A lot of NHL coaching happens behind closed doors. So what hockey fans see in a coach may be completely different from how his own team sees of him. The public only judges a coach based on how he sets up his lines and deploys them during the game. They have little to actually go off of when forming their assessments. Diehard fans tend to become ravenous defenders of any move their head coach makes. Many coaches don't deserve this blind faith. Here are the six most overrated head coaches in the NHL today.
6. John Tortorella
Torts is one of the most volatile personalities in all of hockey. He speaks to the media with contempt and often rubs his own players the wrong way. Many will say that his style works and he is just getting the most out of his players. The results speak differently. Tortorella hasn't led a team deep into the playoffs since 2012. When he was handed the reigns to Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey he went 0-4, enough said.
5. Mike Sullivan
The Penguins are perennially one of the best teams every year. Before Sullivan the team suffered by having a truly incompetent coach, Dan Blysma, at the helm. So after Sullivan came in and the team starting winning cups many saw him as the missing agreement. The truth is he has one of the easiest jobs in the league unless you think it is hard to decide whether to put out Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
4. John Hynes
Hynes gets a lot of credit for the Devils recent turnaround. Yet when one actually looks into his game to game moves there are some head scratchers. His greatest move last season was playing Taylor Hall every other shift which anyone would have done. Hynes is in no way a bad coach and has helped give the Devils a new identity but he certainly isn't the main proponent of Jersey's newfound success.
3. Bruce Boudreau
Boudreau is the human embodiment of "always the bridesmaid, never the bride". Boudreau was the face of the ineptitude that led to the Capitals wasting Alex Ovechkin's prime. He then left the Capitals and has continued to lead teams to strong regular season finishes only to fall early in the playoffs. Boudreau is at his worst when coaching matters the most, which is exactly why he is on this list.
2. Jon Cooper
The Lightning have one of the most talented rosters in the NHL and are consistently at the top of the league standings. Why can't they win the big game? It is because their head coach decides that Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan need to see important minutes in the playoffs. Cooper basically lost his team the Eastern Conference Finals with his poor lineup deployment. Don't read into the hype surrounding Cooper, the players are good in spite of him.
1. Mike Babcock
Babcock is hailed as the greatest coach in the NHL. Yet the Maple Leafs have struggled in many key areas, mainly suppressing shots and holding leads. He was out coached by Bruce Cassidy in the first round of last year's playoffs. Many would think the "far and away best coach in the NHL" would realize how bad of an idea it is to anchor Auston Matthews with fourth line grinders.