Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Pierre Page was a good coach

no one said ever. 

You know those guys that were coaching when your parents we young? Those guys that know everyone, have been everywhere, yet have not done anything at all? 

Pierre Pagé
Pierre Page who is currently a coach of Red Bull Salzburg, director of hockey operations, and a guy who works on team's hiring policy, is one of those people. Given the chance this guy can talk for hours. I've heard his players comparing his speeches to those of Fidel Castro on Cuba.

When my local team cancelled post game press conferences in favor of press statements done in passing by players and coaches one of the things I started to miss were his speeches on these. Previous years, regardless of winning or losing, Pagé just started to talk, and talked for quite some time. 

My first encounter with Pagé as after winning a game over a team crippled by injuries and overcoming a 2 goal deficit in last two minutes followed by a win in OT, "my" local team playing with two D-men in 3rd line as forwards. Pierre promptly recalled some SC run with one of his teams sometime between '80ies and mid '90ies and proceeded to talk about it for good 15 minutes.

And then there were playoffs

This time he has outplayed even himself. After barely qualifying for the playoffs Pagé team lost in the opening game. He didn't congratulate the opponents, or commented the game. This was a playoff game. 

Pierre Pagé, EC RBS player, Marty Raymond, Curtis Fraser
Pagé said (quote): "I've been in this league for 6 years now. And just last week I heard a comment by Swiss ref saying that this league has no speed and no skill. These are not my words but words by Swiss refs, Swiss GMs and Swiss coaches."

Well too bad mr. Pagé, but is this not a league in which you with almost unlimited budget can't compete? A league where you wouldn't qualify for PO if there hadn't been a system that favored you rotating a thousands of players? In few months of regular league Pagé has dressed 28 different import players and had overall of 57 players on his 22 men roster at some point.
Dont blame the players, blame the bad coach

I'm not sure here but it sounds to me like he didn't get a single player with speed or skills that mattered to him this season. Note at this point that Salzburg acquired several LOCKOUT players (most in league) this season like Johnny "The Rocket" Boychuk, Clarkson, Dorsett, Brassard, Tobias Enstrom. These guys weren't good enough I guess.

I wonder what they would say. Or Nick Ross, Ryan Kinasewich, Tyler Maxwell, Justin Keller, Shawn Hunwick and many more from previous seasons. The team is a joke. Hopefully it'll become something as it has means and facilities to be big. Without Pierre Pagé.

The issue with dropping a bomb in closed quarters full of people

was never a problem with Pierre Pagé as he managed to say the following:

"NHL has become a league with lack of skill and speed recently and is not looked upon anymore." 

Erm... what? Best players, best coaches and best venues in the world, but the league lacks skill and speed to be the best in world? 

It's not over till Pierre sings

Playoffs are a series of games between two clubs. They are played until last man standing and many things are done that wouldn't be done otherwise in a regular season game.

Now, Pierre Pagé is a master in those games. Not playoff games but in dirty games. 2007/08 Red Bull Salzburg was losing to Olimpija. One of the reasons was a superb goalie Alex Westlund between the pipes of Olimpija.
Player in crease holding a goalie and its a good goal. 

Tactics? Easy, ram the goalie. Didn't work then.

It worked today. When faced against a superb goaltending its best to brew a old recipe - have a sucky player ram the goalie and lets take the game home. Daniell Welser, a mediocre austrian player rammed and injured an Olympic Slovenian goaltender just so his team can win. Shoulder to the head works. Usually.

Also this is a good goal apparently:

This won't work as Medvescak has two excellent goalies and hopefully Pierre Pagé dirty moves will be penalised soon enough with a plane ticket to a nursery home. So long old man, we'll miss you...

That one you will never hear. Beat it.
Ha - Ha (Nathan Perkovich) 

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