Brian Murray and the Ottawa Senators fired coach John Paddock and assistant coach Ron Low(e) this afternoon, in a move that many Senators fans hoped for but few may have expected to happen. Murray said that Paddock was fired because of the lack of emotion on the bench, the team's performance of late, and the embarrassing goaltending situation in Ottawa in recent months. The players may well be in some shock at these events, and some of them have spoken out in Paddock's favour, but what's done is done.
Murray will take over behind the bench again, a job that he had excelled at, and it's a sure bet that the Senators mental attitude will change over the next few games. Whether they can still salvage first place in the East is another matter, and whether the player talent that they have will be enough to make them winners again and take them to the Stanley Cup finals remains to be seen.
In some ways, I'm sorry that Paddock got the gate, but to be honest, the coach in Ottawa had to go. The fact that it was done so quickly, and so soon after the trade deadline surprised me...but I'm more relieved than anything else.