Frantz Jean. That’s a name that has come up a lot recently. When all else fails, blame the coach. (Guy Boucher, John Totorella) In this case, it’s the goalie coach. Frantz Jean’s name didn’t come up much before last season amongst fans and blogs, however, I’ve been questioning his methods for a while.
First of all, a teacher can not make a student learn. By the time Frantz Jean gets a hold of Tampa Bay’s goalies, they are already at the NHL level. In some cases, like young goal tenders Dustin Tokarski and Cedrick Desjardins, they are transitioning from the AHL to the NHL level. Either way, these goaltenders have been doing what they do for a while and pretty much know the drill. With that said, a true athlete can never stop learning. Every athlete in every position will go through different coaches, therefore, different coaching styles. So this leads me to ask, what is it about Franz Jean that has his goaltenders watching pucks fly past them. Is it his style?
He has gone through five major promising goalies in the three seasons that he has been with the Lightning since 2010. Dan Ellis, Mike Smith, Dwayne Roloson, Mathieu Garon, and Anders Lindback. Every one of these goaltenders had or has the potential to be top goaltenders. Every one of them had a save average ranging from .904-.915 before and away from working with Frantz Jean. Every one of the five had a .900 or below while working with him.
Dwayne Roloson, who worked with Jean for 16 months, had the best average and is the only one who stayed well above .900 for a spread of time. He was aged and knew his role well. Dan Ellis was with him for 6 months. Now that he’s moved on, he isn’t doing the best, but he is better than he was. Two words. Mike Smith. Smitty had 9 months to be ruined before being moved. He has had great success with the Phoenix Coyotes, and was even the talk of the league last season during the playoffs. Mathieu Garon is extremely flexible and has great hand/eye coordination. He should be good to go in his role as the backup goaltender. Heck, he has the potential to be the number one. And so as the car parts stop working, they get changed out to make the car run better. We move on to Anders Lindback, who is still developing and is relying heavily on Frantz Jean for direction, and the newest edition Ben Bishop.
If the car won’t start, charge it. If the power keeps draining, it must be a battery problem. So we buy a new battery. But when the batteries keep dying, perhaps it’s time for a new alternator. Get my drift?
Yes, defense is a big problem with the team. You can’t win games if the offense, defense, and the goal tender are not all working well and working together. However in the end, a good defense with an open net is still pretty easy to score on. A good goaltender with a bad defense can make the difference in the game. Even in the season.
Steve Yzerman will be addressing the defense. He’s already addressed the goaltending. He has addressed the overall coaching situation. Perhaps it’s time to think about a new alternator for the car. Just throwing that out there, Jon Cooper. I’m sure you’ve heard all of this before.