With his wife Carolyn due to give birth to their fifth child any time now, Alaska Aces coach Rob Murray departed Boise, Idaho, this morning to return to Anchorage, leaving assistant coach Louis Mass to run the bench tonight in the series finale against the Idaho Steelheads.
Don't worry, Cowbell Crew, all Louis has done is assemble an ECHL winning percentage that is at least as good as anyone who has coached on the circuit. Dude is 1-0-0 -- 1.000 winning percentage.
OK, technically, the Aces' 4-1 victory over Bakersfield on Jan. 29, 2011, was credited to then-Aces coach Brent Thompson. But Louis ran the bench that night at Sullivan Arena, when both Thompson and Condors coach Marty Raymond were serving a one-game suspension because of The Gong Show that broke out the night before in Alaska's 5-4 win. (Besides, the coaches, six Condors and three Aces were suspended -- the toll all together after the debacle that included 249 minutes -- granted, the debacle was delicious -- was 31 games worth of suspensions).
But Louis shoulda got the win, just on principle. He ran the bench. His team won. He should get the win.
Anyhow, the game that the Aces won with Louis coaching was also the game where Raymond was spotted in the stands, texting instructions to staffers on the Condors bench, which earned him another suspension.
And, for the record, Louis didn't win just one game as a bench boss that day. Earlier, he guided the North Stars Pee Wee B club to victory.
Of course, maybe the stakes are slightly higher tonight in Boise. After all, the Aces have won nine straight games.
So, no pressure, Louis.