Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

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For a few years now, like clockwork, someone writes about how 3-on-3 in overtime would be the greatest advancement in NHL history, like a pill that simultaneously cures impotence and baldness and tastes like waffles. “It would lead to more scoring, which means fewer games would be decided by a shootout, the worst thing to happen in the world since that pill that simultaneously causes impotence and baldness and tastes like feet.”

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has been a strong proponent for using 3-on-3 overtime for quite some time, and he put it on display at his prospect tournament in Traverse City, Mich., this past weekend. Other GMs in attendance raved about the fast-paced 3-on-3 action, despite the fact that no one actually scored a goal.

This isn’t the first time 3-on-3 hockey has been examined; it was featured at the NHL’s Research, Development and Orientation camps in 2010 and 2011. The NHL wanted to be proactive and tested all kinds of rules in Toronto, but clearly everyone wants fewer games to be decided by a breakaway contest.

Here’s my problem with the entire concept of instituting 3-on-3 hockey in overtime in an effort to trim the number of games that go to shootouts – if everyone is aware that deciding games via a shootout is a bad idea, why isn’t the NHL and its GMs just, you know, abolishing the shootout altogether? Read the rest of this entry »

If you ever complete a math equation and get ??? you did it wrong.

“No pressure, we’re hiring you to save our season and hopefully be less of a surly character than your predecessor” – Excerpt from a speech given from Brian Burke to Randy Carlyle

Carlyle has the weight of the frustrated hockey world on his shoulders from here on out and it’ll be a new feeling for him. The guy has emerged from the coaching obscurity that comes with being the bench boss in Anaheim to the spotlight in Toronto. His opening cast will also be much different – J.S. Giguere and Ilya Bryzgalov won’t be kicking around like his last debut.

Carlyle got off to a good start as Toronto’s coach as the Leafs shook off a poor start to beat the Habs by a 3-1 score. Mikhail Grabovski scored twice which will no doubt make him smile for some time, and Carlyle got that first ever win out of the way which no doubt decided a few friendly office coffee bets between Leafs and Habs fans which will turn into disputes over the parameters of said bet being altered after Wilson was canned.

He was pretty happy with how he handled things apparently. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to your latest Systems Analyst post – today we take a look at trusting your teammates and acknowledging when you have defensive ”numbers” on a rush.

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Dale Hunter freaks me out. Probably because I'm afraid he'll crosscheck me from behind 3 seconds after I finish this post.

Yesterday, two NHL head coaches lost their jobs. Amazingly, neither one was named Scott Arniel or Randy Carlyle. The infamously foul-mouthed Bruce Boudreau was sent packing in favour of Capitals legend Dale Hunter, while Paul Maurice was fired from the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time in his career and was replaced by Kirk Muller, best known for his days playing for the Devils and Canadiens.

This kicked off some discussion over how coaching jobs are rarely safe in the NHL. Sure, Boudreau’s Capitals are in 8th place in the Eastern Conference, but they’re also only 3 points back of first in the Southeast Division and the underlying numbers suggest they’re likely to trend upward in the near future. So, time to put money on Dale Hunter for the Jack Adams, I guess.

The longest serving coach in the NHL right now is Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres, who started with the organization in 1997. This means he’s been with the team longer than any of the players, which is a rarity. Next is Barry Trotz, who started coaching the Nashville Predators in 1998, the same year David Legwand was drafted and played one game. After those two, however, the tenures get a lot shorter: Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Randy Carlyle of the Anaheim Ducks both started coaching in 2005 out of the lockout.

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The old adage in hockey is “you can’t give a good player a bad pass.”

As in, if a teammate moves the puck anywhere in your vicinity, you should be able to corral it. It’s similar to what you hear about wide receivers: if you can touch it, you should catch it.

That includes pucks that come at you waist high, in your triangle, and in your feet. Behind you? Well, that’s asking a little much.

Below are some tips for collecting tough passes.

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Today we’re going to look at something that’s relatively basic, but often makes the difference between a good two-way player and a one-dimensional guy: identifying your guy on the backcheck.

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Bottoms Up is a weekly feature on Backhand Shelf that admits that sometimes the underdog doesn’t win; sometimes they just lose and lose and lose some more. 

It’s November 19th, the Columbus Bluejackets are 3-13-2, and head coach Scott Arniel has not been fired. It has already been two weeks since Davis Payne was fired as the coach of the St. Louis Blues and people were shocked then that Arniel had not yet been fired. In those two weeks, the Blue Jackets have gone 1-2-1 and been outscored 12-8 in those 4 games. I’m mercifully not including the game just before Payne got fired, a 9-2 thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers.

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