Thursday, November 17, 2005

Time to go, Sully

If ownership needed any more excuses to give Bruins coach Mike Sullivan the boot, it came just moments ago. Boston’s 4-1 loss tonight to the Toronto Maple Leafs, coming on the heels of a four-day-off stretch for the Black and Gold to regroup and reload, epitomizes the failure of the head coach and his staff.

One would think the team, fresh from the respite, would jump out early and often against the Buds. Sure, Boston outshot Toronto, 15-5, in the first period, but even then, the Bruins looked flat. And, then there is that little problem called a complete collapse in the third period.

The loss, the B’s fourth in a row, drops the club below .500 on the season. Furthermore, the team is just 1-7-1 within its division. Poor starts like this lead to only one thing – a high draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Sullivan, to his credit, is saying the so-called right things – the team needs to work harder, play 60 minutes, stop beating itself, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line, though, and I’ve mentioned this before (this is my third and final call for his removal), is this guy just doesn’t know how to win.

In his playing career, the teams of which Sullivan was a member had a combined 385-434-122 record, a .409 winning percentage. During his run, nearly half of those teams never made the playoffs. One team, the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks, went a putrid 11-71-2. In the six seasons in which his teams made the playoffs, all lost in the first series.

Sound familiar? It should. In his first two seasons as a head coach, in Providence and in Boston, winning regular-season records were capped by first-round playoff exits.

If Bruins brass doesn’t pull the trigger (and they likely won’t as Sullivan’s failure is an indictment against their own careers), Sullivan should step back to his role during his on-ice career – being a team player. His resignation, effective immediately, would be seen as taking one for the team.


Post a Comment

<< Home