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Would the Sens really fire MacLean?

Apr 10, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

OTTAWA, ON - MARCH 16: Head coach Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators looks on from the bench against the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on March 16, 2014 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Getty Images

From the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, on the future of Senators coach Paul MacLean in the wake of the Sens missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011:

MacLean, less than a year removed from being the Jack Adams winner as the coach-of-the-year, is definitely on the hotseat for his handling of the club’s talent and an inability to right the ship.

It spoke volumes when GM Bryan Murray refused to give MacLean a vote of confidence during an interview with TSN 1200 a couple of weeks ago.

The problems that plagued the Senators in a 7-4 loss Friday to the Montreal Canadiens were typical of what’s gone on far too many times this season and it’s a large part of MacLean’s job to address issues.

Heading into the first season of three-year a contract extension he signed in the summer, the Senators have to decide if they want to part ways with MacLean or give him a chance at redemption next year.

It seems hard to believe that MacLean could become a coaching casualty, even after conceding the Sens have taken a step back this season. Not to say he’s done a fantastic job — defensively, Ottawa’s had issues — but is the coach to blame for the team’s goaltending woes?

If he is fired, MacLean would arguably become a victim of his own success. The Sens overachieved the first two seasons under his watch, making the playoffs with one of the lowest payrolls in the league. The bar, as a result, was set higher.

On the bright side for MacLean, if he isn’t back with the Sens next season, he shouldn’t receive any shortage of interest for openings on other teams.

  1. bgrillz - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Happened to Therrien in Pittsburgh. Went to the cup finals one year, fired mid seaso the next. Hockey coaching is the most unstable in sports.

  2. spezzdispenser - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Don’t do it! Maclean isn’t the problem. There are some big inadequacies on D, with some young guys not smart enough to play Maclean’s system. Jared Cowen, if you read this site, I’m talking about you.

    • rdk - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      Not smart enough to play MacLean’s system? That’s hilarious. Last year, voters mistook his long periods of silence for profound introspection, but really he was just smelling his mustache.

      • superross - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        That’s funny!!!!

    • sens101 - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      You couldn’t be more wrong. Under Maclean, the sens were successful when they played a defesive system and counter attacked. This year they tried to swtich to a puck possession system which Ottawa does not currently have the players to play. Yes the D hasn’t been good, Cowen included. The real root of the problem is the system. The sens refuse to dump the puck in, or dump and chase, and over-complicate breakouts in their own end in an effort to keep possesion, which leads to constant turnovers and the penalties because they dont have the team speed to recover. I don’t think he should be fired, but this needs to be addressed.

      • spezzdispenser - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        As long as we agree that Cowen is terrible

    • joey4id - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      “Every day we come to work, it’s ‘why don’t we play harder, why aren’t we a better group?’ That’s the things that we discuss every day, and we’re still searching for a solution,” MacLean told the Ottawa Citizen. March 8, 2014

      It’s his job to make sure the team is responding and playing their best hockey when March roles around. if not, then the GM has to consider a coaching change, but only after talking to the coach and players after the last game of the season.

  3. c9castine - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    bryan murray has a long history of being an idiot when it comes to managing his coaches and personnel. that guy is an excellent scout. im not sure if hes adequate at many other qualities a GM needs.

    what im saying is, it wouldnt surprise me. even if its the wrong choice.

  4. gbart22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Devils! Please please please make this happen.Deboer must go.

  5. smarshall3789 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    I’d laugh if they fired him! It would be another stupid move by a Canadian club! Why do all Canadian clubs make the dumbest moves ever that’s why only one is going to the dance lmfao! Canadian franchises are a complete joke when was the last time one even one the cup!

    • sens101 - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      says the person who can’t even spell lol

    • henrik4dawin - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:41 PM

      fyi 21 years– Montreal Canadiens

  6. gbart22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    While I don’t agree with you that they all make dumb moves but they are very much controlled by media and public pressure it seems. The minute something doesn’t go right for a Canadian club (unless you’re Edmonton where they just recycle the same old group over and over going for new results) the reports start coming out looking for new gm’s coaches presidents etc which is just insane. Clubs that constantly change gm’s presidents etc will never develop a solidified consistent franchise model as each new guy wants to change things and do things his way. If you have a guy you believe in you choose him and stick with him for at least 8 seasons as it can take that long for that guys prospects etc to develop and have an impact. But Canadian clubs seem to always be reacting to the media and fans.

  7. billiam55 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    if they do hell be one of the top coaches out there for another team to get. maybe the leafs?

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