Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hitchcock work with Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev

Can Hitchcock work with Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev? The two young Blue Jackets have a lot in common: high draft picks with high-priced, multi-year contracts, marketed as the future of the franchise—and a reluctance to play defense or team-oriented hockey, things Hitchcock insists upon.
“Hitchcock’s primary job…has to be to make this talented tandem into a dynamic duo,” wrote Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox. “More specifically, it’s to make them into impact players every night and two-way players on, well, many nights.”
Nash’s lack of production this year has been perplexing, while Zherdev has been a public whipping boy for poor defensive and selfish offensive play ever since he joined the team. Hitchcock’s last two teams, Philadelphia and Dallas, were veteran squads headed to the playoffs where the coach had little patience for youthful mistakes.
Hitchcock is known for wearing out his welcome quickly. Gallant was considered a player’s coach. His successor has no such reputation. Hitchcock’s teams play consistent, defensive (read: boring) hockey. Players accustomed to Columbus’s laid-back style, lack of pressure and on-ice freedom may eventually balk, especially if the wins don’t come in bunches.We will se I hope he can turn things around.

1 comment:

Inquiring Minds said...

Hopefully, Hitchcock can give CBJ a measure of respectibility in the league.
I get the feeling that we are looked at with disdain.

Maybe the only thing that will truly win respect is when we start winning and make other teams take us seriously.