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04-17-2008, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by KWGoon View Post
I understand the point you're trying to make, and we have this disagreement all the time. I agree that the captain (and any other leaders on ice) have the primary responsibility after the puck drops. But before they get in the rink the primary responsibility belongs to the coach. He has to prepare the team to anticipate what the other team is likely to do. I think quite frankly you're skipping over that step, assuming JM handled it admirably, but this is exactly what I and some others have been pounding on. JM has not been effective in preparing the team night in night out. That's why I don't agree with blaming Olli primarily. Yes, the game is won and lost on the ice, but a poorly prepared team will end up with an L more often than not, despite any heroics on part of a captain.

BTW - Thornton is an A, not C. Marleau is the C. I'm not calling you on that, the reason to bring it up is that here is a team that has their primary superstar wearing an A with someone else as C. When Olli said he'd willingly hand over the C to a worthy candidate, maybe this is a model he had in mind.
forgot that marleau wears the C there, you're right. in any case, the on ice leaders have to step up in that case. sarich's hit was a catalyst but it didn't have to be. i was watching another game - nsh/det - and bonk was hammered. it was a similar situation but nashville did not wilt. thinking back though, i really don't think SJ was on fire at the beginning of that game - calgary just was not awake and their coverage was awful. SJ took advantage. the hit on marleau was probably more a wake up call to calgary than a blow to SJ.

wrt the panthers, i'm not overlooking that fact. teams can be prepared perfectly and still come out on the ice flat. as i've said, the fact that this team competed consistently this year (every team has a few stinkers) speaks to the job the coaching staff did. everybody here screams about having a more vocal and enthusiastic coach - that entire calgary/sj game junks the theory, imo. first of all, people point at keenan as an example of that fired up coaching style. if so, how'd he allow his team to come out flat in a critical playoff game? second, did you notice his demeanor when the score was 2-0, 3-0? emotionless. he didn't grimace, yell (that we saw). he did the one thing the coach can do - call a timeout and/or pull the goaltender. what happened next is that sarich made a big play and woke the team up. coaches play a part to be sure but this fixation on martin's style misses the mark.

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