BackChecking with: czhokej on Coach Boudreau

Posted: 07/28/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Note: This post first appeared in the comment section of the “Palmieri signs” story. I moved it to the front page, gave it it’s own story and prominence because czhokej is soliciting comments. Just felt he would get more comments on the front page than on a back page.

As always in the “BackChecking with” format, my comments are italicized.

czhokej: One thing, which actually doesn’t belong here, but it is still on my mind.

bc: it does now 🙂

czhokej: People think that I am always focused on the negative issues,

bc: Yeah, you whine like a first wife….Seriously Bud, I don’t recall anybody but you labeling or characterizing your posts on this site. Fact is only one team raises the Cup each year. Every other team falls short. Thus sport is mostly negative because ultimately, our teams lose more than they win.

czhokej: …but I have noticed that in the playoffs our coaching was not up to par. Especially at the end of the series, our system was just confusion and improvisation.

bc: Neither Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterburg had registered a point in the series until the game following Abdelkader’s hit on Toni Lydman. Wings then took 3 of the final 4 games. Datsyuk put up 2 goals and 3 assists and Zetterburg scored the winner in game 5 plus added another goal along with 4 assists.

czhokej: Tactically and strategically we were making mistakes.

bc: Part of me agrees with you because we weren’t positioned well to counter the Wings speed. The rules have taken physical teams best strategy away though. We can’t slow teams down by interfering and running picks. OTOH, Wings flash and dash game puts us in reactive rather than proactive position. When that happened we couldn’t keep up.

czkokej: Some may say that I did not like RC even though he won the Cup.  No, I really liked Randy Carlyle in 2007, but I did not like that he was not able to change the system afterwards, when it did not work anymore, when we had a different roster, and when every opponent was ready for our predictable game plan.

bc: Even in Trauma RC molded what was a run and gun team into a dump and chase puck management team.

czhokej: And I do not want to say “deja vu”, because Bruce Boudreau is a different coach and his season with the Ducks was successful, regardless of the loss to Mike Babcock.  And he is a good motivator.

bc: This isn’t so much disagreeing cz, but more I just don’t know. Where is the line between player responsibility and Coach putting them situations where they can succeed. We lost 3 games in OT and 4 games by one stinkin’ goal. Perry had no goals, Selanne 1 and Ryan 2 in seven games. Other than Getz and Beauchemin our top scorers were third and fourth line players. Our best players, were not our best players in that series. does that fall on the coach or the player?

czhokej: This comment may sound like a work of a conceited mind, but nevertheless, I would like to hear your opinion, ladies and gentlemen.

bc: Sounds more like an intelligent and passionate fan to me.


  1. bbdux93 says:

    I wish I knew enough about the Xs & Os of the game to make an intelligent comment – I don’t. I always read the posts of people like CZ and others who know the game on that level., I have great appreciation for his and their thoughts on why we failed or succeeded in a game. I do Not think of CZ as too negative.
    I can only comment on what I see as the players will to win. This past season that was much improved over the last few years under coach Carlyle.
    I am inclined to believe you get better results by being as direct as possible and by encouraging people’s good performance while offering suggestions for improvement when it’s needed. That’s about as much coaching as I know, but I think it holds true no matter who you’re working with. Managers (coaches) set the tone, determine the strategies and applaud loudly when results are better than hoped for.

    • bc says:

      There are so many moving parts to this discussion. Are we giving the Red Wings enough credit? They had the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks down 3-1 and couldn’t win that 4th game.
      We’ll never know what might have been but jeez for want of an OT goal would our Ducks have raised the Cup this year?

  2. czhokej says:

    Thank you (bc) for this article and some kind words, but as I said before, I am no expert. I am just a student of the game.
    bb, you know a lot about hockey, and I always read your posts with a great interest.

    Somehow I expected to see more comments. And also, I should have explained myself a little bit better. When I talk about strategy, I think about research, analysis of the opposing teams, their system, their frequently used game plans, quality of their individual players, their weaknesses, our resources, and communication between the coaching staff and the players. The next step, after strategy is a game plan, and then comes the system (examples of the system: neutral zone trap, left wing lock, 1-2-2 or 2-1 2 forechecking, defensive systems with breakaways, zone defense, dump and chase, puck possesion, and different pressure systems). Tactics is the actual calculated sequence. There are designed plays, with specific positioning and execution. Or another example: if the goalie is weaker on the blocker side high, shoot there. If an opposing forward is more comfortable with deke to the right, be aware of it. Against some players a physicall approach gives you an edge, speedsters must be guarded differently than slower players, top scorers may need to be restrained by an assigned man one-on-one, and then there is goalie screening, goalie irritation, provocation, embellishments, mind games, dirty plays, etc. Hardly any player has it all, some are passers, and more creative, some are skilled scorers, others have defensive abilities like frustrating and interrupting the opposition with their infringing talents. It makes a big difference how the coach uses his players in different roles. There are some great examples of effective tactical approach: a designated player guarding the other team’s quarterback – it was used against Pronger and Chara, when the other team put big bodies on them to disrupt their plays. Big body and punishing physical modus operandi was effectively used against S. Niedermayer during his pre-retirement years. Of course there are books and large volume texts written on the subject. But these little things like games within the game still fascinate me after more than 60 years of following hockey.

  3. czhokej says:

    I agree with your point of view bc, Players were big part of our demise, and mere 1 goal decided the whole outcome against Detroit. Nevertheless our game looked to me a little bit disorganized later in the series.

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