Is it time for Marc Crawford to put the hammer down?
That is his history, his style. He is the uber-Ken Hitchcock, the younger, more aggressive guy who puts his foot down on the pedal and stays there.
But since it didn't pan out as well in Vancouver as it had at Colorado, and then failed miserably with Los Angeles, Crawford has tried to step back and be less aggressive here with the Stars.
The thing is, though, that the Dallas Stars Hockey Club has been given more than enough time to show that they don't need that kind of oversight, and have failed to do so.
How many times this season have you been aggravated by these guys? Seen the potential and watched them throw it away? Lose a lead and lose the overtime or shootout? Lose to a team they shouldn't lose to? Play WAY below their obvious abilities?
For me, I put up with it early in the season because of the change in style. Crawford brought in a more open game, one that involves the defense-men in the attack more and is more fluid. It requires a change in mentality and adjustments on how the team plays as a whole.
Part of my thought process was "this is what succeeds in the NHL now, so it is best to make this change and get it over with." The Stars had shown they had ability, but while I'm not entirely sure that Tippett couldn't continue to improve, I completely get that the new GM wanted to put his stamp on the team. Pair that with the style of play issue, and it made sense.
But I'm fairly certain we're beyond the window needed to adjust to this new style. (If I'm off on that, feel free to let me know in the comments section below!)
I'm thinking that at this point, it is now about the focus of the team, and that the team leadership has been given more than enough opportunity to show they can handle it on their own.
And it is clear that they haven't so far, and can we really wait much longer?
So enter the Old Marc Crawford, please. Bring on the heavy guns. Show me that lead-foot. Kick some butt, chew out some players, let it be know that this current lack of focus is completely unacceptable.
Because it is.