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The connections between football and hockey end when you say they’re both physical, team sports. Aside from that, there isn’t much correlation between the two.
But there is another potential connection to be found in Colorado when it comes to coaching. More specifically: Could a rookie NHL coach who floundered in his first season but is thriving in his second help build a case for why rookie NFL coach Vance Joseph deserved a second shot? It is imperative to point out that Bednar did have prior head coaching experience before manning the bench in Colorado, unlike Joseph. Both were rookie professional head coaches, though.
When news broke that Joseph would return to the Denver Broncos for his second season, I hated the decision. In fact, up until Monday night I felt the same way. “Why delay the inevitable when you know how this ends?” My “a-ha” moment came shortly after the Colorado Avalanche beat the Toronto Maple Leafs to extend their winning streak to 10 games. Sadly, the streak ended on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, but I digress.
It was then that I was told on Twitter, “Jared Bednar is the only argument that makes sense to me to give Vance Joseph another year.” I thought about that, and it’s spot on.
As I said on the latest MHR Radio Podcast, the Avs were the worst team in the NHL last season … by a mile. On top of that, Bednar looked out of his element and wholly incompetent. He showed no promise or reason for Joe Sakic and the franchise to stick with him.
Don’t look now but the Avalanche have been one of the best teams in the league since early November and are in playoff contention in the Central Division. It’s a remarkable turnaround from what was on the ice last season.
That led me to ponder: Could the same happen with Joseph and the Broncos in 2018? Given that it’s the end of January and training camp is six months way, there is no way to answer that question.
But when you see a similar situation play out on the ice for the Avs, it definitely forces one to see Elway’s decision in a new light. Despite all the reasons Joseph deserved a pink slip, perhaps Elway and the Broncos saw a similar second-season turnaround on the horizon.
The MHR Radio Podcast is now on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear what you hear on iTunes.