Pete DeBoer has been the head coach of the Florida Panthers now for three seasons. It’s a very good question as to whether or not he will be back next season behind the bench for the Florida Panthers.
On one hand I agree that it’s hard to see the Panthers continue to not make the playoffs after the last few years. On the other hand I think it’s a shame that coaches are almost always the “fall guys” when the truth is that a team’s general manager is just as much to blame (if not more).
Over his time here Pete has gotten little support from GM’s who have traded away most of his better players for picks and prospects and left him with a pieced together team of spare parts and shinny objects.
I truly believe that the job of a head coach (at any level) is to get the most out of the players he has…at this point Pete has gotten a little amount of talent and a lot of maybe and potential guys. Honestly if you think about it what this team has accomplished staying competitive and competing most nights, Pete has almost pulled off a miracle on Lexus ice…
More After the Jump
The Panthers have been good 5 on 5, solid defensively, and had a great PK in the last few seasons however without that franchise player to seal the deal and score 30+ goals the Panthers have still finished at the end of the pack. The reality is that losing streaks, giving up leads and 1 goal games are the most difficult and confounding situations for coaches because they most often cannot be corrected by a strategic or tactical change…even some of the best teams in the league struggle with this (see Washington Capitals). Sometimes coaches are overvalued in terms of impact on the game. If you have a very talented team they will likely win in spite of whatever coach you put in there, but if you play with a lackluster team you can’t expect the coach to perform miracles.
If you’ve got a lot of skilled players, you can work the puck around on the perimeter make sweet passes…etc. If you don’t, you usually throw a guy in front and get pucks on the net. Sounds pretty basic. But like everything else in hockey, you have to get the details right. A good coach pays attention to each element of his team’s game. That includes his formation in the offensive zone, choice of players, faceoffs, breakout patterns, and decisions about the point men, among other things.
Obviously the last few Panthers teams have not possessed many skilled forwards so we must work with more physical grinding forwards. It seems that our system is to overrun the slot with forwards. This setup creates problems on defense because it frees up point players to abandon the blueline and come in for one-timers and also pinch the puck back into the zone. If a defending player moves to defend a point player, then it opens up someone in the slot who can score… this will get occasional success but not the consistent success you could have with better players playing a different style.
On the other hand the dump and chase style of hockey that is often played by the Panthers is not the type of hockey Dale Tallon would like to see. Tallon told season ticket holders earlier this year that he does not like dump and chase and would rather see pressure put on in the zone.
You got to wonder how DeBoer feels in all of this he’s gotten a bit of a raw deal. He came here expecting to coach an up and coming team, not one in the process of dismantling. He hasn’t exactly been given an easy job. He spoke recently to the Miami Hearld…
“Other people will decide if the wins and losses were enough. I can only control what I control,” DeBoer said. “I’m very comfortable that our team has been prepared, structured and played hard all year. If you judge things on wins and losses and if people think it’s fair to judge this organization on that at this point, well, that’s out of my control. I wouldn’t expect anything less than being evaluated. I’m comfortable being evaluated.’” (Herald)
So where do you guys think Pete DeBoer will end up after the offseason?
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