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Creme Kev Dineen… And Montelimat

Somehow the name Kevin Dineen escaped our attention when we were speculating who would replace Jamie Kompon and whatever it was he actually did here. It probably shouldn’t have. After all, Dineen was a Whaler when Q was, and a very decent one at that. What Dineen didn’t have was previous coaching experience with Quenneville, so maybe that’s why we missed him.

Dineen has various head coaching experience in a lot of places. He was an AHL coach for six years in Portland, for both the Anaheim and Buffalo organizations. His record there was very impressive, as the Pirates amasses 39+ wins five out of six seasons.

He then went to Florida, to take over the Panthers in their Garage Sale Binge phase, where Dineen took all of their 11 signings and acquisitions in the summer of 2011 and got the Panthers to a Southeast Division title, even if that division was terrible. It took until overtime in a Game 7 for the Devils to eliminate them. But Dineen only got a season and a month after that, and was axed, even though the team was basically garbage.

Dineen since took over Canada’s women’s team, who did win a Gold Medal in Sochi. So there’s a decent resume here. And you have to believe Dineen views this as a platform to eventually get another coaching gig in the NHL.

Will Dineen help the power play? I really have no idea. Florida finished 7th in the PP in their playoff year, and 6th the next year when they were bad. So take that for what you will.

-Now that the World Cup is over, and I have a lot of time to sit and do nothing and get lost in my own head, I find it interesting and fun to look at how the general ethos over how you win in both hockey and soccer tend to evolve in the same ways.

In soccer, now everyone wants to be Germany and Bayern Munich. A couple years ago it was Spain and Barcelona. With Spain, it was about possession all the time and comfort with the ball. Not everyone could do it, but they all tried. Even Germany, until they realized that they could kind of do what Barcelona and Spain did but at a much higher speed, and cut out some of the fat in attacking, Instead of probing and prodding, Germany and their higher club teams thrash and slice and get up the pitch as quickly as possible, but with movement and passing instead of hoofing it forward. When they lose the ball, it’s a mad rush to get it back and then get back up the field again to score.

There’s kind of the same evolvement in hockey. A few years ago, it was all about possession, possession, possession, what the Hawks and Red Wings and a few others did. Have the puck, carry it in, play out of your defense. The Kings played a different version of this where they nullified your possession but weren’t all that concerned with how they used the puck when they had it. They loved to get it deep and go get it.

But now teams are trying to take what the Hawks did and speed it up. Even the Kings, who beat the Hawks at their own game. They added Gaborik, Toffoli, Pearson, while dropping some of their road-graters either down the lineup or into the garbage can. Other teams did as well, though less successfully. The Rangers scrapped Torts’s bomb shelter ways for the go-go methods of Alain Vigneault. Anaheim is another. Dallas, Minnesota, Colorado are all trying to not just up their possession and skill but the speed at which they play it. Even St. Louis somewhat gets it. And the Hawks’ moves this summer, be they signings or promotions within, are meant to up the skill and speed from previous seasons. Everyone wants to score on the rush now.

What did we complain most about the Hawks system? That it was too home-run-pass-y, too Hollywood pass, not enough building speed through the neutral zone with short passes and bodies and movement, but trying to bypass all that at once. This is exactly how Germany tries to play, and a lot of other nations.

Just kind of entertaining to see how they dovetail in these sports. Because in the end, the aims are the same. It’s the search for space to create a goal. It’s pulling apart and beating defenses to give yourself shooting opportunities.

Anyway, soccer thing over.

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