Words of Wisdom for Our Ducks

Posted: 09/17/2010 by bc in Uncategorized

@Joffrey Lupul, this one might prove you’re wrong that, “You guys shouldn’t read blogs, they’ll rot your mind” 😉 This is a special “Back of the Net” offering…

You can’t win the Cup or make the playoffs in September. What happens this month can cause a team to miss out though.

Without further preamble, let’s fish out the biscuits and get straight to those words of wisdom;

Via Mark Spector of sportsnet.ca, from Sharks GM Doug Wilson, “The things that matter are the things that take place … inside your dressing room. The outside noise really has no impact on what you do.”

A couple of season ago, the Nucks were going through a particular rough patch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. As per the Nucks usual, they had stunk up the barn in October, picked it a up bit in November but were definitely slumping in December.

Trade rumors were swirling around the team. The noise was impacting the team. The GM, Nonis or Gillis, walked into the room to tell the guys the trade rumors were bunk. Nobody is leaving. He wasn’t even talking to other GM’s about trades AND if this team is going to turn it around it’s up to you guys in this room. So you guys take a good look at each other and decide how you’re going to support each and play like a team.

The Nucks turned it up a few notches and IIRC, won their division.

The past two consecutive seasons, a major theme of our Ducks has been the need to come together as a team. Scot Niedermayer, IIRC, used those words exactly, “We need to come together as a team.”

At about mid-season, after Barstool Bob’s F-bomb laced rant about supporting Coach Carlyle, Ryan Whitney talked about the need for everybody, “To buy into the system.”

At the end of last season the former captain said, “We really never came together as a team. Maybe it was the leadership.”

At a banquet, during the autograph signing, Gordie Howe bent Wayne Gretzky’s ear and joked, “Sure beats working for a leaving.” Yes it does but that’s not really why we play the game.

bbux93 posted on this website about playing for the respect of your team mates.That’s the real reason reason we play hockey.

With camp about to open, the players pretty much know if they’re on the team or not. Each guy needs to focus on just two things, (1) What each needs to do to become a better player, and (2) What each needs to do to become a better teammate.

As Doug Wilson suggested, nothing else matters.

Well…sure hope nobody’s brain rotted. Brain rot spilling on your keyboard is messy and difficult to clean up 😉

  1. czhokej says:

    Interesting points. It makes me wonder whether suddenly everybody loves the coach, whom they wanted to depose twice not so long ago. I just hope there are no major problems among our players.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    This post makes me think again about the impact of a change in coaching made on the ’09 Penguins and the ’10 Coyotes. I still believe playing for the respect of you team mates is The most important consideration – but now have to ask – where does that start. Is it the job of a really smart coach to emphasize and encourage that – or does it originate with a veteran player who steps and inspires – or a combination???

    • BackCheck says:

      Oh gosh, every team is different.

      NHL Network has a half hour with Mike Keenan. In it Iron Mike explains that Mark Messier approached him and said, “Coach, we’ve done it before. You haven’t. If you let us do it. You’ll get your name on the Cup.”

      Well bbdux93 you could have knocked me over with a feather at that moment. Iron Mike? Take a back seat?

      Keenan did take a step back. And the NY Rangers ended 50 years without a Cup.

      You’ll get different opinions from different people. For me, the single biggest mistake a coach can make is coaching too much.

      Remember when the U.S. Olympic had it’s Miracle on Ice? Herb Brooks went straight to the room. The movie with Karl Malden had it right. Brooks was asked aren’t you going out (onto the ice)?

      Coach Brooks, in one hockey’s finest moments, said, “No, this is their time. They earned this.”

      Those guys were ready to hoist Coach Brooks on their shoulders and skate a lap around the rink. That’s how much they admired him.

      Thousands of people watching and cheering. Millions watching on tv.

      In that moment Coach had the presence of mind and compassion to look at his guys and say, “No this is your moment. You earned this.”

      For me, that’s the difference between a truly great coach and the other guys. Knowing when to step back let the players play.

      It’s an art not a science.

      When you bring in “players playing for the respect of their teammates” I think you’re talking about an entirely different part of the game. It’s the part that happens on the ice. The part the Coach really can’t control.

      Herb Brooks and Mike Keenan knew when to step back and let the singers do the singing. Does Randy Carlyle?

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