Coach tantrums come and go, but occasionally an epic on-bench explosion deserves a bit more attention. That's never been more true than with a Manitoba Junior Hockey League coach who absolutely exploded during a playoff loss for his squad.
As noted by Prep Rally's excellent Canadian cousin blog Buzzing the Net, the coach involved in the one-man hockey demolition job you see above is Dauphin Kings head coach Marlin Murray. Evidently Murray had seen enough of his squad's 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Saints, which put the Kings 3-1 down in their MJHL first-round series.
However, rather than try to do something a bit more constructive with his criticism, Murray went destructive. Literally. The coach hurled no fewer than 12 sticks onto the ice. As Buzzing the Net's Neate Sager noted, he threw four sticks at a time on one particularly notable hurl. When he ran out of sticks, he started chucking water bottles. Then he found one remaining stick, gave the officials a mock good-job tap along the boards and continued with a pretty intense screed against their performance in the game.
Perhaps fittingly, Murray received a 12-game suspension for his tirade, all but ensuring that he won't coach again during the 2011-12 season, and likely forcing him out of the start of the 2012-13 campaign as well. That's one game for every stick he threw on the ice.
As it turns out, Murray may have had a point. Winnipeg received an astounding 15 power play opportunities in the Saints' victory, making things more than a tad bit tougher on the Kings, particularly with Dauphin already facing a 2-1 series deficit entering the contest.
Despite the severe sanctions he's facing, Murray wasn't backing off his motivation for the tirade when he was asked about it by QMI News Agency on Saturday.
"Obviously [MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis is] making a statement and making me the poster boy of my inappropriate behavior," Murray told QMI. "I take full responsibility for my actions. Did I go overboard? Absolutely. Do I regret doing it? No, I don't.
"The frustration level as far as the officiating has been concerned for the first four games of our series was at a boiling point with our players, and we had to make a stance."
To see a coach explode like that in front of a bunch of 16 and 17-year-olds is a bit surreal. Throughout the episode, skaters from both teams stayed away and gave Murray a wide berth until one Saints player slowly slid through the debris of the Dauphin coach's outrage … and as soon as he was past, Murray threw another stick, with this one actually hitting an official.
Perhaps Murray's ultimate goal was to fire his team up for the remainder of the series. One only wonders if he could have found a way to achieve that without ensuring that he wouldn't see any more of the playoffs in the process.