled him, and in every case the game was either out of hand or *well* out of hand.

And as for Huselius, all Keenan did was continue to play him with Iginla, and on the #1 PP unit, through virtually all of a 20-game goalless drought (and where it was painfully obvious, to me at least, that Juice was a negative difference maker 5v5).

[shrug] Look, I'm sure the CW is right that he can be a major dick, and what's the chance he's the coach 5 years from today -- 1%? But the one thing that there was zero evidence of this season, and I mean ZE-RO, was impatience.

A) am i the only one who thinks that keenan is on a three-year deal ?

B) i would love to hear david marcoux's thoughts on kipper, on keenan, and on game 7.

C) keenan was the hero for pulling kipps in game 3 --not only for making the change in net but for rattling the forwards into scoring a couple for the good guys. the game was DEFINITELY spiralling downwards when he made the same move in game 7. good move ? maybe not. but a worse move would probably have been to do NOTHING (concensus is that a time out might have worked nicely).

D) g#*% d&?* ERIKSSON. i'm still totally appalled that nobody in any sort of high-end position (sutter/keenan) has said a peep about how his play pretty much singlehandedly drowned the flames.....

No talk to the apparent Keenan/Phaneuf argument anywhere?

I think Mike Keenan has done some great things in his hockey career and he could very well help the Flames out a great deal.

He could also pull a Luongo for Bertuzzi.

I suppose what we're all wondering is how far down the rabbit hole should the Flames follow Keenan.

I hope that Iron Mike stays in Calgary for years. I watched him almost run Naslund out of town here (Naslund went on to unbelievable scoring prowess here) and run Trevor Linden out completely. Keenan is an idiot and cannot run the same crap as he did in the 80's and early 90's. He is more of a joke than anything else, which is why I hope he stays with the Flames. Its kinda like the MacT and Lowe thing, with those 2 clowns runnin the ship, the Oilers will always be a perpetual bottom dwelling team with decent talent.
My Canucks can only do better with such poor coaching in Alberta.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Your Canucks didn't seem to benefit much this year, "Anonymous".

As for Keenan running Trevor Linden out of town, that was a pretty good trade as I recall, Iron Mike dumped a big contract and got Bertuzzi and McCabe (and the pick that became Jarkko Ruutu) in return. Two assholes to be sure, but talented assholes who were instrumental in turning things around in Vancouver. McCabe didn't last long in Vancouver, but didn't he net one of the "twin" picks?

Keenan may have helped Vancouver even more the second time he traded for Bertuzzi and got him the fuck out of Vancouver, but I think he deserves a little credit for that Linden deal. The team was going nowhere with Trevor at that time; Keenan was just the guy who was unsentimental enough to send him on his way, which is more than Pat Quinn ever would have done.

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