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07-20-2010, 06:10 PM
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SJGoalie32's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TealTown, USA
Country: United States
Posts: 4,446
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I play to win at every level. I can have fun and recognize good play even in defeat, but I'm not out there to lose. I tend to have more fun and be generally happier when my team wins a game I played crappy in than I do when my team loses a game I played great in. Now, of course, I don't go overboard. I won't go to just any lengths to win, but I'm still going to try.

As captain of a C-level team, we have players from across the spectrum from A down to D (and even though that's the lowest league, we have some noobs that really weren't even good at D-level). I generally try to distribute ice time as evenly as possible. I try to fashion lines where lower players are matched with higher ones so we don't just end up with one line of stars and puck hogs and one terrible line that everybody else is begging to get off the ice the moment they step on. Plus, the good players tend to open up opportunities that the lower players can't generate for themselves.

Winning is not the be-all end-all of the game for our team, but it is important to a lot of players. Like me, most of my teammates are happier with a win over a loss, regardless of personal performance. So yes, at the end of a tied or one-goal game, I will throw out an all-star scoring line. A lot of the other players told me that's what they wanted, too. I won't do it for an entire game, but as a person with a functioning brain, I know which situations scream out for our best players. Why would I throw out our worst players in a 5-on-3 SH situation or a late-game situation if I have a chance to help make it better? Personally speaking, yeah I want my ice time same as everybody else, but if the difference between winning or losing just means sacrificing one 45-second shift? Everybody remembers our team's record.....nobody remembers exactly how many shifts they finished with 4 weeks ago.

Besides, everybody on our team already knows who the A players are and who the D players are. If I throw out the D players in an EN situation at the end of the game, it's like I might as well just concede the game. Or worse, throw them out there with a slim lead or a tie.....and then just tank their internal confidence as they lose game after game in that situation. I want to give them chances to play, but I'm not going to just set them up to be the catalysts for failure either.

I've played on other teams where the gap between the best and worst players was small and we did just rotate through the lines so whoever was on the ice for the crucial shifts got to play. This isn't one of those teams.

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