Following the lead of my new best friend Terry Frei, we'll take a quick look at Tony Granato's first quarter season (or so) of being head coach of the Colorado Avalanche (again).
Overall, Frei's profile is more oriented toward Granato's coaching style and his relationship with the players than his actual on-the-job performance. Frei seems more interested in whether or not Granato is different from the first time he served as head coach. The best quote being---of course---from Ian Laperriere:
"He's different, which he should be. He's as approachable as if he was an assistant coach, though, which is good. You can't all of a sudden snap and be a jerk. I think he's doing great at the transition now."
Read the whole thing for some other interesting takes on Granato's stint so far from Avalanche players.
What I'm more interested in is the little block of stats Frei included at the bottom of his piece:
First year on the job
The 2008-09 records (through Monday) of NHL head coaches in their first season in their current stints:
Todd McLellan, S.J. 20-3-1 41
Tony Granato, Colorado 12-12-0 24
Ron Wilson, Toronto 9-9-6 24
Terry Murray, L.A. 10-10-3 23
Scott Gordon, N.Y. Isl. 10-12-2 22
Peter DeBoer, Florida 9-11-3 21
Craig Hartsburg, Ott. 8-10-4 20
John Anderson, Atlanta 8-12-3 19
Let's just pretend that McLellan guy isn't on the list. When you look at Granato from this perspective, he's not actually all that bad, in comparison to other coaches who are new to their respective teams. Of course, all the teams on the list with the exception of that McLellan jerk and his jerky Sharks are trying to cope with weak overall lineups, but that's how it goes.
So we know how Granato stacks up to other new and "new" coaches in the league right now. How does he compare to other Avalanche coaches? After 24 games, how were the other three (or four, if you count the first incarnation of Granato) coaches?
First Year On The Job
The records of each Colorado Avalanche coach after their first 24 games on the job.
- Marc Crawford (1995-96): 15-5-4 34
- Bob Hartley (1998-99): 11-11-2 24
- Tony Granato (2002-03): 15-6-2-1 33
- Joel Quenneville (2005-06): 13-8-3 29
- Tony Granato (2008-09): 12-12-0 24
So it's not all bad. Bob Hartley had a rough start, too, managing only a .500 record after his first 24 games just like Granato this season. But Granato Version 1.0 was significantly better, having the second-best starting record right behind Batshit Crazy Crawford. But let's remember the quality of the lineups enjoyed by Crawford, Hartley and the first Granato Administration.
So what does this tell us? There's a precedent for 24 points in 24 games already in the history of Colorado Avalanche coaches. Hartley went on to win a lot of division championships and a Stanley Cup, so things could turn around. Does Granato have a chance in hell of doing the same this year? Don't answer that.