Mangini Remains for 2010, NHL Notes

Good Morning Sports Fans!

After days of speculation, the Cleveland Browns announced that Eric Mangini will remain as head coach of the team for 2010. Earlier this week, Browns President Mike Holmgren met with Mangini on numerous occasions to discuss whether or not the coach could be on “the same wavelength” as everyone else. Based off Holmgren’s decision, it appears Mangini has earned himself at least one more season to prove himself.

Based off earlier speculation and how poorly the team played this season, it was unlikely Mangini was going to be retained in the first place. Mangini created several enemies in both the locker room and in the media and had one of the worst offenses in the NFL. He had a coaching staff that was less then perfect and had an offensive coordinator that never had an experience calling plays until this season. Before the last four games of the season, it appeared the Browns were on their way to a 1-15 season based off their inability to score, move the ball down the field and stay close in any game.

Even though it appeared at times Mangini should not have deserved another season, firing him would have caused more work and forced the organization to start over once again. Holmgren would not have been allowed to interview candidates on teams that are in the playoffs, Bill Cowher already has stated he does not want to come back in coach in 2010, the Browns would have had a public relations nightmare hiring someone who failed somewhere else and some of the available coaches out there have had moderate success. Current Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox was said to be a candidate should the Browns head coaching job be open but in reality, Fox is a Jekyll and Hyde type of coach. Since taking over the head coaching position, Fox’s Panthers have been inconsistent in terms of consecutive winning seasons and has often been rumored to be let go. Fox has helped the Panthers become competitive at times but has had his losing seasons while with the organization. The Browns are looking to be a consistent winner among the league’s best and would risk those chances of reaching that status by bringing in a new head coach.

During this process, Holmgren was fair to Mangini. Being a former coach, Holmgren has stressed that he believed he owed Mangini an opportunity to get at least one more year as the head coach. Holmgren must have seen what happened in the last four games of the season and did not want to disrupt that by changing the coaching staff.

Moving from Berea to the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets were victorious on their road trip last night with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

In the first period, the Blue Jackets got on the board first with a goal by RJ Umberger at 16:40 of the first period. The lead would not last long as Oilers tied the game up :19 seconds later when Fernando Pisani put one past Blue Jackets goaltender Mathieu Garon to make it a 1-1 hockey game.

Moving to the second period, the Blue Jackets would regain the lead with a goal by Antoine Vermette just a little over a minute into the period.

In the third period, the Oilers would tie it again with a goal by Sam Gagner. The tie game would not last long as Blue Jackets forward Kristian Huselius put one into the back of the net to put the Jackets up 3-2. Columbus would seal the deal minutes later as Jan Hejda scored to make it a 4-2 hockey game.

The Jackets have been streaky at times this season but could make a late season surge if they continue to play well. They will need to continue to take and maintain leads in games and could be a surprise coming out of the All-Star Break. The Blue Jackets will need to play better on defense, play hard for three periods and they could be a surprising team down the stretch.

In other NHL action, the Philadelphia Flyers destroyed the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-4 in another battle for Pennsylvania. The Penguins and Flyers rivalry is like no other and with it being a divisional game, this loss hurts for the Penguins. The Penguins have been streaky lately and have not been playing as well as they did earlier this season.

If the Penguins want to continue their success from last season, they will have to play better against their own division. The New Jersey Devils are playing excellent hockey this season and have a lead in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins will have to learn how to beat them and their other divisional opponents this year if they want to have a shot at the division title. Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is having one of his best seasons and New Jeresy will be tough to catch up to down the stretch.

That’s it for now. Keep it real.

Jeff

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~ by jeffrsabo on January 8, 2010.

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