Jessiman looks like a different player.
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03-09-2007, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Old Bridge, NJ
Originally Posted by
The game of hockey is extremely fast. And there are so many options in hockey. A simple short pass can be executed so diffrently, you just can't make these small plays good enough. Exactly what 1/10 of a second to move the puck, exactly what inch of the stick of the player you are passing to should you hit ect. Then there are 4 players out with you, what player, what 1/10 of a second, and where should you pass the puck too?
A hockeyplayer basically never "thinks" on the ice, he just reacts, follows his instincts.
How a guy acts on the ice, where he passes the puck, which positions he goes into, when he makes a decision to finnish a check and on are just results of his instincts. You try to stay alert on the ice and keep your beat up, and then just follow your instincts. The second you start thinking on the ice you get in trouble. Thats why you see guys who are in a scoring drough look awful, or why it looks like a D is handling a handgrande without a safty when he got the puck after making a few big misstakes.
Thought the big question is, how do you develop thoose instincts? I think there is one easy answear, you practise at it. You push your brain. It often comes and goes in stretches, you need to watch, learn and think, then after a while it becomes a instinct. Its very easy, just like devloping reflexes and everything else.
Though the important aspect is to push the brain. If you watch a AHL game one night, and NHL game another night, the diffrence in executing plays become so obvious. It often looks so hard to solve easy situation in the AHL at times, and the AHL is a really good league. Thats because every pass takes a split second longer to send down there, it takes a split second longer to recive, a player must look up a split second longer before he knows what to do, in the end if you would clock how long it takes in the AHL before one pass is completed and the guy who got the puck knows what to do with it, it will probably have taken 1.5 seconds longer then in the NHL.
A player like Martin Straka have played in the Czech Rep. He have played a ton of international hockey which is a great challenge in terms of hockey sense. He have played a ton of hockey in the NHL. Everywere he have been he have been a guy who have been involved allot in the game, you don't develop a aspect that you aren't taking part of in the game, hence why there is no reason to play a kid at a level were he are in over his head. For Straka its "so easy" to figure out what needs to be done on a line, and execute that. He doesn't have to focus on reciving a pass, its all instincts, he can think 2-3 steps ahead instead.
Look at Brendan Shanahan, it looks so easy for him too. In all honesty he handles the puck pretty bad, but it never shows. He never have to do any fancy moves.
While Jessiman is a great physical example. His instincts just aren't as developed. For whatever reason, playing in Darthmouth or if his head just aren't learning it fast. He needs to keep it really simple if he is gooing to develop these aspects, and he needs time. It not that he is stupid and goes to place x on the ice when he should go to y. Or that he is stupid and passes the puck x in stead of y. In millions of small situations he performs slightly below then what you would want, while it maybe are comming allot easier for a kid like Ryan Callahan or even Dane Byers.
Now Jessiman seems to have picked up enough to stay with the flow so he can take advantage of his shot and size. He can develop allot in raw skills too, like protecting the puck, holding on to it ect. But he could also develop his hockeysense a ton.
If a player has good natural instincts, Hockeysense can be developed faster with alot of icetime ie in football its called reps.
Because of his Draft position and his natural tools, the right thing to do is to give Hugh this ice time....EVEN IF HE IS STRUGGLING. Putting a player like Hugh on the fourth line or scratching him in the minors is like taking your retirement savings when you 22 and putting it in a money market. He needs minutes to develop. Even if there is a player who is playing better but has less upside. The Wolfpacks' first purpose is player development, not winning or losing. I would rather play a Jessiman type over a Ibister type who may produce more but is nothing more than a marginal NHL player.
Hugh needs icetime to develop the Hockeysense. It looks like he has the natural ability to have this Hockeysense but needs those reps to bring that Hockeysense to its full potential.
At this point, unless Hugh starts dogging it, he needs that icetime. Even if he slumps.
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