"The timeout in Game 3 … First of all, Tazer, they had an offensive zone faceoff at four minutes and didn’t work out. They ended up getting hemmed in for a minute. I think that took a lot out of him. And then when we got his next shift, I think it was around the two-minute mark. He just looked like he didn’t have any juice. Looking at him on the bench too, just felt like he was gassed. I didn’t think that 30 seconds was going to be enough to get him ready to go."--Jeremy Colliton
"We felt like Quenneville... we knew Tazer liked playing with Quenneville. He talked about it a lot during the year that he enjoyed playing with him. Just a way to inject a bigger body, physical, good shot."--Jeremy Colliton
The three biggest criticisms of Jeremy Colliton at the end of Game 5 were his lack of timeout at the end, not playing his best center, and dressing Quenneville and putting him on Toews' wing. In two answers he managed to put all of the blame on his captain. That is truly remarkable. And...I would venture to guess...completely and unequivocally false.
Jonathan Toews played a total 18 minutes in Game 5. A work load that he is definitely comfortable with historically. And by historically I don't mean 2010. I mean this year, the year of our Lord Two-Thousand-And-Twenty. This regular season Toews averaged nearly 20 mins of ice per game. Now, certainly you could argue that playing against Vegas every other night takes something out of you because of course it does. More intensity, better opponent, post-quarantine, all of that. Toews might have been tired. I don't know. You know who was probably a good guy to ask? Jonathan Toews. The guy who was lauded as an expert communicator when he was hired didn't even think to ask Toews, apparently. Didn't think to ask him if an extra 30 second blow would give him what he needed to give everything he has for another minute or so to get one goal to extend the season.
I appreciate Colliton explaining his logic. His logic isn't completely foolish
"On the other side of it, Vegas, they were 40 seconds in. It was an icing. (Max) Pacioretty iced it. The guys they had on the ice (probably not who they wanted), their D pairing probably, (Nate) Schmidt and (Brayden) McNabb, but the forwards, they didn’t have a right-handed center 40 seconds into the shift. So we felt our guys were fresh enough, and (Dylan Strome) Stromer, we felt he had a really good game. Faceoff-wise, he was our best guy that game. It didn’t work out. We won the faceoff, but we weren’t able to create enough."--Colliton
On some levels this makes some sense. You have to ask yourself though "Is Jonathan Toews far and away my best center at this point?"...the answer is yes. "Does Jonathan Toews give me the best possible chance at tying the game regardless of opponent?"...the answer is yes. "Are his legs broken?"...they were not.
So then you have to just say we are calling our timeout here and we are giving our best players a chance to be at their best. You throw Toews, Kane, Kubalik, Saad, Keith, and depending on where the faceoff is and how has possession either Dach/Debrincat/or Murphy with the goalie pulled.
All young Jeremy has to do is say "here is what I was thinking in real time and why(as he did above) and then say "I fucked up". And you know what would happen....EVERYONE would forgive him. People fuck up. That is a universal truth. I have probably fucked up several things in this very blog. Instead of taking Toews, your captain and probably the second best player in the history of the franchise, and promptly throwing him under the bus by saying he had nothing left after 18 minutes of ice and he wasn't good in the entire series, you put the blame on yourself and protect your guys. That is what a leader does. Young Jeremy consistently throws his guys under the bus with the media. He's been doing it basically since he got the job. It's basically the complete opposite of Joel when the media would ask him about a player who had an objectively horrendous game and Joel would lower his voice, squint, and say "he was okay". That guy might be scratched the next night. He might be bumped down a line. One thing he wasn't was publicly embarrassed. That is what Colliton did to Toews with that answer.
Maybe Toews was tired. Maybe he was tired because he had Quenneville on his wing all night instead of Saad. But hey...according to Jeremy that was basically Toews' idea too. Jeremy said that Toews said he liked playing Quenneville during the year. And that clearly carries weight which is why Stan and Jeremy sent Quenneville to Rockford and didn't have him back in the lineup until the bubble. Toews probably was saying he likes playing FOR Quenneville a lot during the year. Instead, Colliton took a guy who he deemed not good enough for the NHL regular season back in November and threw him out there with Toews for nearly 14 minutes and then wondered why the Toews line wasn't effective.
People make mistakes. Colliton is a young guy in his first ever truly high leverage moment. I think fans, media, and perhaps his own players would cut him some slack if he simply said that he made a mistake and didn't sewer his own guys. People respect honesty. Fans are smarter than coaches and management realize, but this isn't even about that. This is about having character and leadership and once again when presented with an opportunity to do the right thing, Jeremy went the other direction.
Just say with me, it will set you free..."I...fucked...up"