“Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.
Friedman’s column, June 4th: Penguins desperate for inspiration
Elliotte breaks down the plight of the Penguin, as it may be. It’s not quite as dramatic as the March of the Penguins, but it might take a comparable effort to the real flightless birds, only in hockey terms.
Friedman goes through the steps he would take if he were Dan Bylsma in some detail, but the main bullets are:
* Positive reinforcement – possibly showing positive game clips from the previous round to balance the negativity all around them
* Stop trying to prove things – as in “toughness,” which I would like to co-sign
* Be realistic about the problem – there’s almost too many to pin down, but reality is healthy
* Make them aware of the consequences – as in, half the league wants to play for Pittsburgh right now, and if given a chance, they would. Which also means some would take less money to do it. Which makes some people expendable. Which means MAYBE DON’T FLY-BY A LOOSE PUCK IN THE NEUTRAL ZONE TONIGHT IF YOU LIKE YOUR JOB. I also like this idea of Elliotte’s.
It’s all almost too much to address for Pitt, so if I’m Bylsma, I narrow the focus. “Be better everywhere,” while necessary, isn’t going to help. That’s going to happen naturally because a team that talented can’t be worse. So I focus on a few very specific things for my team to think about. Puck support, puck protection, and discipline might be good places to start. Read the rest of this entry »