Coaching changes bringing immediate success to formerly slumping clubs
If you're the head coach of an underwhelming NHL club, you're probably not too excited about the new trend taking the league's coaching landscape by storm:
New coach, instant success.
That's certainly been the case for the most recent trio of clubs who swapped out their head coaches. The New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues, and Boston Bruins have all been flying high since parting ways with their former bench bosses, with only three regulation losses coming in their combined 21 games since Doug Weight, Mike Yeo, and Bruce Cassidy took over.
The Bruins earned the 16th win for the new-coach club on Sunday night, taking down the Montreal Canadiens with a dominant 4-0 effort. In doing so, Cassidy earned his third straight win at the helm, adding fuel to the coaching swap fires.
There's no denying the fact that coaching changes can have a significant impact on a club's success. Last year's Stanley Cup champion would certainly agree - the Pittsburgh Penguins looked like a shell of their former selves until Mike Sullivan was brought in, after which the club went on a months-long tear that ended with Lord Stanley.
This season's biggest surprise, the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild, are in the same boat. The Wild have gone from a fringe team to a genuine contender since bringing in Bruce Boudreau in the offseason - they continued their run Sunday night as well, earning a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
For talented clubs trending downwards, like the Canadiens and Dallas Stars, that's sure to raise a few eyebrows. Even the most drastic of moves - the Bruins' ill-timed ousting of longtime coach Claude Julien - has led to nothing but success thus far, which means Michel Therrien and Lindy Ruff could be on the clock.