The Canucks and Flyers fired their coaches over the weekend, and the Canucks took it a step further, firing their general manager as well. It’s probably too little, too late, though, as they are at or near the bottom of their respective conferences.
I would be very surprised if either team made the playoffs this season. That said, I have a little more faith in Bruce Boudreau’s ability to turn the Canucks around than I do in the Flyers’ interim head coach Mike Yeo.
Boudreau is a world-class coach who will get the best out of the roster in Vancouver. The Canucks likely won’t make the playoffs, but I expect to see more of a consistent effort from this team. Boudreau won’t stand for any less. Yeo, on the other hand, takes over for a fired coach for the third time since 2011. There are better coaches out there, but he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. It would be hard for the Flyers to be any worse than they have been, but I don’t expect them to turn their season around either.
Islanders trending in the wrong direction
Entering the season, I had the Islanders projected to win the Metropolitan Division about as often as the Hurricanes, and it’s looking like one of my worst predictions. However, most prognosticators agreed, as did the betting market. The Islanders had a tough start, with 13 road games in a row, and a COVID-19 outbreak torpedoed their chance to recover from that. Injuries to Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock have also held them back.