NHL Betting: The Three NHL Head Coaches On The Hot Seat
1 – Dallas Eakins, Edmonton Oilers
Betting experts didn’t expect the Edmonton Oilers to make the playoffs this season, but they also didn’t expect one of the province of Alberta’s two NHL teams to be this awful this quickly. The Oilers, through 14 games in this young regular season, posted only eight points and only three wins, two in regulation time. The power play and penalty kill have been abysmal, and the team’s goal differential is one of the worst in the league. Edmonton is not the worst scoring team in the NHL, but the Oilers have hemorrhaged on defense, allowing one of the highest goal counts in the league through a month-plus of competition. The total lack of defense on a nightly basis has made the Oilers stand out as a particularly embarrassing team. The inability to fix some basic flaws is noticeable, and if Eakins can’t begin to turn things around by the end of November, it’s quite reasonable to think that his first season as a head coach in the NHL will come to an abrupt and premature end.
2 – Kevin Dineen, Florida Panthers
This season has already unraveled for the Panthers, who joined Edmonton as a team that couldn’t even reach 10 points through 13 games. (The other teams on this list are Philadelphia and Buffalo; we’ll talk about the Flyers shortly.) One thing that stands out about the Panthers is that through those first 13 games, they scored only 26 goals, for an average of exactly two per game. At the time (the 13-game mark of the season), only three other teams (the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, and Buffalo) had scored fewer goals. Dineen has been on the job for two years, and so unlike Eakins and other first-year coaches, there is more of an expectation of improvement. If Dineen can’t show management (or, for that matter, the fan base) that he can put a better and more exciting team on the ice each and every night, a team that already struggles to sell tickets in South Florida will have even more reason to seek a fresh start with another coach, even if that coach is an assistant on Dineen’s staff. It’s becoming less and less realistic to expect that Dineen can survive if he doesn’t change the course of the Panthers’ season, which already seems doomed to failure.
3 – Craig Berube, Philadelphia Flyers
The ranks of online sport betting gurus should realize that while the Flyers have already fired a coach – Peter Laviolette, who guided the team to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final – Berube is not safe. The Flyers could be on the verge of firing their general manager, Paul Holmgren, which could leave Berube in a compromised position within the context of this season (not just the next one). Berube presided over an awful 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday, Nov. 1, in which his team got into a huge third-period brawl. The extent of that embarrassment really undercut Berube’s sense of control in Philadelphia. More incidents such as that one (not just a blowout loss, but a complete abandonment of composure) will get Berube axed.
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