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Říhá: “Please, stop!”

December 3, 2011

Říhá, in an earlier gig.

SKA St Petersburg coach Milos Říhá has his hands full, or so it seems. Sometimes, being in charge of the KHL’s richest team, one owned by League commissioner Alexander Medvedev, isn’t so easy. But when you’re loaded with talent and failing to achieve, fanbases and the media won’t remained mum for long (see: Boudreau, Bruce).

Captain Vitalij Višněvskij and Maxim Rybin told fans that Říhá needs to be allowed to coach his own team and could do without the threats and disgruntlement, IDNES.cz is reporting. Players defending their coach, novel! But from the sounds of it, the nasty jeers and cruel banners directed at the coach went too far. Říhá has been around the coaching block in the KHL, with Spartak, Atlant and now SKA. He’s no-newcomer to the woes and criticism coaches receive. But I’ve never heard of star players stepping in to mediate between fans and coaching staff. Ultimately, it was agreed that Říhá would be allowed to enjoy a “quiet game” on Sunday.

What will be interesting is if that works. There are some instances of organizations needing to step in on behalf of their fans, to save them from themselves. One instance that comes to mind is the Montreal Canadiens taking a stand against the boos that rained down in the Bell Centre during the national anthem. “Noise!” the Jumbotron always urges, but can never quite moderate. Ah, coaching.

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