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Geoff Ward, Flames 18 th coach

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6 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

 

It's a head scratcher.  They likely playoff bound and hasn't lost the room.  VGK might have won the division with Gallant.  I don't get it either.

 

Of all the attributes about Gallant, he really seems to play the players who are playing well regardless of who makes more money and stuff.  He doesn't play favorites.  All earned.  Nothing given.  This was what made Bob Hartley successful his first season here before he did the opposite the season after.

 

I don't mind Gallant but I just feel so bad for Ward who has waited this long with this franchise that we just kick him to the curb when something better comes along.  Feels so heartless and wrong.

 

He only got the promotion to head coach because the one hired had previous issues (nice way of saying it).

As far as I know, he was the one responsible for the Flames PP.

The personnel and results aren't much different now than the start of the season.

 

I like Ward, but maybe he's not seeing things the way they are.

PK is pretty good (Huskins), but the PP is not.

5v5 seems very up and down.

I don't hang the results on the coach, but the blender is out every game.

What exactly does Backlund do for the Monahan line?

Is the Hanifin-Hamonic pairing so good they haven't changed in 95% of the games?

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14 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

 

It's a head scratcher.  They likely playoff bound and hasn't lost the room.  VGK might have won the division with Gallant.  I don't get it either.

 

Of all the attributes about Gallant, he really seems to play the players who are playing well regardless of who makes more money and stuff.  He doesn't play favorites.  All earned.  Nothing given.  This was what made Bob Hartley successful his first season here before he did the opposite the season after.

 

I don't mind Gallant but I just feel so bad for Ward who has waited this long with this franchise that we just kick him to the curb when something better comes along.  Feels so heartless and wrong.

 

I absolutely agree about Ward, it is a tough situation. The thing is that Gallant is an elite coach in this league and I just think he is the perfect fit for this team.

 

I like a lot of the things Ward has done, but there are signs that the players haven't totally bought in either, and that happens a lot when Assistant coaches take over.

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1 hour ago, JTech780 said:

 

I absolutely agree about Ward, it is a tough situation. The thing is that Gallant is an elite coach in this league and I just think he is the perfect fit for this team.

 

I like a lot of the things Ward has done, but there are signs that the players haven't totally bought in either, and that happens a lot when Assistant coaches take over.


I think the team is a mess. Guys aren’t being used properly. The PP is a joke in comparison to where it should be with the guys who play on it. Plus I think they've overloaded the talent which takes away from what the 2nd unit could be. 
The PK has been ok, but like our team has been, it can be picked apart and scored on by higher skilled teams and players.

 

id like to see a change. It could be players too. I was optimistic in receiving a high end pick when it looked like we could be falling out. We need one more high end top 6 forward and a high end D. 
 

can we consider Gio a stud? He’s great, but is he really a guy who absolutely shuts other team’s bests down? He did win the Norris, so his D game us great, but is it Pronger, Chara, or Lidstrom or any other D like that? To me it’s not like he completely shuts the door on other teams. Not to take away from him though... just saying maybe another player on the first pair with high ability is needed, especially as a successor.

 

i just don’t know how much a coach can fix. We know when the team plays they can play, but it’s the fact they don’t get up for most games that make it difficult. It’s what leads me to believe that’s what they are because it is the norm.

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It’s too early to decide on Wards fate. He’s not a new coach here so not sure how much of a fresh perspective he can provide the team. Flames have been very in and down, I’m still unconvinced they have what it takes to exceed last years disappointing playoff exit. I like Ward but if we’re still serious about winning within 2-3 years we’re going to need improvement in all areas. The good news is it’s starting to look like we’ll have some pretty good coaching candidates to consider this off season. 

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32 minutes ago, robrob74 said:


I think the team is a mess. Guys aren’t being used properly. The PP is a joke in comparison to where it should be with the guys who play on it. Plus I think they've overloaded the talent which takes away from what the 2nd unit could be. 
The PK has been ok, but like our team has been, it can be picked apart and scored on by higher skilled teams and players.

 

id like to see a change. It could be players too. I was optimistic in receiving a high end pick when it looked like we could be falling out. We need one more high end top 6 forward and a high end D. 
 

can we consider Gio a stud? He’s great, but is he really a guy who absolutely shuts other team’s bests down? He did win the Norris, so his D game us great, but is it Pronger, Chara, or Lidstrom or any other D like that? To me it’s not like he completely shuts the door on other teams. Not to take away from him though... just saying maybe another player on the first pair with high ability is needed, especially as a successor.

 

i just don’t know how much a coach can fix. We know when the team plays they can play, but it’s the fact they don’t get up for most games that make it difficult. It’s what leads me to believe that’s what they are because it is the norm.

 

I agree with some of what you are saying here, especially the PP.  

Starting to wonder about Gio's overall effectiveness.

I don't like his PP work.

Maybe he just needs to play with a partner that can activate.

Try him on the 2nd unit with Hanifin and put Ras on the 1st.

 

Pretty hard to say a different coach couldn't impact the team, if the lines/pairs are almost exactly the same.

Backlund has been the biggest change, and that hasn't worked well at all.

Tkachuk-Lindy-Mange is a good offensive line, but less a defensive stud line.

I personally think that we play better against certain types of teams, so our team looks good in those games.

Whether it's inconsistent effort or just results is anyone's guess.

I can blame the MTL game on distractions to the team.

Chucky didn't play like Chucky.

He wasn't the only one, but it was noticeable. 

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I don't have anything against Ward. I haven't been super impressed by him either and I have major concerns about the Flames 5 on 5 game under him and their d zone game. But everything he does this season has to be evaluated through a different lens because he took over such a really tough situation. I'ts not fair to jduge him through the lens you judge most coaches IMO. 

 

I'm actually with Peeps on this that Plan A should be give ward the full season and do a proper search evaluation. However, it's tricky because Gallant is the type of coach who doesn't come available often and Calgary is not exactly a Grade A desitation. Flames best pitch is that they can offere work now IMO and are a pretty good team on paper but get into the off-season and have to compete with other teams i'm not sure they stack up well. So it may not be the best decision or best route to take but for me I really think it's the only way your going to get a coach of Gallant's calibre. Tough decision though for sure as I don't think you can hold Ward accountable for very much of what has gone on even if I do see things I don't like. 

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I will add that the PP critique on Ward is IMO unfair and misguided. The Flames top PP unit ranks 5th in the NHL in terms of goals scored and i believe was top 6 last year too. Their 2nd unit ranks on the lower end which i think speaks more to talent than coaching.

 

for me, give me a top end unit over 2 avg ones any day of the week.  

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Did they not have two chances to hire Ward as the head coach?

Gully was picked then fired.

BP was picked then was fired/quit.

 

I'm not even sure what they can evaluate him on by the end of the season.

Miss playoff.

Lose in round 1.

Neither acceptable, but the mold was pretty much there unless the players take a step forward.

Not that they are doing that bad, but they aren't doing that good either.

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25 minutes ago, cross16 said:

I don't have anything against Ward. I haven't been super impressed by him either and I have major concerns about the Flames 5 on 5 game under him and their d zone game. But everything he does this season has to be evaluated through a different lens because he took over such a really tough situation. I'ts not fair to jduge him through the lens you judge most coaches IMO. 

 

I'm actually with Peeps on this that Plan A should be give ward the full season and do a proper search evaluation. However, it's tricky because Gallant is the type of coach who doesn't come available often and Calgary is not exactly a Grade A desitation. Flames best pitch is that they can offere work now IMO and are a pretty good team on paper but get into the off-season and have to compete with other teams i'm not sure they stack up well. So it may not be the best decision or best route to take but for me I really think it's the only way your going to get a coach of Gallant's calibre. Tough decision though for sure as I don't think you can hold Ward accountable for very much of what has gone on even if I do see things I don't like. 

 

That's where I am at, if we wait till the off season, I don't think Gallant will available and there won't be a coach at the same level as Gallant available.

 

I think we need to take our shot now. He might not want to come here either way, but hey if comes to Calgary he has an even better shot of sticking it to his former team for firing him.

 

 

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1 hour ago, cross16 said:

I will add that the PP critique on Ward is IMO unfair and misguided. The Flames top PP unit ranks 5th in the NHL in terms of goals scored and i believe was top 6 last year too. Their 2nd unit ranks on the lower end which i think speaks more to talent than coaching.

 

for me, give me a top end unit over 2 avg ones any day of the week.  


 

I just think that you can put a higher end player on the 2nd unit and still have the same effectiveness using one of our supposed high end offensive D on the first unit. 
 

I think a guy like Anderson has a lot more to give in that respect and should be used more often, if not on the first, but every time on the second unit. But I think he has high end abilities to keep the puck alive, has a knack of getting it on net and when we have an empty net, he does a great job of getting us a chance to score with the extra man. 
 

I just don’t think you’re missing as much as you are suggesting by putting all eggs in one basket. If there was more talent on the second unit, wouldn’t it score more and thus getting the team‘a average up? That’s the hope.

 

i also don’t think that the 2nd unit gets enough zone time. By the time the first unit does a full change the second unit has about 40 seconds to work with and a sloppy zone entry will cut that by 15-20 seconds less as well. I don’t feel the comparisons are very equal, but still not saying they’re even close talent-wise, but really saying more talent is needed on the second unit to make the team overall better on the PP.

 

I would go 

 

Gaudreau, Monahan, Dube

Giordano, Anderson 

 

Tkachuk, Lindholm, Mangiapane

Hanifin, Ryan
 

I would keep the two lines together but change the forward maybe on the right side? I feel if they’re already so good offensively then the extra guy should benefit both.

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29 minutes ago, robrob74 said:


 

 

I just don’t think you’re missing as much as you are suggesting by putting all eggs in one basket. If there was more talent on the second unit, wouldn’t it score more and thus getting the team‘a average up? That’s the hope.

 

 

 

maybe for sure i an understand the merits of trying it.  I think the debate is what is better 2 good units or 1 great one. Personally I take the 1 great one because if I need a big play or a goal in a key moment i'm going with my best guys anyway, not a 2nd unit. 

 

but the other side has merit too. Don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. 

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3 hours ago, cross16 said:

 

maybe for sure i an understand the merits of trying it.  I think the debate is what is better 2 good units or 1 great one. Personally I take the 1 great one because if I need a big play or a goal in a key moment i'm going with my best guys anyway, not a 2nd unit. 

 

but the other side has merit too. Don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. 


 

I think make both units good and if the chips are down in the third and you need some goals, you need to overload, do it! But by having the two possibly very good ones, we may not need to overload when you’re trailing?

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4 hours ago, robrob74 said:


 

I think make both units good and if the chips are down in the third and you need some goals, you need to overload, do it! But by having the two possibly very good ones, we may not need to overload when you’re trailing?


I just don’t think In the cap world your going to get 2 very good units. Tough to have that type of depth.  I also think pp units need chemistry and anticipation so I’ve never been a big fan of switching it up much. 
just my philosophy on it 

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1 minute ago, cross16 said:


I just don’t think In the cap world your going to get 2 very good units. Tough to have that type of depth.  I also think pp units need chemistry and anticipation so I’ve never been a big fan of switching it up much. 
just my philosophy on it 


 

that’s why I think it is a good idea to just keep the top two lines together for the PPs. The top two players on each line are very good players and will be able to do more with the man advantage, and Dube, Mangiapane, and Backlund, all have good skill so they’d catch on and make good on those separate lines.

just a hunch. I do think that being 6th for a line is really good though.  But they must be pretty inconsistent because it doesn’t feel like they score very often on the PP. 

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I think you have to load up the first one as well, it is hard enough to score on the PP to begin with and if you aren't putting your best talent out there for majority of your PP you are missing opportunities. 

 

The top unit plays a 1:15 - 1:30 of the PP, so you may as well have your top end talent out for that time.

 

My biggest issues with the PP, are that there isn't enough movement and they don't get the puck to the slot enough. There is a lot of passing on the outside, but there isn't enough movement from the players without the puck, they just watch the puck carrier. Monahan has one of the most accurate shots and quickest releases in the game, but they rarely get the puck to him on the PP.

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My problem with the PP is, if we top load one unit then we must deploy separate strategies for both.  The second unit (less skilled) has to keep it more simple.  Less puck movement.  Less perimeter passing.  Just get bodies in front and exercise jam plays like work the puck behind the net and then when everyone is ready, do a wrap around and muscle the puck in. Get Pointmen shooting into funnels from the outside with bodies in front. 

 

Do a different look and formation too.  No Umbrella/1-4 like our first unit.  Just do classic 2D and get the muscles infront.  Bennett, Lucic, and Jankowski.  Then get the shots in from the point.

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I just find  that it is a problem if the first unit can’t score the second had very little chance to. It isn’t enough in my mind, especially since we are only 20th, I think I counted right, in the whole league. 6th and 20th is a huge disparity, a huge drop. I think it could be a big reason we aren’t in 1st, although the team play isn’t great either.

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45 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

My problem with the PP is, if we top load one unit then we must deploy separate strategies for both.  The second unit (less skilled) has to keep it more simple.  Less puck movement.  Less perimeter passing.  Just get bodies in front and exercise jam plays like work the puck behind the net and then when everyone is ready, do a wrap around and muscle the puck in. Get Pointmen shooting into funnels from the outside with bodies in front. 

 

Do a different look and formation too.  No Umbrella/1-4 like our first unit.  Just do classic 2D and get the muscles infront.  Bennett, Lucic, and Jankowski.  Then get the shots in from the point.

Couple of comments.

 

First is we have almost the same PP#2 as last year and the exact same PP#1, maybe the exception os sometimes including Doc last year.

No Brodie on #2; Hanifin is there.

Lucic is on #2.

Ras plays up on the PP and Hanifin plays the line.

It's a mess.

Personnel has to change because it's a bunch of spare parts.

Backlund at C, but Lucic plays better with Ryan at C.

If Mangiapane is there, no Lindy or Chucky.

 

We've had success with the top unit.

Depending on who drew the penalty, we might start with unit 2.

In other words, if the bottom 6 draws the penalty, the #1 unit starts.

 

I'll use EDM as a (poor) example of exploiting time on ice.

McD draws the penalty, McD starts the PP, unless he is bagged.

The object of their 2nd unit is to win a draw and get the 1st unit in the ice, while not giving up a goal.

The top unit will play 2 minutes in most situations unless the score a goal.

Against CGY, they had one PP, and the top unit played 2 minutes.

Against NAS, they had 4 PP's and scored on 2 within a minute of the start.

McD and Drai played 3:40 out of 8:00, but 1 minue was at 4 on 4, so that doesn;t count.

So, they really played one unit for 50 seconds on the 1st PP goal and 34 seconds on the 2nd PP goal., and 21 seconds on a PP before Neal took a penalty.

That's about 1:45 out of 1:45 in 3 PP's.

That leaves the remaining 2 minute PP they didn't score on, of which PP1 played all of it.

 

All that shows is a team with only a handfull of good players can only ice one PP unit but be very successful with it.

Our 2nd unit is currently a waste of time.

Loading up a line and burning them on icetime to win games is all there is.

That or get a couple of decent PP players on the 2nd unit.

Using Lucic on the boards is useless if there is nobody to get to the blue paint.

Using Lucic in the blue paint is useless if nobody can keep possession long enough to get a shot from the blueline. 

 

Too much drivel I know, but I am frustrated with watching the 2nd unit burn valuable seconds in agame where we need a goal.

While it may not be on Ward, he is watching what I am watching.

 

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1 hour ago, The_People1 said:

My problem with the PP is, if we top load one unit then we must deploy separate strategies for both.  The second unit (less skilled) has to keep it more simple.  Less puck movement.  Less perimeter passing.  Just get bodies in front and exercise jam plays like work the puck behind the net and then when everyone is ready, do a wrap around and muscle the puck in. Get Pointmen shooting into funnels from the outside with bodies in front. 

 

Do a different look and formation too.  No Umbrella/1-4 like our first unit.  Just do classic 2D and get the muscles infront.  Bennett, Lucic, and Jankowski.  Then get the shots in from the point.

 

I think the Flames do this. Their 2nd unit plays around with multiple formations and rotates 1-3-1 with the more traditional 2d and they use Anderson all over the place. Personally I like the 2nd unit and I think the last if effectiveness stems from limited opportunities and the lack of a shooter. All good PPs imo need a triggerman and flames don't have one on the 2nd unit. 

 

I personally think Ward is a very good pp coach. I get the results don't look like it in terms of the overal pp but imo when you look deeper there is lots to like. I think the criticism is just misguided that's all. 

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All Galant did, was take an expansion team to the Stanley Cup final his first season, get absolutely robbed / jobbed by a SJ powerplay in his second playoffs, and today with 30+ games to go have his team in a Wild Card spot. Florida also made the mistake of firing him, before eventually needing to fire his successor for coach Q. 

 

I don't normally suggest making coaching changes, for the sake of change. But to get someone like Gallant - it would be tempting. Do you wait to see if Ward can win a round or 2 or do you contact Gallant now and see if he's wanting to jump back in this season. Three coaches in one season, may be a little much, the problem is that in the off-season there will be a bidding war for his services (possibly Colorado, Dallas, Vancouver, plus Eastern Conference teams that underachieve in the post-season). 

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21 hours ago, JTech780 said:

 

I absolutely agree about Ward, it is a tough situation. The thing is that Gallant is an elite coach in this league and I just think he is the perfect fit for this team.

 

I like a lot of the things Ward has done, but there are signs that the players haven't totally bought in either, and that happens a lot when Assistant coaches take over.

If we were coach searching I agree he'd be high on the list , but I have 2 issues ..I'm not certain Ward hasn't earned the right to continue ..and second , Gallant has a shelf life track record ..he takes a team high his first season .. Second season dips and usually gets fired in or by the 3rd.. can't put my finger on It, he doesn't strike me as a guy players tune out but the track record suggests otherwise.

I think he's the closer you bring in to put a solid contender over the top

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I think we’re not giving Gallant enough credit. What he did with Vegas was almost unheard. Taking a group of misfits to the cup final. I hate playing Vegas, especially in there building. They play a hard, unrelenting style of hockey. They assert their game onto the opponent. Something the Flames have struggled with. They play with an identity. Having MAF helps but their still a great team without Fleury. I think we should absolutely consider Gallant. What are the better options right now?

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I don't want this to come across as an anti Geoff Ward post. I do like some of he stuff that he has done, but I also think the record has been a mirage. 

 

Under Peters at 5 on 5:

 

8th in League in CF%

13th in FF%

18th in Shots against

17th in expected goals %

14 in Scoring chance %

22nd in High danger chance % (25th in generating. 12th best in Preventing)

Dead last in shooting %. 20th in Save %

 

PP ranked 20th based on GF/60

 

Under Ward at 5 on 5:

 

20th in CF%

21st in FF%

27th in Shots against/60

17th in Expected goals for%

20th in Scoring Chance%

10th in High danger chance % (19th in generating. 8th best in preventing)

20th in Shooting%. 3rd best in Save %

 

PP ranked 10th based on GF/60

 

so to give Ward credit, and I see this reflected on the ice, he has prioritized high danger chances. They give up less quality under him and generate more and I think it's fair to attribute this to Ward. However, most all other metrics have actually gotten worse under Ward not better and the defensive trend in their game is worrisome IMO. Their record since the change has more to do with goaltending and the PP then it does the team actually getting better IMO. 

 

Now at the same time I want to be clear that is not laying nay blame on Ward and in fact should generate some credit. Many who follow the team have commented how the team felt much more relaxed with the change and that they like playing for Ward. I do think it is fair to give credit for Ward for allowing players to be themselves and I think he definitely made improvements to the way the team handles their goaltending. so while there are some worrisome trends there are also things not necessary reflected in numbers I thikn he deserves credit for.

 

as i said earlier all of this analysis isn't exactly fair as this is a very tough situation for any coach to walk into nor do I think the primary issues with the Flames are coaching related. I just think it's way too early to give Ward much credit, nor do I think he should be considered a long term fit. 

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17 minutes ago, cross16 said:

Now at the same time I want to be clear that is not laying nay blame on Ward and in fact should generate some credit. Many who follow the team have commented how the team felt much more relaxed with the change and that they like playing for Ward. I do think it is fair to give credit for Ward for allowing players to be themselves and I think he definitely made improvements to the way the team handles their goaltending. so while there are some worrisome trends there are also things not necessary reflected in numbers I thikn he deserves credit for.

 

And there's the rub.

He's a good coach and mentor, but maybe not the best head coach.

 

The issues I had with BP are that he got results in the regular season and not in the playoffs.

So you have the guy that leads during peace, but is not right during war.

Sure the team caved, but the coach owes some measure of responsibility.

Ward was part of that group.

 

I would think that maybe the best approach would to hire Gallant to a one year deal.

At the end, both can part or both can sit down and nail a new deal.

Maybe that's unrealistic, but would allow us to build a coaching replacement rather than the guy just being handed the job after BP left.

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1 hour ago, rickross said:

I think we’re not giving Gallant enough credit. What he did with Vegas was almost unheard. Taking a group of misfits to the cup final. I hate playing Vegas, especially in there building. They play a hard, unrelenting style of hockey. They assert their game onto the opponent. Something the Flames have struggled with. They play with an identity. Having MAF helps but their still a great team without Fleury. I think we should absolutely consider Gallant. What are the better options right now?

I give Gallant full credit , he knows how to push buttons . My main drawback on him, is like I stated before, he now is building a history of having a shelf life.. his teams have instant success..then he's fired in or before the 3rd season(typically under mysterious circumstances..which is also troubling)

 

If Ward is to be replaced, I'd be more inclined to go after Laviolette. He not only gets immediate pop, he tends to sustain it.

If Boudreau does end up getting let go, I'd consider him as well..except he still doesn't win in the playoffs

 

Personally I see Gallant in Detroit within weeks 

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