"Ovy, I'm gonna need you to get your ass out of your head."
I got a note from a friend of my previous blog today that I thought brought up a fun topic – when you go to a new team, how do you figure out all the new drills in practice?
Every team and coach has their standard, favourite drills that they execute with regularity – to simplify, coaches often give them “code names” (and you know how great hockey players are with nicknames, eh “Smitty’s” of the world? It’s just about as clever with drills).
Usually, these names come from where the drill originated, or are assigned the name of a team that does them a lot, or are named by reading the collar of a random dog then assigning the drill his arbitrary name. Who knows?
The note went as such:
I skate at the Cap’s practice facility, and the other day their “Practice Line-Up/Drills” sheet was left taped to the wall. Can you tell me what any of these mean?
Tom Watt 41
2-2 Hi Low
The last two I think I have, but the first few…I’m terribly curious.
First off, that’s like a 40 minute practice, tops, so it’s a glorious thing to see when you come to the rink. And actually, besides the dreaded, hauntingly vauge “Conditioning” warning, it looks like a relatively painless day from what I can tell.
I can’t crack the Capitals pre-season practice code entirely, so here’s me swinging at a pitch just outside the zone:
Warning: pic may not be from this season.
Winnipeg BO – While it’s tempting to make a lazy joke about Winnipeg and BO, we all know it’s far too cold there for anyone to sweat. (Ha, yessssss, got a shot in anyway.) BO means breakout. My guess is the Caps don’t have Winnipeg’s systems dialed in this early in the year with a new coach, so it’s probably a throwback to whatever the original Jets used, which means it’s something simple. You know, cause in the early 90′s the game plan was essentially ”have better players, have them beat the other team.”
Blkhwk wrmpup – If you’re not sure what that is, you’re probably horrific at hangman and worse and Wheel of Fortune. I have no idea what the Blackhawk warmup is or why someone wedged an extra p in the word “warm-up,” but like I said – most classic drills are named after the place the coach first learned them. Hell, Pee-Wees do the “St. Louie” drill. God knows what year that one earned it’s name.
BONZ flow – This is a flow drill (I’m like the Hardy Boys), that goes from the breakout to the neutral zone, which in my estimation is the most common variety of mid-practice drill around. “Flow” implies they aren’t blowing the whistle to stop and start new guys, so here’s my best guess: They’re probably working on their breakout, while another line is in the neutral zone working on their neutral zone defence. Once they break it out (sometimes it takes many tries), there’ll be a dump in (and a change), and the line that was on D will go back and break out the puck, while another line comes out and waits in the neutral zone. It “flows” like that. Read the rest of this entry »