We did the West yesterday, let’s round it out.
Rod Brind’Amour (CAR) – INC
We don’t know yet, but he spells his name dumb.
John Tortorella (CBJ) – Moron
I mean… I don’t have to really go any farther than playing Byfuglien at forward in the World Cup, do I? Torts the dude is probably someone I’d hang out with, given his forthrightness and his love of saving dogs. The coach, who used to be the “Safe Is Death” guy, employs a ball-control, game-management offense that accentuates shot-blocking and MOAR HITZ and when it doesn’t work you best believe it’s anyone’s fault but his. Since he won a Cup in Tampa his teams have made one conference final appearance.
John Hynes (NJ) – Not A Moron
That Devils team wasn’t really any good and he got a playoff berth out of them. He’s been able to slide out from under the gaseous fog of Lamoriello and get the Devils playing something you can actually watch instead of contemplating the meaninglessness of existence during the 60 minutes. They might actually take a step back this year, but that would be ok considering where they are in their arc.
Barry Trotz (NYI) – Not A Moron
Well he’s not a moron when coaching but he might be a moron for taking this job. I know coaches coach and the Caps didn’t offer him the money he wanted but this team is going nowhere. Trotz rides his goalies too hard but he got out of that this year and he had a rested Holtby this time with something to prove. He can get a little trap-y, but pressed all the right buttons with the Caps in the spring. His teams are always good, and he’s done it in a couple spots. Though until this spring, he basically had the same record as Bruce Boudreau, but he broke through and Gabby hasn’t. Makes all the difference.
David Quinn (NYR) – INC
Another college coach, but considering the sheer amount of talent that rolls through Comm Ave. at BU, merely appearing in the NCAA tournament seems a bit short of what they should be doing. There was only one Frozen Four appearance, though judging a coach on basically two games to get there isn’t fair. We’ll find out.
David Hakstol (PHI) – Moron
I’m really only going off what Flyers fans say, and they hate this guy. Still, the Flyers have been young and fun and I don’t know that they should have even made the playoffs this year but they did. This is probably the make-or-break year for Hakstol, as they’ll expect a leap forward even though there’s still no goalie here. There will never be a goalie here.
Mike Sullivan (PIT) – Not A Moron
Again, not reinventing the wheel here but he did take the Pens out from under the bewildered gape of Mike Johnston and tell them to get the fucking puck up the fucking ice fucking quickly and look what happened. Last year’s team was wonky and he still got 100 points out of them even with Matt Murray having an existential crisis most nights.
Todd Rierden (WSH) – INC
No pressure, then.
Bruce Cassidy (BOS) – Not A Moron
Overblown because everything in Boston tends to be, but he’s taken a team that was floundering under Claude Julien’s methods and was bored out of its mind and recharged them. Sure, he has maybe the best line in hockey which makes up for a lot and he probably didn’t have much to do with Tuukka Rask’s return from the abyss, but he’s sprinkled in a fair number of kids and kept the train a’rollin’. Can look forward to losing to the Lightning again.
Phil Housley (BUF) – INC
Not sure the Sabres should have been as bad as they were last year but they’ve been that bad for so long that maybe this is just the way. Rasmus should improve things but ROR is gone, and eventually Jack Eichel is going to have to look like a #2, franchise-changing pick. He hasn’t quite yet. This will be the year to judge.
Jeff Blashill (DET) – Moron
Again, he’s had nothing to work with but the Red Wings suck out loud and there doesn’t appear to be much of an idea what it is he’s trying to do. If the goal is get young players to make moves forward, who has done that exactly?
Claude Julien (MON) – Right In The Middle
Considering his record in Boston, it’s hard to believe he could even be considered a Moron. But that was a hard team to fuck up, and when your goalie is throwing a .940 throughout the playoffs you have to do even less. His last couple years in Boston were ugly, and the work in Montreal hasn’t been any better. Chased Galchenyuk out of town, the Canadiens don’t have a playoff series win and don’t look likely to get one anytime soon. Not his fault that Carey Price is basically just cashing checks now, so you can’t totally indict him. Still, this is a team that gets dumber and slower and that’s apparently the way he wants it.
Guy Boucher (OTT) – Moron
You can take his two conference final appearances with two different teams and shove them up your giggy. He got there on the backs of two hot goalies and a trapping system that Proust or Nieztsche would have thought was simply too dark and and lifeless. Sure, this Senators team would be a disaster with the lovechild of Bowman and Ozymandis at the helm, but this guy sucks and always has and needs to stop getting jobs yesterday.
Jon Cooper (TB Diddlers) – Not A Moron, in the creepiest way possible (ENCHANTE!)
We have all the fun in the world at his expense, and he’s the coach most likely to get found in a hotel room covered head to toe in vaseline, but he knows what he’s doing. And his teams are fun. He’s developed a raft of young players including Hedman and Kucherov, who have become MVP candidates. He’s got more to work with than most, but he gets the most out of them.
Mike Babcock (TOR) – Not A Moron
The gleam is off, but that doesn’t make him an idiot. There are some Leafs fans who have had enough of seeing the likes of Polak and Komarov getting significant minutes, but wonderboy Dubas seems to have stripped the roster of those temptations. Can still get enamored with mule-like vets, and is ultra-hesitant to let his high-octane offense off the leash. Then again, he probably sees what his blue line is made up of. No excuses no, of course.