Andy Murray Out, Davis Payne In
A big change finally happened, though it took a bit longer than most of us expected. News broke today that Andy Murray has been fired from his position as head coach of the St. Louis Blues. With a .500 record of 17-17-6, and an ugly home record that ranks last in the league, it comes as no surprise that Murray has been let go. Many fans, myself included, were expecting this move to come sometime ago, but strong play against Calgary on Brett Hull night and an impressive three game win streak through Canada likely pushed this news back until now. Davis Payne, head coach of the Blues AHL affiliate the Peoria Rivermen, will step in and act as head coach.
Payne takes over right away tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks and hopefully will bring about an increased intensity at home for the fans.
Murray was often criticized by fans for his somewhat double standard on dealing with the youngsters and veterans. The young players would be sat, or would have their playing time cut short if they struggled, while the vets often would see nothing changed despite their immense struggles (Boyes, Kariya, etc).
Fans clearly want to go younger, and see these guys play much more in each game. While I understand this thought, it’s important to not forget we need to keep deploying veteran experience in addition to the young talent. I would like to see David Perron have an increased role, but Oshie I think is playing the exact right amount of time.
The Payne era (get your Major Payne jokes ready) starts tonight. Hopefully this change, which was very much needed, gets this team rolling.