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03-26-2013, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: about last summer.
Originally Posted by
I do think there is something to be said about the sports psychology of the "superstar". Teams - especially in truly team oriented sports like hockey, basketball, soccer - that have a superstar tend to be overly deferential and/or reliant upon that player. Look at LeBron, Ronaldo, Messi, Kobe. They get their numbers not just because they're talented, but because their teammates know that talent and look for them, even when it's sometimes contrary to the best "play" available.
When a team has an overly deferential supporting cast (sometimes by virtue of lack of talent, sometimes by just being overly deferential to the superstar) teams can suffer. It's rare for a guy to be able to enhance the level of play around him, I'd limit it to just LeBron, Chris Paul, and Crosby in North American sports.
I think that's the argument to make for Nash, and the changes with the Rangers and Blue Jackets. Nash is a good player, a very talented player, but teammates are asking him to do too much and looking for him to provide more than he's capable of giving.
Not to stir this back up again too much...
Nash was the best player and was also the longest tenured.
The problem was multifaceted:
1. The younger skill guys (i.e., Brassard and Voracek) would almost always defer to Rick. Meaning, if they were coming down the ice on a 3 on 2 or 2 on 1, Nash would end up with the puck since the others would pass it to him all the time.
1b. Other teams were well aware of issue #1, "you stop Nash, you stop the Blue Jackets" and would focus all their attention on Nash.
2. Older guys who were brought in to be "leaders" (i.e. Chris Clark, Ethan Moreau) didn't want to step on toes when brought into a new situation.
3. Doug MacLean seemed to neuter anyone with an opinion and gut the team of older players that could have been very good mentors. (i.e. Fedorov (made a comment to the media about Nash and Zherdev then got chewed out and decided to keep his mouth shut from then on even though he was correct in his comment) and Luke Richardson)
4. Howson failed to recognize the value in certain players "glue guys" and traded them away or didn't resign them (i.e., Jody Shelley, Manny Malhotra, Mike Peca)
On all teams there needs to be a balance of skill and drive/heart. The CBJ had a bad balance last year. This year, what the team is lacking in skill (particularly finishing) it has the drive and heart in spades. It is rather like the first season where the entire team appears to have a chip on their collective shoulders. Last year's team would crumple at the first sign of adversity, not this year.
It is too bad that Huselius was hurt before 2011/2012. I think the combo of Huselius / Carter / Nash could have worked quite well, but we never got to see it.
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