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12-02-2003, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gretzky2kurri
Because the mentality around here is that they are just frikking GUIDANCE COUNSELORS!

In my veiw a good coach knows how to tweak each individual player in the proper way to get the best results. Every player responds differently to a coaches input, so I feel it's damn important.
Did you know that you can train a labrat to instinctively know how to maneuvre through a maze from start to finish at the fastest route, but the second you put it under any mental pressure (i.e. put a cat in with it), it's performance radically changes, either for better or worse?

You can hammer it into someones head how to do something, or you could have them at their absolute best, but it doesn't mean that when the time comes to perform, they won't mess up, or they won't make bad decisions.

A good coach knows how to get his team up for the big games.
Explain something to me...

You get paid $1M+, and you need someone who played 15 years ago to get you pumped up and excited over a game? Or a game against a division rival, or against a team who has beaten you 11 out of the last 14 games? If you need someone to "get you up" for these games, someone messed up big time when they were judging your character.

A good coach knows how to make players accountable and make them play for each other.
What hint have you gotten that these guys don't play for each other? There has been benchings, bag skates, probably more than a few ***** sessions... other than a public flogging and/or execution, what more is there to do to make a player accountable (taking budget restrictions into account)?

A good coach can turn a mediocre team into BELEIVERS. Beleivers in themselves...........and beleivers in a system. That's right......a SYSTEM.
When the team is winning, everyone beleives in the system. 2 weeks ago everyone loved the fast skating Oilers, and their offensive production. Now the players suddenly don't beleive? They out-played both the Avalanch and the Sharks, and lost. They are winless in 5, but in that time, they were out-played (effort wise) once. That isn't the sign of a team who doesn't beleive, it is the sign of a team who isn't executing, which is a big difference. If this team was losing like they were, but getting massively out-shot and out-chanced, then you may have a point, but they aren't. They are controlling the play, but they aren't finishing. That isn't the system, that is the player.

And no folks, "Let's play chase the loose puck" is NOT a system! Nor is, "If we skate faster than the opposition and lob pucks from anywhere on net we should win".
Because I am sure Mac-T's whole offensive philosophy is "lob the puck at the goalie". The Oilers right now pannic. They pannic on the PK, on the PP, and when they are having trouble scoring. Instead of killing the penalty, we have 2 forwards leaving the zone before the puck is even cleared. That isn't the system, that is forwards making very poor decisions. The defenceman chasing the puck carrier into the corner and leaving a man open out front isn't the system, it is the defenceman making a very poor decision.

A good coach knows how to choose his line-up before January and stick with it until it's quite obvious he's going backwards.........not 10 minutes after a game starts when things don't go EXACTLY as planned. A good coach allows enough time for linemates to get used to each other. A good coach thinks long and hard before he makes these decisions........because in a perfect world, he's going to go with it for more than 1-2 games.
We had a coach like that... his name was Ron Low. Remember him? "Oh, we are losing 2-0 10 minutes in, let's just ride it out. Damn, 3rd period, it's still 2-0, better try and change now. Oh well, game over, we lost 2-1." There is nothing wrong with being proactive. Then according to you, the next time Mac-T comes out with a lineup, you won't criticize it if he leaves it for 10 games, no matter what. There are 200 GM's on this board who can't even decide what they think the lineup should be from one day to the next. Horcoff is in the lineup... according to you, that should be okay because he is waiting for it to show he is going backwards.

This isn't Colorado, where they can be mediocre for 42 games, then turn it on and blow past everyone with all their talent. The Oilers can't afford to be 15 points back in January. This team has to go with the mentality that they need to win the very next shift, nevermind the game. There were only a handful of teams who had a leading scorer with less points than Edmonton's top scorer. This team does not have an abundance of top line talent. Nor does it have that guy who can take a game by the horns consistantly. They need 2 or 3 or 4 lines playing at a high level to win. In order to do that, you need to make changes as you go along.

It just bugs me how people say it's ALL the PLAYERS fault when the team is faultering. So if the player won't listen to the's the players fault for playing poorly. True enough........but WHY isn't the player listening to the coach? (THIS IS A VERY LEGITIMATE QUESTION) Why doesn't the coach have the respect of his players enough to follow instructions? I don't know..........should we ask the coach? Apparently not.............because he's just a guidance counsellor today.
The players are on the ice. The players make a decision. The players move the puck. You cannot teach instinctive decision making. Whether you should hammer it off the glass, or flip it up high and out, or whether you should wind up to slap it out, skate all the way to the puck and force it out. It has nothing to do with the player not listening to the coach, because it isn't the same mistakes being made. It isn't that the penalty killers are too aggressive, or too passive, it's that they continually make the wrong decisions. That isn't coaching, that is playing. When the defenceman is at the point with his stick along the boards, that is when you need to be aggressive. When the puck carrier is standing in the corner waiting for a man to get open, you can't have 3 guys after him. I mean, I can't beleive that the Oilers made a completely drastic change to the pk to the point where it is significantly worse than last year. The only major change is a player or two who made a lot more correct decisions while out there than wrong ones.

If a school "class average" is low because they don't listen.......should it be ALL the students fault that they don't listen? Well that's the simpletons answer. But wouldn't the school board or principal want to dig a little DEEPER to find out WHY the students won't listen or don't care? I damn well would hope so. To just throw your hands in the air and say, "the low average is all the kids fault" is narrow minded and foolish. Certainly it's not ALL the teachers fault. But come on people......get serious already.
You are comparing children to adults, which is unrealistic. The very basic principle is similar, but the circumstances are completely different.

There is often a reason for certain behaivior. Perhaps accountabilty. Perhaps fear of being embarrased in front of the classmates.....who knows? Good teachers have their own ways of making students listen and be accountable. So do good coaches.
And what is being accountable? Would it make you feel better if Mac-T singled out players after every game? It isn't like the team is getting dominated in every aspect. They have played very well the past two games, firing 70+ shots on the net but just 2 goals. They dominated the sharks out-shooting them 15-1 in the first period, but came out tied 1-1. That isn't coaching, that is bad luck, and failure to execute.

Everyone hates Keenan. Go look at his win/loss record. The teacher I feared/hated the most in school, helped me get the best marks ever. This doesn't mean that this approach to the student behind me in class was gonna work though. After that most successful year of school, I had the utmost respect for the guy and fought to get back into his classes.
Keenan also can't hold a job... if he was such a great coach, he wouldn't be out of work every 2-3 years. He may have a great short term effect, but what good is that?

How many times have we seen a struggling team replace the coach and suddenly they resurrect themselves and make the playoffs with ease? What happened there? You're right!!! It's the players! The players played better and were usually more accountable. Why? Perhaps because they respected their coach and his philosophy.
Define struggling. Out of the last 5 years, how many teams have comeback from being seriously out of a playoff race to making the playoffs after they had a new coach? I honestly can't think of any right off the top of my head, and I would venture the answer isn't more than one or two. Sometimes it is simply a kick in the ass because the players feel guilty that they cost their coach a job. I wonder how many players in the past few years have blamed the coach for the teams troubles after the coach got fired? I am going to be not many.

My idea of a good coach is someone that has HIS finger on the pulse of HIS hockey team and has their EARS.
So suddenly out of nowhere, no one is listening to Mac-T? I mean, last 2 weeks ago the Oilers were this fantastic machine, and everyone was on the same page. Now, a 5 game winless skid later and Mac-T has lost the room. There was a huge article in the Toronto Sun last year about how Mac-T had lost the room, and the team still finished 13 points up on their closest chaser.

And berate me if you please (DB)...............but you won't convince me that we have that here in Edmonton.
And you have done nothing but use vague speculation. In watching most of the games, most of the problems are a result of bad decisions, or bad excecution. That to me isn't coaching. It would be coaching if the same situations and problems are arising over and over and over again, and the players are making what "the coach's system" says is the right decisions. I can't honestly beleive this is the case, because quite frankly, there is no one that stupid. When you have an average fan questioning the thought process of a player after a stupid play, you can be sure that the coach isn't sitting there saying "You did it right, they just beat us".

More posters will agree with me by this time next me.
People have been calling for Mac-T's head on and off since his first season. This isn't anything new, nor will it stop anytime soon. It is always easiest for fans to blame the following in hockey:

1. The coach
2. The goalie
3. The highest paid player
4. The 4th line plugger who is using ice they feel is better off suited to some prospect they have heard about but never, or rarely seen.

You heard it here....
I've heard it everywhere.

Blaming the coach is an excuse, and a poor one at that. There is barely a coach in pro sports anymore that lasts more than 5 seasons in the same position. Does that mean there aren't any good coaches in pro sports? The easiest person to blame is the coach, and that is always why they are the first one to get the fingers pointed at them.

Last edited by dawgbone: 12-02-2003 at 07:21 PM.
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