Assessing Marc Crawford's 500 win career

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Marc Crawford’s coaching career has been a lot like his hair: memorable (though not coated in grease). It seems like a reasonable time to take stock of the often-emotional coach’s career since he hit the 500 coaching wins mark last night thanks to the Stars’ astonishing 8-2 beating of the San Jose Sharks.

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News lists the elite company that Crawford found himself in today.

1. Scotty Bowman, 1,244
2. Al Arbour, 782
3. Dick Irvin, Sr., 692
4. Mike Keenan, 672
5. Pat Quinn, 678 (Editor’s note: did Heika mean 658?)
6. Bryan Murray, 620
7. Jacques Lemaire, 581
8. Ron Wilson, 575
9. Jacques Martin, 552
10. Billy Reay, 542
11. Ken Hitchcock, 534
12. Joel Quenneville, 527
13. Pat Burns, 501
14. Toe Blake, 500
15. Marc Crawford, 500

That’s pretty impressive company, regardless of my feelings on “Iron” Mike Keenan.

Admittedly, I’ve been a bit critical of Crawford over the years, but his coaching record is quite substantial. In fact, let’s take a little timeline look at his coaching stops. I’ll include some noteworthy moments in each stop. Keep in mind with coaching records we’re going a crazy four columns here: wins, losses, ties and overtime losses. You so crazy, NHL Standings.


The Quebec/Colorado Era Years: 1994-98 Record: 165-88-41-0

  • Coached during Nordiques’ final season. Probably felt sad for a half minute until the Avalanche traded for Patrick Roy and they immediately won the Cup the first year of their existence. Ouch.
  • Entertained the hockey world with his bombastic arguments with opposing coaches.
  • Noteworthy for nerds like me: was a consultant of some sort for NHL ’98 (I loved that game). I know this only because it was on the back of the game box.
  • Coached Team Canada in ’98.
  • Jack Adams award winner in ’95.
Vancouver Era Years: 1998-2006; Record: 246-189-62-32
  • Helped the moribund Canucks build themselves into a contender (albeit an ultimately disappointing one) with the help of castoff talents Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi.
  • Also may have had a large part in running the organization through the mud by allegedly provoking the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident. Some think that he was actually laughing while Moore was injured on the ice.
  • Still, he was the longest tenured and won the most games as a Canucks coach in franchise history. Then again, this is the Canucks we’re talking about.
Los Angeles Era Years: 2006-08; Record: 59-84-0-21
  • His coaching tenure was – more or less – a disaster. On the bright side, snarky hockey bloggers had the chance to Photoshop beach balls behind Dan Cloutier in a brand new uniform.
Dallas Era Year: 2009-10; Record: 30-26-13
  • The Stars are almost certain to miss the playoffs this season and the franchise has plenty of questions. How long will Crawford last in Dallas?
Overall, Crawford is 500-387-103-66 in 1,056 career games coached. He’s won a Cup, a coach of the year award and lead two different franchises to the playoffs. Still, this could be his third straight year missing the playoffs. Looking over his career, I guess it’s true that I might be a little hard on the gel loving coach, but it’s fair to question his relevance these days.

 

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    The Buzzer: Job of the Hutton

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    Players of the Night

    • Carter Hutton has quietly been playing well when used (sparingly) by the St. Louis Blues, but he stepped into the spotlight on Saturday, guiding his team to a 2-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets.

    The high-powered Jets fired 48 shots on goal in this one, yet none beat Hutton, who nabbed the ninth shutout of his solid career. The 31-year-old bumped his save percentage up to a whopping .949 so far in 2017-18. He set a Blues record in doing so.

    • On Friday, Jack Eichel collected a hat trick and an assist in a losing effort. Gabriel Landeskog upped the ante one night later – literally – by scoring three goals and two assists in a game his Avalanche managed to lose anyway.

    As much attention as Nathan MacKinnon is grabbing (rightfully, as he added two goals to his impressive season so far), this marks the second hat trick of the season for Landeskog. Not bad with it still being 2017, and all.

    This was a pretty nasty game between the Avalanche and Lightning, at least at times.

    Some key highlights

    Technically, you can spell overtime without Alex Ovechkin

    (Ovechkin’s already in select GWG company.)

    Shayne Gostisbehere scored both of Philly’s goals, but the antics between Wayne Simmonds and Ben Bishop were the real highlight here:

    Speaking of Nathan MacKinnon, this is something else:

    Mathew Barzal to Jordan Eberle a combination that torments Darcy Kuemper in overtime and Peter Chiarelli, always:

    Finally, Jonathan Gibson flashes the glove in defeat:

    Factoids

    The Lightning keep piling up different milestones and accomplishments, with Mikhail Sergachev ranking among those today (as Tampa Bay won its seventh in a row):

    The cold weather didn’t slow Erik Karlsson down (more on that outdoor game here):

    Pekka Rinne‘s really been rattling off some milestones lately.

    Scores

    Oilers 3, Wild 2
    Rangers 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
    Blues 2, Jets 0
    Islanders 4, Kings 3 (OT)
    Hurricanes 2, Blue Jackets 1
    Flyers 2, Stars 1 (OT)
    Senators 3, Canadiens 0
    Capitals 3, Ducks 2 (OT)
    Penguins 4, Coyotes 2
    Lightning 6, Avalanche 5
    Predators 2, Flames 0

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Fight video: Brouwer makes Watson pay for Hathaway hit

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    Austin Watson nodded with recognition after landing a questionable hit on Garnet Hathaway on Saturday, as he understood why Troy Brouwer demanded immediate retribution.

    And, as you can see from the video above the headline, Brouwer got that bloody payback after beating Watson in a fight.

    Watson (who isn’t that far removed from a two-game suspension) was ejected for his hit. It wasn’t the only nasty moment between the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames, either, as the toxic exchanges included Anthony Bitetto‘s ugly cross-check on Sam Bennett.

    (Video or a GIF of Bitetto’s hit will be added if it becomes available.)

    Some other penalties reduced some of the advantage for the Flames, but they ultimately still received serious man-advantage opportunities amid all of the violence, and they weren’t able to convert.

    The best news is that Hathaway might end up being OK after a scary-looking check. He returned to the game during the third period.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Should Erik Johnson be suspended for ugly play on Namestnikov?

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    Vladislav Namestnikov has been the Mikael Renberg equivalent on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Legion of Doom with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov for much of this season, complimenting those two scorers with strong work of his own.

    The Lightning were lighting up the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, perhaps frustrating Erik Johnson and others. Whatever the explanation might be, it was a pretty ugly sight when Johnson slashed and then boarded Namestnikov, earning those two penalties plus a game misconduct.

    Plenty of people believe that supplemental discipline would be merited for Johnson’s actions. For what it’s worth, “Names” did return to action in the third period. We’ve seen instances where players return only to be hurt anyway, so we’ll see if the nifty winger sees any delayed issues.

    Johnson, 29, was suspended for two games by the NHL back in 2014, but has a generally clean history otherwise.

    The Lightning ultimately ended up beating the Avalanche 6-5, as Nathan MacKinnon almost led a rally with two power-play goals.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Senators blank Canadiens in NHL 100 Classic

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    One win, even in the frosty outdoors for the NHL 100 Classic, only means so much.

    Still, the Ottawa Senators probably experienced some ice-cold relief on Saturday, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 during a tightly defended outdoor bout.

    It was 0-0 for much of the game until Jean-Gabriel Pageau tipped an Erik Karlsson shot for the first goal with about five minutes remaining in the second period. Bobby Ryan then capitalized on a rough Jonathan Drouin turnover to make it 2-0, while an empty-netter iced the icy evening for Ottawa.

    For a night, it was a fun time, and Karlsson reminded us what all the fuss is about, as he logged a ridiculous 32:55 of ice time. And he seemed to be having a good time doing it.

    This night laid the “Canadian” on thick, with Bryan Adams performing during the event, and Gary Bettman posing for photos with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

    via Getty

    Weird, but OK then.

    Generally speaking, things haven’t been that OK for the Senators lately. Such headaches did surface during this frosty-mug-on-ice event, as owner Eugene Melnyk inspired a #Melnykout hashtag on Twitter, not to mention icy barbs like these.

    Fair criticisms about the Sens’ bigger picture aside, Ottawa looked nice tonight, with Karlsson shining and Craig Anderson pitching a rare shutout outdoors (shutoutdoors)?

    Carey Price generated some nice saves of his own, but couldn’t will Montreal to win in his 10th consecutive start. The Habs rarely got things going against the Senators, seen most easily in Ottawa’s 38-28 advantage in shots on goal.

    Nights like these make a bigger impact on fans’ memories and bottom lines, but this marks consecutive wins for the Senators either way. Considering the fact that the Senators hadn’t put back-to-back wins together since they faced the Avalanche in two contests in Sweden, it might not be a big deal, yet it’s far better than the nothing they’ve been coming up with far too often lately.

    Also

    In other news from the event, Mario Lemieux’s “five goals, five different ways” was named as the NHL’s greatest moment, voted by fans:

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.