Avalanche’s new head coach Bednar is at least saying the right things
Look, there are exceptions, but new head coach press conferences feature the same basic terms and buzzwords.
After witnessing the high-octane Pittsburgh Penguins skate opponents ragged on their way to the 2016 Stanley Cup, any reasonable coach would throw “speed” into their phrasing.
Still, the Colorado Avalanche have been so deeply buried by even the most basic of modern measurements that you had to wonder: would they learn from Patrick Roy’s struggles? Can someone come in and at least attempt to keep up with the pack?
We won’t know for sure anytime soon, but hey, at least Jared Bednar seems to be saying the right things as he transitions from the AHL to the Avalanche’s head coaching gig.
When discussing his hire with NHL Network, Bednar seemed confident that his style in the AHL - “Up-tempo, aggressive style in all three zones of the rink” - will translate well in Colorado.
That interview hits the beats you’d expect from job interviews beyond hockey. There’s even a “detail-oriented” bit.
(If you space out, you might just assume there’s a mention of thinking outside the box, like every corporate interview in human history.)
Still, it’s OK to settle for baby steps, especially considering the tough situation Patrick Roy created in abruptly skipping town. For many, it might just be comforting to note that Bednar doesn’t outright dismissive “analytics” or “fancy stats.”
New Avalanche coach Jared Bednar when asked about analytics: "The information is out there. You HAVE to pay attention to it."— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) August 26, 2016
Mile High Hockey brings up a great point: if nothing else, the spotlight will shift from the Avalanche’s flamboyant head coach to the talented core of young players.
So, not only is Colorado bringing in a coach who is as savvy with spreadsheets as he is with the wipe-off board, but he’s going to allow the players to crawl out from under Roy and finally earn their own accomplishments. This is every bit as important as fixing the breakout play or eliminating the Collapse-O-Rama™ defensive system.
Bednar isn’t a retread, so we only know so much about what to expect.
There are positive early signs. Roll your eyes all you want, we have seen more than a few successful transitions from AHL glory (Bednar just won the Calder Cup) to the NHL.
He’s not necessarily anti-information and seems at least interested in implementing modern, attacking systems. Attacking systems that, theoretically, would best suit the talents of a gifted-but-flawed group.
It all feels a little vague, but then again, it’s not even September yet. So far, so good.