It has certainly been an unexpectedly poor start to the season for the Metropolitan Riveters. Starting out 1-5 as the league’s defending champions is not something anyone on this team could have predicted. Many fans in Riveters Nation are starting to question whether former New Jersey Devils defenseman Randy Velischek was the right person for this job, and whether or not he will even last more than one year.
Will he? Let’s dive in.
There actually is a relatively simple answer to this, and that is it all depends on how the Riveters finish the year. They have two upcoming home games against the Connecticut Whale, the only winless team remaining in the league. These are two must win games for Velischek and Metropolitan. If they do not come out of this with four points, it will only jeopardize their chances of finishing in the top-three more and, more importantly for Velischek, not keeping his job.
During this 1-5 stretch, they have only scored 10 goals, and were shutout once by the Minnesota Whitecaps, whom they got swept by in the four-game season series. The Riveters will need to call upon some of their star players to start improving and performing if they want to get back on track. It is important to note that forward Miye D’Oench will finally be returning from her leave with the team due to work concerns. It will be interesting to see the spark she brings to the table seeing as they were 11-0 with her in the lineup last season.
Take a look at this interview, namely at what coach Velischek, Rebecca Russo and Rebecca Morse had to say about him and his first time as a women’s hockey coach.
Although Velischek essentially all but admitted he knew nothing about women’s hockey, the players still seemed to be taking his hire in a positive manner. We will see if this optimism can help the Riveters string a couple of wins together as they did win their most recent game against the Boston Pride. The team is currently off due to the Four Nations Cup Tournament happening right now, but it does give the team an advantage to become more acquainted with their coach during all this practice time.
Finally, we have reached the answer to the ultimate question: Will Randy Velischek survive another season?
If the Metropolitan Riveters do not finish in the top-three and are forced to play a wild card game to enter the playoffs, I do not see any hope of him being retained. If they do manage to finish third or above, it may depend on whether or not they advance to the Isobel Cup Final after the first game, but certainly a higher chance of being retained than not. That is where we will leave the discussion on coach Velischek for the time being.