<> Eyes On The Prize <>: Fingering Carbonneau

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    Habster’s take:

    Like any first time NHL coach, Guy Carbonneau has a learning curve which was at times evident throughout the season. As Robert.L correctly stated, Carbonneau has some minor traits he must improve on to grow as a head coach. I think his communication skills with players in slumps(especially veteran players) or who the coach perceives as not working hard enough, needs to improve to avoid situations like the Samsonov or Rivet episodes. The coach also has to avoid “showing up” the referees with hand or facial gestures. As Robert.L stated in his article, the players pick up on the coach’s emotion state of mind and some will follow his lead. When a coach moans about the officiating during or after a game, it gives his players an excuse for their or the team’s performance on the ice. I found that Carbonneau also had no patience’s with his line combinations especially in the second half of the season when the lines should have been more set for players to build chemistry (we saw how well the Higgins-Plekanec-Kostitsyn line did when they were left alone to gel).
    There were some positive elements to Coach Carbonneau’s first year. He is a good teacher of the game and worked well with the young players who thrived under his tutelage. He works well with the media and his friend/boss, Bob Gainey which are extreme important things in a hockey crazed city like Montreal.
    As Habs fans, we need to be patient with our head coach and our young team as the upcoming season will have a lot of ups and downs!!!