It’s all Dave MacIntyre’s fault the Weeks Major Midgets are 2-13-0 this year. False.
The statement has been thrown around by hockey “experts” around the local arenas lately and, well, it’s simply not true. I mean it’s not all his fault, which seems to be somewhat of a general feeling about their record this season.
How many wins is a coach worth to a team anyway? In my infinite wisdom I’ll say four. Does it matter what number I give? No. Mostly cause you can’t prove that a coach made the difference in a team winning or losing those four games.
It all comes down to the players. I’ve heard that players don’t want to play for MacIntyre and if that’s true it’s their loss. It’s their careers they’re hurting, not his. I’ll pretend that it’s not though, but again if that’s true then it’s them it’s hurting, not him. His playing days are long over and he isn’t looking to coach at a higher level, yet they all likely want to keep playing after midget is over.
I believe the players can do it and that it’s not the coaching staff’s fault. You’re never going to find a coach or coaching staff that is perfect, but I think what they have in place is a good thing.
If I remember last year correctly, during the Weeks Crushers seven-game losing streak people were saying Jason Malone is a joke, doesn’t know what he’s doing and he should be fired. Where are those people this season? For the record I said the team was struggling last season and wasn’t blaming their streak on Malone because I believe players need to find ways to dig deep in these situations to overcome whatever is causing them to struggle.
Back to the Major Midgets – I believe they have proven they can compete against the league’s top team, which I think was their version of figuratively shooting themselves in the foot. It happened to be a televised game so maybe that’s the reason they showed up, but who knows. Regardless, I was happy to see they were tied 1-1 with the Halifax McDonalds, who currently sit in first in the NSMMHL, until the 15:23 mark of the third period on Oct. 16. The McDonalds added an empty net goal to win 3-1, but it was a great effort from the team, especially since I had people saying the TV game was going to be embarrassing to watch.
The reason I say it was like they shot themselves in the foot was because they proved they could compete with (literally) the best team in the league and then Oct. 19 fell 8-0 to Newbridge. Pretty sure that’s the coaches fault right? Again, maybe partially, but not fully as some would like to believe. If the players can do so well one night and then not so much the next, is that not their effort?
Some argue it is their effort; some argue it’s the coach. There really is no way to fully prove it, but I think that placing blame on one person isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Unless you’re bringing in Mike Babcock I don’t think removing MacIntyre solves the issue whatsoever. He’s one of the best in the biz around here. No matter who has the target on their back (head coaching job) there is still going to be four lines of forwards, three defence pairings and two goaltenders that need to get the job done on the ice.
Not that it’s any excuse, for the record, because excuses don’t get you anywhere, but of their 15 games played so far this season they have played the top three teams (Halifax, Cole Harbour and Newbridge) in the league nine times. Two of their wins came in their other six games against Cape Breton Tradesmen (Sept. 29) and South Shore (Sept. 21).
Yes, it’s been a month since their last win. Expectations were that last weekend was going to be their turnaround weekend and they would get themselves on a positive note with a doubleheader against South Shore, but alas they fell 4-3 and 4-1.
It will take a string of wins to prove to themselves that they can in fact get out of this rut, but I sincerely believe that they can do that. Once they gain some confidence the lopsided victories should start to disappear.
Just one more note, their captain, Lane Cormier, has yet to play a game this year. One player generally doesn’t make a major difference on a team, but I think in this case it will. He’s arguably one of their best players, if not their best, and is amongst the league’s top talent.
We’re about to wrap up the second month of the NSMMHL season. Let’s let Cormier get back and look at things again at the end of November. I hear they’re hosting something called Atlantics in April. So far this season has been a major rough patch for the team, but so long as they’re continuously improving they should be able to turn the corner on this and be competitive when that rolls around.
Christopher Cameron is the sports reporter for The News and can be reached at email@example.com on Twitter @NGNewsChris. His column runs weekly on Wednesdays.