Old habits die hard – especially for old coaches.
Despite not having seriously coached for over 35 years, there were some mistakes the Winnipeg Jets made in the first period of their Game 2 Western Conference final matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights that drove the old bench boss crazy.
“Now look, you never, ever, ever change … until you see the puck going in the other end,” Don Cherry said of a poor Winnipeg change that led to a turnover and a subsequent Jonathan Marchessault goal on Coach’s Corner Monday.
Late in the period, with Winnipeg already trailing 1-0, the Jets’ Kyle Connor held possession of the puck in the neutral zone and tried to dump it down the ice so his team could change safely. But Connor ended up getting stripped of the puck, and while his teammates were chaning, Marchessault scored to put the Golden Knights up 2-0.
Another Winnipeg miscue Cherry pointed out was a bad penalty Brandon Tanev took when he needlessly tripped Cody Eakin. Worse yet was the location of the penalty.
“One thing that drives coaches nuts … you never take a penalty back [in the attacking zone]. Ever.”
Vegas ultimately didn’t capitalize off that power play, but Cherry’s point still stands in that there are definite dos and don’ts, even when it comes to penalties.
Though he hasn’t had to stand behind an NHL bench for a good while, the old coaching instincts are still there for 84-year-old Cherry.