Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lord Therrien and his Minions

I know I’m a week late on this one, but let’s face it – Pittsburgh had some drama/history in the making going on. While the Pens have made ample use of their farm team in the past two seasons there is one move from the farm to the city that sticks out in my mind. Midway through last season in an attempt to sparks some life into the struggling Pens, Michel Therrien and his coaching staff was called up to the big leagues. While certainly it is the players that are the ones actually moving the puck, Therrien has been nothing short of a miracle worker, inspiring our young team all the way.

From a fans perspective, it’s a “tough love” type of coaching atmosphere with Therrien. He reminds me a lot of my old band director who ruled with an iron fist but had a heart the size of the band itself. The two of them know their sport like the back of their hand. They also know the patience and dedication required to work with a young group of talent. And just when people are ready to throw in the towel, their youngsters turn around and surprise everyone.

How tough is tough love? One of the most notable quotes in Pittsburgh last year came right out of Therrien’s mouth:
“It’s a pathetic performance. Half of the team doesn’t care. That defensive squad -- I am really starting to believe their goal is to be the worst defensive squad in the league. They are doing such a great job to be the worst defensive squad in the league. They turn the puck over. They have no vision. They are soft. I have never seen a bunch of defensemen as soft as this."

This was after a 3-1 loss to Edmonton, a game I actually was at. It was a very low point in time for the Pens and fans. Therrien certainly wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was.

But patience and dedication always seem to turn out in the end. With new GM Ray Shero coming to town this year, a new coaching decision could have easily been made. Ray said no though and quite frankly I’m happy as a clam with Lord Therrien running the show. Hell, we’ve got the media defending him and writing his mini biography.

Just last night Therrien couldn’t help but to notice the atmosphere surrounding his team as of late:
“I think the fans are a big part of the reason why that we play pretty solid at home. They’re into it and it’s a great atmosphere. It seems to be such a great relationship between a team and with their fans.”

A great call up if you ask me : )


Elly said...

Good point! I was trying to think of some good call ups (and all I could think of was Welch, and really, he was not that great), but Therrien was indeed the best so far!

Heather B. said...

That first quote is one of my favorite coach quotes of all-time! Hi-larious!

Paige said...

Wow... that's pretty harsh!