Bryan Murray is following Lou’s lead.
The Ottawa Senators GM is moving back behind the bench after axing John Paddock, the man he picked to guide the Sens after moving to the front office last summer.
Lou, of course, is Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey GM who turned himself into a coach on two occasions in recent seasons, including late last year when he pushed Claude Julien aside despite New Jersey’s success in the standings.
This move is much more expected – and needed. Things were clearly spiraling out of control in Canada’s capital after back-to-back losses to Boston and Toronto by a combined 9-0 score.
Paddock, who looks like he could win a no-smiling contest in his happiest of times, probably has a nose groove in his hand from all the times he’s had to cover his eyes due to his team’s poor performance over the past few months.
The Sens opened the season on fire, dropping just two of their first 17 games, but quickly sunk into mediocrity and are a thoroughly average 21-19-6 since then.
Murray’s been around a long time and will surely get more out of his charges. Unfortunately, the inability of Murray the GM to secure a goalie on trade deadline day might make life for Murray the coach more miserable than it otherwise would be.
Neither Ray Emery nor Martin Gerber have provided the kind of goaltending a team needs to compete at an elite level on a nightly basis. If that continues, this will be about the eighth straight spring that an otherwise Cup-worthy team is derailed by average play at the most crucial position.