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01-04-2013, 02:21 PM
  #256
Blind Gardien
nexus of the crisis
 
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
A lot of times people will wonder if a coach who sees mainly east coast or midwest players will really be in the best position to judge all the players equally. Housley didn't have that problem as he spent most of the fall flying around the country to watch guys play. With all the calls of bloody murder regarding Spott and Murphy, I think this is something to consider.
Well, Spott was coaching the challenge teams with Russia this summer, against something approaching half the pool of candidate players in the OHL, there's the Subway series flybys, and the camp process is pretty intense in Canada... I don't think player selection or any blind spots in awareness of the candidates are really an issue. In-game utilizations maybe, all the usual real-time coaching stuff like tactics, motivation, etc. We can't really know that, and one coach to the next, who knows how much they will get out of their guys on a given night or how much they'll impact the game outcome. It matters, but is so hard for us to judge.

Much is made of the Spott/Murphy connection, but in the end, Murphy is still just 1 player, not a key one, and while he has not performed well for Canada, I wouldn't say he is alone on the blueline for having played below a Team Canada standard... or that there were 100% certainly better players overlooked who would have made any difference. If Dumba or Corrado were there instead, Canada still loses that game to the USA IMHO. I don't see any glaring issues with his other player utilizations or icetime allotments or line combinations. He got most of it right, as far as I could guess. For any nitpicks about not moving MacKinnon up, and who knows how that would have worked anyway, he got it right by moving Drouin up, etc.

I just don't know what you'd do differently about the whole Team Canada process as a result of just a single game loss to the USA. Team USA was better. It was a 1-game elimination, and that's hockey. I'd personally leave it at that. You could consider last year's loss too, and then maybe question the process on a bigger scale, but I'm really not sure how you arrive at a different conclusion even then. USA, Sweden, Russia, are good teams. Yes, they can beat Canada on any given night. No need to get surprised or overly reactive about that.

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