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Marc Crawford's positivity in the face of panic

Mar 8, 2010, 11:55 AM EDT

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The Marc Crawford that is currently coaching the Dallas Stars is not
the Marc Crawford  we all know and love. This is not the fiery, angry
and explosive coach that won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche
and helped turn the Vancouver Canucks into a respectable team. This
isn’t even the same Marc Crawford that stumbled mightily in Los Angeles.

Instead,
we have a Marc Crawford who seems oblivious to his team’s issues and is
focused on positivity, consistently driving fans mad as he spins each
loss towards the positive instead of blowing up and going nuts in front
of the press like so many seemingly want him to be. After yesterday’s
practice, as the Stars prepare for what should be an entertaining
thrashing at the hands of the Washington Capitals, he
maintained his positive outlook.

“I’ve been
through this before, and I know that you can’t panic, that’s
not the right response,” Crawford said after his team went through an
optional practice and some film work Sunday. “This was a good time for
us to get some rest, to refocus and reenergize, and I think that will
show going forward.”

“I believe we do have the talent and I
believe we can beat these
teams,” Crawford said. “It’s just a matter of making the right plays
at the right time. If you go back and look at the film of these games,
we are right there and we have great scoring chances, and we can’t get
the puck in the net. Then, we play great defense, or play great on the
penalty kill like we did against Pittsburgh,
and we make one mistake and we pay for it.”

Can we
get one outburst? Something? Some form of emotion that speaks to the
inner turmoil he is working through as his team falls to pieces at the
most important part of the season?

For those that follow the Stars
on a daily basis, it’s been painfully obvious that Crawford is not
doing any of these things anytime soon. After every loss, he spins it as
it’s just a “matter of time” and working on some “issues and
improving”, like he expects these issues to magically repair themselves
just by talking about them. It certainly doesn’t appear that he’s
coaching the team to correct the “issues”.

Crawford was supposed
to make this a harder, more focused and much more exciting team to
watch. Perhaps its the actual players on the ice that are causing the
team to falter — the success Dave Tippett is having in Phoenix could
point in that direction — but the coach is supposed to be able adjust
to his players and put them in the right position to succeed.

Is
he doing the best he can with the players he has? Perhaps, but you’d
like to at least hear his frustration every now and then.

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