2016/17 Season Tidd Bits
One area we assimilate as we grow, allowance to super star players, the system is their performance. Super star athletes are those who maintain the cadence, they will continue to perform with dexterity when the opposition has been elevated to another level of resistance, they simply have the ability both physically & mentally to adjust while having an enormous pleasure in this type of confrontation.
Look at play-off players, some disappear or receive a note of “C” due to their inability to adjust or elevate their game intent. Others seem to relish this time of the season & shine. If you do not have these individuals on your team, you will not win the big one during a hard fought series. Some elite players are on teams where the depth chart is lacking, making it easier for opposition to single them out and isolate.
Coaches have to identify areas, adjust minutes accordingly while forging a bench management to the actuality.
Aspiring coaches, take some time to verify winning cup teams, pay attention to line changes, player substitution, (healthy scratches) & results, which side are the players attacking, what are the adjustments according to the score and time on clock. Who excels east/west in defensive zone, who is willing to battle longer on the wall or corners, who communicates with ease, not simply making noise. Neutral zone or defensive zone quick transition including importance of lecture & action to positional adjustments (responsibilities). Which players away from the puck can find or create time and space for continued possession possibility. These are just a few of the avenues of detail effect/affect, it takes more than a visual analysis between games, it has to transfer to “game in time actuality “, A coach’s evaluation remain as per a super star player, his/her ability to adjust quickly with a positive intent remain the difference between a good or average coach,at times an end result of making play-offs to cup winner or loser.
Congrats to Pittsburgh Penguins for their Stanley cup win, speed and more speed, Syd the Kid doing his thing and team inspired coaching performance.
Notice in season how Syd the Kid took off once he was able to be Syd the Kid again. You try to guide your stars quietly but you do not try to show them how to play, Super star athletes have a level of performance which often only they can dance with, however, their teammates and staff all benefit, as long as they maintain their cadence or are in their prime, you sit back and admire, overlook mishaps and even hold your breath at times, you cannot teach them the game nor systems, you may help them better prepare, while hoping they are at their best more often than the contrary, you may upon occasion manage their minutes or apply to putting them in situations to be more successful. Imagine Boston coaches back in the day taking away improvisation from Bobby Orr, Ask Don “Grapes” Cherry and he will be the first to tell you, how about Super Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Michael Bossy, Doug Harvey, Eric Karlsson, Raymond Bourque, Paul Coffey and company? They will decide when, how, why, where & who, this will never change, they are intelligent athletes and will eventually adjust.
A positive head up to George McPhee a solid hockey identity, for his nomination as Gm of the new Vegas team.
Someone needs to wake up one morning and hire Craig Button as their Hockey President similar to John Davidson’s team job description or as Gm, he is now well prepared.
Do not overlook Julien Brisebois, he is in a no outlet mode in Tampa career wise, Stevie Y. is in his prime, of course a Stanley cup would elevate possibilities for Brisebois elsewhere. French Canadian Gm’s are rare in NHL due to circumstances more than discrimination.
Quebec City would benefit from hiring Brisebois when they receive their team, notice the when, yes they will eventually have it, this is just a patience avenue! NHL is a business, the building was not built for Junior hockey, Bettman and company have a plan, just a question of timing & common sense.
Dave Tippet with his young gun movement has merit in Arizona and received the proper compensation role wise.
Ken Hitchcock suffered “again” from a lack of team speed during the past play-offs, this may be a difficult upcoming year for Hitch due to depth chart. Your thought process should in no way believe Hitch is going to retire after this season, he will just move on from St. Louis, however, he may just end up in Las Vegas, Los Angeles or elsewhere unless he is tired of the travel.
Buffalo are an improved hockey team, while Evander Kane will have to shape up and have a banner season both on and off the ice surface, will he last in Buffalo remain the $64,000.00 question? He needs some down time to listen & hear or hear & listen, he is not at all a lost cause.
Early hockey involvement teams are not accomplishing their role of development adequately at the minor elite hockey level, more emphasis required upon people skills & inter action remain a must.
Toronto will be knocking on the door, Babcock has a year under his belt and his players will continue to improve, are they play-off bound? Probably not but they will not be a push over, if they can hang around until February, someone is going to feel them pushing. The team identify is moving forward and players are buying in.
Tampa Bay with a healthy roster will be difficult to play against, they are deep up front and in nets, maybe another solid D man would be welcome to support Victor Hedman who plays his minutes well including at a star status. They are now experienced and know how to lose, watch out for the hunger and adjustments, my speculations remain Stevie Y. will not hesitate to pull the trigger if they under achieve, I have confidence in Cooper, the excellent communicator, the hic, he will have to improve his bench tactical/strategic management. He has to live up to his reputation as a winner, this is not only ego but his job description. Win now!
Washington Capitals lack some speed on wing however if they address this issue they will remain a formidable foe come play-offs. They have a few high end players who need and can elevate their game more than this past play-off season. They also could use another quality D man, however this is like water in the desert and those who have them, keep them. You have to develop within.
Montreal Canadians future season turns around Carey Price, Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty and “if “Alexander Radulov plays to his full potential?
Price has to remain healthy, Galchenyuk is the key if allowed to play in confidence.
Pacioretty is a goal scorer a shooter, not a checker and if he is allowed more freedom offensively, what we call legal cheating, he could hit 50/55 goals. Get him the puck & let him play. He has a good defensive mind when he decides to push it, keep him out of the corners as much as possible, again he is not a role player nor does he relish the relentless board work.
On Defense Nathan Beaulieu should be ready to step into a real top 3 role, he is an offensive D man who does not have the numbers. Give him the green light, if he fails to progress, the answer is in the pudding. His game is not going to be effective with a harness around him. It is all about confidence. Put the ball in his hands, let him be successful or a failure.
Andrew Shaw is a grinding pest, however he remains an average player, Montreal has Gallagher who is better, Shaw will not hurt but will not be the player he was in Chicago, he will receive some heat from opposition and will have to avoid taking himself out of the play otherwise Coach Therrien will be waiting.
Shea Weber sent a message, this will be interesting, all will be fine unless they try to teach or change, sparks will fly if they try that, Coach had best walk softly around him, he is not complicated, however, it would be “best to make suggestions” and nothing else in his regard.
Expect the Canadians to start the season strong, they have no choice, otherwise, there will be no grace period for coaching staff and consternation in the stands, on the streets within every discussion, Molson will not be able to halt the flow. Let us all hope it does not come to this, problem remain many are not certain concerning the integrity of the dressing room, there is always a question mark when players allow personal to over-ride common sense, regardless of situation. Winning not only heals but it hides often problem areas, “better win guys”. They will have adrenalin on their side and of course superstar Carey Price back on the ice surface. Weber will find it much more complicated in Montreal where he will find the majority of media will be flexing their vocals or fingers, he has only one privilege but he does not speak French nor is he part of the community, yet! We will see how he holds up come crunch time. They have to not only make play-offs but make a statement while there, an early exit will be a disaster!
One point of note; Montreal always had one system back in the day, “get it out of our zone as quickly as possible” and be prepared on the bench.