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Jacques Martin speaks...
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07-19-2011, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Originally Posted by
yet Subban's "15 games" led to a 3-game benching... meanwhile, Gomez, Hamrlik, Cammalleri, Gionta, Spacek all had stretches as long, or longer, where their play dropped considerably, yet they didn't even see a drop in game-by-game TOI...
that kind of inconsistency in approach is a great way to alienate young players. Some guys will accept it and keep quiet (Subban, Eller), others will let it eat away at their confidence (O'Byrne, Pouliot), and others will speak up and/or pout (Lats, S.Kost)...
ultimately, from personal experience, I don't buy the argument that only guys who keep quiet and accept it are the only type of athletes you want, and I think it's a detriment to the organization if you lose players of the 2 & 3rd variety, ESPECIALLY in a cap era where getting strong play from young/cheap players is important.
yeah, I don't buy the argument that they only succeeded b/c they went to weaker teams...
Nashville finished with more pts than us, & a better offense (as amazing and sad as that is)
St-Louis had a much better offense than us, we could have used D'ago's offensive production (20 goals, 46pts in 15min/game) as opposed to platooning Darche/Moen in the top-6
Colorado, while they were bad last year, got 20min/game from O'byrne in a top pairing role, while we had to trade assets for Mara and Sopel.
we could have used all three players last year, and likely this year, all three would have been upgrades, and cheap-in house ones at that.
last time I checked, having too many quality assets was a good problem to have, especially when it's cheap improving assets as opposed to overpriced diminishing ones... but to humour you, the best case scenario to each of your questions:
- the team doesn't need to put DD on the wing to try to find some offensive depth, keeps him at centre and thus is more inclined to part with Gomez
- Eller is a centre, S.Kost is a winger... keeping S.Kost shouldn't have had any bearing on Eller, and if anything, perhaps "what happens to Eller" is that he has a talented offensive player to play with and convert the many chances he creates, instead of a stone hands grinder, thus bumping up his production and giving us a 3rd line that can actually score.
- keeping O'byrne means no need to trade assets for Mara, and perhaps having a big body physical dman makes Martin comfortable enough to actually play Weber on d, thus saving us from needing to trade even more assets for Sopel. Weber/O'Byrne bring 2 very different skill sets to the table, so keeping one would have no relevance the other, except for a coach who is only comfortable when his veteran quota is met.
absolutely a factor... but imo, a good/great coach is one who sees the potential in his athletes, and is able to effectively deliver that "wake-up" call... it's called getting your players to play to their potential, and the sad thing about Martin's approach is that, on the whole, he isn't getting that from either his vets or his young players.
while we do have some players playing up to their potential, it seems to me that we have far more, young and old, who have had back-to-back average or worse seasons, both statistically and in overall play.
i don't have time to dig it all up, but many of the players you listed had their best years after Martin, and also, you just listed a group where more than 1/2 of the players are/where all-stars... you would have to be a candidate for "worst coach ever" if you couldn't get quality play out of some of the best athletes in the league.
but what makes a good coach is getting above-average play from middle-of-the-pack and lower players.
the sens and the panthers both had several players who went on to much better things after leaving Martin... not all-stars, but effective NHLers who were stuck in situations like Pouliots while playing for Martin.
and let me make something clear, I think Martin does an excellent job with the way the team plays. I may not be a huge fan of our pop-gun offense, but you can certainly tell that we play a very effective brand of hockey, and he is getting good results from the group as a whole.
I simply believe that he could be getting even more, while playing the exact same way, if he chose to embrace his young players and help build their confidence up instead of creating, what I consider, unecessary barriers by having them on such a short leash.
it's not simply a matter of the veterans being better suited or more effective at playing the way he wants... Gomez, despite the exaggerated attempts to talk up his 2-way play, quite often makes defensive zone coverage mistakes, and Spacek didn't earn the monicker "space goat" b/c he always makes safe/effective decisions with the puck (same could be said for Wiz)... yet Martin doesn't hold them to the same standards/expectations that he holds the young players to. I don't believe that this is the best way to "teach" young players, and I don't think it gives them the best chance to succeed.
As far as i know, it seems quite natural to ask more from the young players. They're not established, they're not reliable, usually, and they always should be under pressure.
How many young players believed that their spot was guaranteed and then, stopped to work ?
Its not inconsistency, its just that the status are not the same.
How could you ask the same thing from Gomez and Desharnais ? They dont have at all the same level of experience, the same status within the team, and the same level on the ice, which is the most important !
You could bench Eller, if he's in a bad day, that wont be hard to find somebody to play instead of him.
If you bench Hamrlik, you need to find a top-pairing defenseman. Not the same problem at all !
Im not saying that they should be untouchable, but you cant ask the same things to a guy with 16 years of experience behind him and to the latest rookie in the team.
(Its not a coincidence when the ones who "accept" and understand that kind of things are stronger mentally.)
They're not going to purely weaker teams, but accordingly to their level and style, they're a much better fit than us.
Nashville is used to roll three 2nd lines, St.Louis has been destroyed by the injuries, just like Colorado, and the Avalanche wasnt that great in the first place.
Here, they were struggling, and stagnating. Its not because they are thriving somewhere else, that they would have been as successful here, you need a similar set of circumstances.
The only problem i could possibly understand is the relatively poor value we got back from Kostitsyn.
Of course having young and cheap assets is always interesting, but at the time, they were not really "assets", and their value was slowly declining. They were declining, as players.
If Sergei is still there, for instance, i think that it would have be very difficult for Desharnais to be promoted, as they have a similar style.
D'Agostini is not better than Pacioretty offensively, and he's not reliable enough to be trusted on a consistent basis for a Top-6 position. I dont see him playing on a bottom-6 role either. He only played there on a depleted St.Louis offense, while they were not very good...I cant see him fitting on a role here, honestly.
O'Byrne is not playing the same way Weber does, obviously but with Subban and Weber being ready, plus the other vets under contract, you have to make a decision between the young players.
(I may say something stupid, but does the trade of O'Byrne allowed to dress one more player, which was Desharnais ?)
You are not going to trade Hamrlik or Gill to give a shot to O'Byrne.
And Spacek was not trade-able, otherwise they would have done it.
Being able to put the fire on the young and struggling players, thats difficult. Very very difficult, every team will lose, occasionnally, players like that.
I think that a lot of our vets are playing solid hockey.
Minus Spacek and Hamrlik (but they're over-used), Cammalleri and Gomez, i cant think of a player being not as good as i feel they could be, last year.
Nashville did acquired Sergei ? They've lost Peverley and Santorelli for instance...and i think that we could agree that Trotz is a very good coach. Sometimes, you have to make a choice between young players, which is why you have some losses...
You just cant ask the same thing from each of your players, and its perfectly normal to ask more from the non-established, i just dont see why its a big deal.
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