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04-14-2013, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Originally Posted by
You do but there are some rare occasions where those guys need to be sent a very strong message in order to get them to play how you want them to. If they're struggling AND not playing the way you want is when coaches really have a problem. If you're struggling but playing how they want you to, they'll let you figure it out. And they'll give you slack if you're not playing the way they want but getting it done. Thornton for a while was being very stubborn but it wasn't impacting his production even though he didn't look great at all really. Boyle is sort of unique. He really wasn't playing that badly until last week or so. He's not playing at the level he's used to but he wasn't playing badly until just recently.
They'll give Boyle a pretty long leash on this like they did Thornton but if this continues, you'll see the coaches do something about it. I think Demers has been the best overall d-man in this recent stretch but not by much over Stuart but Stuart has obviously had the better season.
I think that there are some players with the combination of talent, smarts, and drive where you should manage them at a very low level. Look at Therien vs. Bylsma in Pittsburgh or Washington pre- and post- Halak.
Boyle fits into that category the most out of anyone on the Sharks.
With Thornton and Marleau, sometimes I wonder. Both to a certain degree seem too confident in their own games to be dangerous enough.
I think you hit the nail on the head with Ehrhoff vs. Demers. Coaches, just like fans get frustrated when players go through these growing pains. Thing is, with Ehrhoff, he took a long time to developed and still never really reached that top-pairing D-man status. IMO, Ehrhoff suffered from lack of high-level hockey sense, and he eventually just plateaued with that handicap. Is Demers's the same or can he do better? Ehrhoff also took a long time to work on the aspects of his game where he struggled. Hopefully Demers is not the same.
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