All the Wrong Moves
February 25, 2006
In a losing season it is easy to place blame on the head coach. This year one of the B-Sens biggest problems has been taking too many penalties so the finger of blame has been going to the players themselves who have not adjusted to the new rules and are not hustling enough to play the body instead of using their sticks. On Wednesday night Jan Platil added 2 minutes to his holding penalty by jawing at the ref and the Phantoms scored on the power play to tie the game 2-2 early in the third. Head Coach Dave Cameron decided to make a statement and benched Platil for last nights game against the Marlies.
I understand and approve of benching players inorder to get results out of your team, but my problem with this was who he benched. Yes, Platil was the latest to take a stupid penalty that hurt the team, but he had also just missed two games from a suspension so the team was accustomed to him being in the stands. If Cameron wanted to make a really big impression on his players, bench NHL veteran Lance Ward who is leading the league in minor penalties and is wearing an A on his jersey. For some reason Ward has seemed untouchable on this team because he has played in the NHL, but he is the biggest culprit of taking hooking and holding penalties because you apparently can’t teach that old dog new tricks.
Sure enough, Platil’s benching had no affect on the team and there was Ward taking a 5 minute spearing penalty in the first period and getting a game misconduct. Plus the Senators sorely needed Platil in this game to provide some spark with his bone rattling checks. This team barely had a pulse and Platil is the type of player who can wake a team up. I am much more willing to forgive Platil the occasional penalty for being an aggressive player than I am to forgive Ward for being a slow player who like to use his stick.
I’m hoping Cameron seizes the opportunity and puts Platil back on the blue line and puts Ward in the stands, but I have a feeling that the second year coach doesn’t have the kahunas to sit a guy with 209 games of NHL experience.