For the past couple of week in this playoff grind, many fans in some Canadian cities have been rooting against their own team. The reason for this, mainly is because they want some changes in their line-up and front office. In some cases, this could be a good thing, but in other cases-- it's not the best route to go.
One set of fans got their wish, that being the Vancouver Canucks. Many Canuck fans on some fan boards have already completely gotten rid of some key players and front office personnel in order to make their team better for next year. Names going around included Todd Bertuzzi, Marc Crawford, and even Markus Naslund. That's kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but some fans are just that devoted.
Another set of fans, the Edmonton Oiler type, were hoping not to get in so they would be able to get rid of Craig MacTavish and get a new, and some think more qualified coach, behind the bench. With the Canucks losing, that gave the Oilers their spot, so it will be at least until the summer time before MacTavish is on his way out.
The third set is the Leafs fans. Some have hoped they failed in order to run Pat Quinn and John Ferguson Jr. out of town. The big issue is now with their 7-0-2 streak going down the stretch, is it harder to get them out than it was if they were 4-4-1?? Of course, unloading guys like Ed Belfour and Eric Lindros could bring some more of the youth movement in, but with the Leafs, you never know what could happen next.
The biggest question will have to be if this is the right way to go about things to get results. It's easy to demolish a team when things are down, but it's never easy to keep it the status quo into the next season. In some cases, sure-- a regime change or some player changes could be needed, but in most cases, they are the worst thing that could happen. Especially if a team is close enough to reaching the Cup finals, then destroying the team is the worst thing that could happen, because the whole "what if" thing comes into play if the departed players start to rip it up again.
So, if/when these things do happen, is it always for the best?? You can give us your comments at the Face Off Hockey Show email and tell us what you think is the best way to go about a high potential team not making the playoffs.