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International Tournaments Discuss international tournaments such as the World Juniors, Olympic hockey, and Ice Hockey World Championships, as they take place; or discuss past tournaments.

Everything Canada (goaltending, coaching, future)

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Old
01-04-2013, 12:19 PM
  #251
Insta
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The country basically stops to watch this tourney when Canada is in the finals so to say TSN shouldn't be doing tons of coverage on it is silly. It isn't TSN that puts the pressure on, it is the entire country who demands gold.

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01-04-2013, 12:37 PM
  #252
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I will say this as an American, it was an interesting direction we went with this year. Usually the brass pick an NCAA coach. Last year we had Dean Blais, Nebraska-Omaha coach who returned after winning the Gold medal in 2010. 2011 we had Keith Allain, Yale's head coach. There are two points I'd like to make here. First it's interesting to note that Dean Blais both took us to the Gold Medal and took us to the relegation zone. That brings into question just how important a good coach is? I don't know the answer to that frankly. Maybe the US won the Gold medal in 2010 in spite of the coach? Or maybe the team last year fell apart in spite of the coach? Maybe he simply didn't have much influence at all.


The interesting thing this year that happened was Housley being named head coach. He's a high school coach in Minnesota. This allowed him to focus entirely on the U20 head coach position during the college season, whereas most years our coaches are busy coaching their NCAA teams and only show up to coach the U20 team in December. He didn't come in with any biases as an NCAA coach. 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.

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01-04-2013, 01:08 PM
  #253
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Originally Posted by Deezzy22 View Post
Has anyone ever thought that the immense pressure to win gold we place on these 17-19 year old kids may have an adverse effect on their performance. I 'd be hard pressed to find another tourney other then the Olympics that we place so much pressure on the players to win. What other hockey country other then Russia is a Gold medal expected at every event we are in?
No other country "expects" gold. No other country's fans go to rival country's games just to boo them (also remember the age of the players some of you are booing). Take it for what it is Canada; A simple tournament between young hockey players. You guys take it way too seriously as fans.

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01-04-2013, 01:11 PM
  #254
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
I will say this as an American, it was an interesting direction we went with this year. Usually the brass pick an NCAA coach. Last year we had Dean Blais, Nebraska-Omaha coach who returned after winning the Gold medal in 2010. 2011 we had Keith Allain, Yale's head coach. There are two points I'd like to make here. First it's interesting to note that Dean Blais both took us to the Gold Medal and took us to the relegation zone. That brings into question just how important a good coach is? I don't know the answer to that frankly. Maybe the US won the Gold medal in 2010 in spite of the coach? Or maybe the team last year fell apart in spite of the coach? Maybe he simply didn't have much influence at all.


The interesting thing this year that happened was Housley being named head coach. He's a high school coach in Minnesota. This allowed him to focus entirely on the U20 head coach position during the college season, whereas most years our coaches are busy coaching their NCAA teams and only show up to coach the U20 team in December. He didn't come in with any biases as an NCAA coach. 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.
I also like Housley's approach to roll 4 lines through the entire compressed schedule of the WJCs. By the time the second USA-CAN showdown came around, you could see that the top USA lines had more left to contribute than the top CAN lines. That has to have something to do with how Spott decided to shorten his bench every game. Every USA player had chances to both get involved, and work through any issues gelling with linemates in various situations under various amounts of pressure. There was a tweak here and there, and guys like Grimaldi had to spend extended some time on the pine while a message or two sunk in, but point remains that Housley stuck with all of his guns.

And when you think about it, this was supposed to be a "dream team" year, in which there was unprecedented skill/depth. Where is the harm in rolling 4 lines of such depth, unless you brought the wrong horses to the show in the first place... hmmm, Mr. Spott? Finding himself "having to" shortening the bench and still not getting optimum results just shows the lack of vision, preparation, and tactical ability of this year's staff. Housley gets all that, and finds himself in the championship game on Saturday. I feel like Spott brought a couple of fancy knives to a gun show (particularly Murphy and Lipon), and got burned for it in the end (on top of his tactical shortcomings as a coach).


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01-04-2013, 01:16 PM
  #255
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I also like Housley's approach to roll 4 lines through the entire compressed schedule of the WJCs. By the time the second USA-CAN showdown came around, you could see that the top USA lines had more left to contribute than the top CAN lines. That has to have something to do with how Spott decided to shorten his bench every game. Every USA player had chances to both get involved, and work through any issues gelling with linemates in various situations under various amounts of pressure. There was a tweak here and there, and guys like Grimaldi had to spend extended some time on the pine while a message or two sunk in, but point remains that Housley stuck with all of his guns.

And when you think about it, this was supposed to be a "dream team" year, in which there was unprecedented skill/depth. Where is the harm in rolling 4 lines of such depth, unless you brought the wrong horses to the show in the first place... hmmm, Mr. Spott? Finding himself "having to" shortening the bench and still not getting optimum results just shows the lack of vision, preparation, and tactical ability of this year's staff. Housley gets all that, and finds himself in the championship game on Saturday. I feel like Spott brought a couple of fancy knives to a gun show, and got burned for it in the end.
Yeah we were kind of getting on Housley for that, but in the end he made us look pretty silly.

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01-04-2013, 01:21 PM
  #256
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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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01-04-2013, 01:30 PM
  #257
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I'd like to see a full-time coach. As somebody said -- HC spends A LOT of money. I can't see why they couldn't hire a full-time coach.

Otherwise, I'd like to think that next year is Patrick Roy's time. If he wants it, of course.

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01-04-2013, 01:32 PM
  #258
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I don't mean to sound like a d**k but if you think a city championship where maybe a 1/4 of a city even cares compared to almost an entire nation i think letting down a city would feel a lot less emotional then letting an entire country down. The fact that these guys rebound and can carry on is a testament to their mental prowess. Letting your country down is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Any teenager able that is able to attain this level of hockey playing on a team that is fully capable of winning is going to want to win. For the same reason I say it's ******** when European fans write off a WJC loss by saying 'no one cares about it here anyways', I don't think it's a thing that the Canadian team has a tougher time because of enhanced pressure from the home front.

Wanting to win should come naturally to these kids, and I'm sure it was just as devastating to Finland/Czech/Russia as it was to Canada. You get a bit of a cushion for teams like Slovakia or Switzerland who realistically aren't expected to win, but I'm sure they will still want to win regardless and put a lot of pressure on themselves to do so.

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01-04-2013, 01:33 PM
  #259
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Mike Keenan.

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01-04-2013, 01:39 PM
  #260
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
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.

I haven't dissected the reasons for Canada's defeats the last few years. I just know that when my team fails I like to look at other teams to see if they are doing something right or not. This happens when your team ends up in the relegation round.

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01-04-2013, 01:40 PM
  #261
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I should also add, this 'pressure effecting performance' idea tends to come from the NHL in hockey hotbeds, primarily Canadian cities. I'm not completely sold on the idea, but in a place like Toronto every player is going to have the media in their face over every little thing and people are going to recognize you in the streets. If they are expecting you to win, then there's the more tangible pressure because it follows you everywhere. Compared to a place like say Nashville who are capable of winning when on the ice but stay relatively low key off of it.

The latter is kind of the same for team Canada here. They always have fans cheering for them, especially when playing over here, but they're far more sheltered from the media and when it's all over they'll go back to their Junior team and be completely forgotten by the national media and NHL hockey fans.

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01-04-2013, 01:49 PM
  #262
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Every year I am amazed at the smarts, poise, and game management that Canada has at these tournaments. Those years we were winning the gold, the teams were so well coached and so positionally sound I couldn't believe I was watching junior hockey. There was very little of that this year. There were chemistry & communication issues all over the place, and Spott obviously had no answer for it.

There are two quotes of Spott's that are really burning me up: after the US game, he says to reporters that we don't win "by divine right", which to me is a pretty flippant thing to say when questioned about what went wrong with a team that was so good on paper. So that's why your team failed to show up, Coach? Because we didn't have a "divine right" to win? What a cop out.

Then he says he didn't want to do or say anything different in the locker room to change things up because "there was no need to". Huh?? The team was lousy in the exhibition games, sloppy as all hell in the German game, disjointed for a good portion of the Slovakia game, completely outplayed & outworked in the round robin US game, and this bozo didn't see a need to make some adjustments? Oh, wait, he switched Drouin with Huberdeau on the top line. Second coming of Scotty Bowman, no doubt.

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01-04-2013, 02:10 PM
  #263
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TSN really annoys me with how much hype and pressure they put on these kids. I know its a big event for them but it almost makes me a little disturbed how much they focus on a tourney full of teenagers.
It's all about the money. Think about all of the viewers, sponser etc.. profit made off of this tournament. they cash in on Canadas emotional attachment to this tournament.

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01-04-2013, 02:40 PM
  #264
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Has anyone ever thought that the immense pressure to win gold we place on these 17-19 year old kids may have an adverse effect on their performance. I 'd be hard pressed to find another tourney other then the Olympics that we place so much pressure on the players to win. What other hockey country other then Russia is a Gold medal expected at every event we are in?
athletes have pressure to win? gasp! what are they going to do when the make the NHL?

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01-04-2013, 02:41 PM
  #265
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Spott may or may not be a good coach, may or may not have been the best choice for the job... I don't even have an opinion on that, don't know what criteria they have for looking for the Jr Team coach - aside from expecting they are pretty stringent criteria and they have a lot of experienced people and top candidates to consider to the extent that it would be difficult to end up with somebody truly incompetent or incapable. Nitpicking quotes or a small number of seemingly poor decisions in the aftermath of a critical loss doesn't help me decide. Good coaches have made a small number of seemingly poor decisions in the midst of overall successes too, or offered up pithy soundbites to the media.

None of it adds up to a necesssity to re-vamp the approach to the coaching staff either, IMHO. It doesn't mean you couldn't re-vamp the approach. But it would to me require a process review that wasn't just a knee-jerk reaction to a single game failure. How do you get a good enough coach? Who has the experience, who isn't going to mind not working behind a bench most of the year, and his staff, how do they stay sharp vs. bringing in active coaches who are working with and against all these same kids and players in game action constantly? I don't know. Maybe it's not an issue. Dave King's teams were touring around, he and they were staying sharp in game action, etc. I've never coached, I don't know what all is involved. But I could readily imagine a scenario where they switched approaches to a permanent staff, lost in the semi's (or earlier) to USA/Russia/Sweden again next year, and then everybody criticized the new approach and new coach just the same. In fact, I would basically *expect* that.

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01-04-2013, 03:07 PM
  #266
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AWFUL coaching by a man with good charisma. There are four reasons to thinking the coaching was bad:

1. Undisciplined play. That's a coaching responsibility to ensure players be disciplined.

2. Complaining about officiating. The coaching staff have whined about "different level of officiating", insinuating it's not good at the tourney and players have mimicked that attitude with pained looks of EXCUSES. No excuses! A coach should refuse to let any player utter any word about officiating as a cop out. It's a loser's mentality.

3. Lack of chemistry. The coaching staff are responsible for assembling lines and pairings and having players practice in a way that builds chemistry and coordinated play. Team Canada's offense has been individualistic and infrequent, disjointed and unorganized. No sign of coaching on the ice.

4. Unearned goaltending choice. The coaching staff has NOT rewarded the best performer with the starting job, hasn't even given the best performer in training camp and pre-tourney play a chance to start until the Bronze medal game. Subban has been decent BUT shaky, not bad BUT lacking confidence, okay BUT not key. And yet he wins the starting job and is rode all the way to the end of gold-medal contention without giving another goalie a chance in one (one) tourney game, especially when there was another goalie who showed MORE in training camp, MORE in pre-tourney play!!! A puzzling decision entirely on the shoulders of the coaching staff.

BTW, I thought all these things BEFORE the medal round. They are not new observations. In fact, each of them has been mentioned but spun differently in the media.

As a Canadian I hope this coaching staff is sent packing.

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01-04-2013, 03:11 PM
  #267
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You're real smart for pointing this out. Sweden and Finland might be the exception because your senior league is just weak enough that your best juniors are already playing pro since from the age of 16-17.

Look at the US and Russian team and half the players have played or are playing in the CHL.
Yeah really wish they could play in the CHL which clearly is superior to the SEL and SEL-2

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01-04-2013, 03:20 PM
  #268
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3. Lack of chemistry. The coaching staff are responsible for assembling lines and pairings and having players practice in a way that builds chemistry and coordinated play. Team Canada's offense has been individualistic and infrequent, disjointed and unorganized. No sign of coaching on the ice.


BTW, I thought all these things BEFORE the medal round. They are not new observations.
I think you're bang on. This team did not resemble the well-oiled machines we usually send to these tournaments, which is painfully ironic considering it's a lockout year. Maybe the theory that the players were believing their own pre-tourney hype also extended to the coaching staff. The players didn't seem to think they needed work ethic to succeed, maybe the coaches felt the same way.

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01-04-2013, 03:21 PM
  #269
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Canadians are really going out of their way to be polite to Subban. He was terrible. Get a good goalie, all of a sudden Canada's junior hockey program is the class of the world again.

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01-04-2013, 03:22 PM
  #270
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The development of good hockey players around the world should be a greater goal than Canada winning even more World Juniors Gold Medals than they already do. It's good for the NHL and game as a whole if more people around the world are playing hockey at a higher level.

Besides, your Junior Leagues certainly benefit from the addition of players such as Yakupov, Grigorenko, and Jones so it's a win-win for both parities involved.

I think you're making too much of an issue of it anyways. On the US team that beat Canada only Galchenyuk, Hartman, Biggs, Trochek, Jones, Murphy, Sieloff, and Gibson currently play in the CHL. All of them could have easily played in the NCAA but chose the CHL for their own personal reasons whether it be to be a higher draft pick like Jones and Galchenyuk or they were unhappy with their playing time in the NCAA like Biggs. They weren't necessarily better than the NCAA guys like Gaudreau, Miller, Kuraly, Trouba, Reilly, and McCabe.
Just for the record one other American played in the CHL last year however your point is well taken.

I think many players feel that the CHL is the best way to go to prepare for an NHL career.

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01-04-2013, 03:25 PM
  #271
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Canadians are really going out of their way to be polite to Subban. He was terrible. Get a good goalie, all of a sudden Canada's junior hockey program is the class of the world again.
Go look at his twitter mentions man... It's filled with racism, venom and downright ignorance. The general public is NOT being "polite" to Subban. From what I see he's being blamed entirely for the loss by a huge amount of people.

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01-04-2013, 03:26 PM
  #272
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I don't understand how canadians can complain about non-canadian players in CHL. It makes the leagues better for god sake. The best thing that could happen to swedish hockey is if players like Yakupov, Grigorenko et.c. went to play in the swedish junior league Superelit. So a few swedes wouldn't get a spot, but the level of play would increase immensly which equals better development for the swedes playing in Superelit.

The problem for Czech rep. and Slovakia is somewhat linked to their national junior leagues being drained of talent, with all the best leaving for CHL. This leaves a depleted league which doesn't challenge the remaining players enough. Which is good for Canada and bad for Czech rep. and slovakia in my opinion.
No one's complaining besides Don Cherry.... and you know what he's like.

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01-04-2013, 03:28 PM
  #273
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I can't believe what the reaction would be around here in 2001. You guys would be acting like hockey is dead in Canada.

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01-04-2013, 03:29 PM
  #274
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Winning a medal 14 years in a row and playing in the goal medal game how many times over the last so many years shows that Canadian junior leagues produce hockey players. Can there be improvement, always. I'd like to see more highly skilled dynamic players produced in Canada.

You'll never win all the time. Other countries are improving, other players are improving. Sometimes the best players make the worst teams. That's why the game is played on the ice as they say.

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01-04-2013, 03:37 PM
  #275
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AWFUL coaching by a man with good charisma. There are four reasons to thinking the coaching was bad:

1. Undisciplined play. That's a coaching responsibility to ensure players be disciplined.

2. Complaining about officiating. The coaching staff have whined about "different level of officiating", insinuating it's not good at the tourney and players have mimicked that attitude with pained looks of EXCUSES. No excuses! A coach should refuse to let any player utter any word about officiating as a cop out. It's a loser's mentality.
I dunno... to me this almost an annual adjustment. It's almost independent of the overall outcome. I've seen teams win the gold while being physical and running into "discipline problems" and openly questioning the officiating. Or maintain stiffer upper lips and stoicly endure. To me, it's hard to say that really makes a difference. I thought Canada had essentially been through their adjustment period by the time the pivotal game arrived. They were reasonably disciplined. At least in terms of rules violations. They just didn't play as well as Team USA did in one game. It had nothing to do with the officiating, or their perception of the officiating, or response to the officiating. If they had played better, maybe they would have won. Just like other Canadian teams have while rolling their eyes at the officiating and racking up penalties to kill off.

Quote:
4. Unearned goaltending choice. The coaching staff has NOT rewarded the best performer with the starting job, hasn't even given the best performer in training camp and pre-tourney play a chance to start until the Bronze medal game. Subban has been decent BUT shaky, not bad BUT lacking confidence, okay BUT not key. And yet he wins the starting job and is rode all the way to the end of gold-medal contention without giving another goalie a chance in one (one) tourney game, especially when there was another goalie who showed MORE in training camp, MORE in pre-tourney play!!! A puzzling decision entirely on the shoulders of the coaching staff.
I share Team Canada's opinion that Subban is their best goalie. Would I choose to play Peter Budaj over Carey Price in the playoffs or Biron over Lundqvist etc if Budaj or Biron had a couple better games leading in to the playoffs? No. Subban was excellent against USA and Russia in the preliminary round, no reason not to continue going to him against USA. And, Binnington would not have beat USA in that game either. No junior goalie on the planet would have, the margin in overall game play was too great. I can't see this as a coaching fault either.

A chacun son gout, but I'm not finding any convincing arguments against the coaching. I'm not absolving them of guilt either, mind you. I'm just doubtful that some of these are good reasons to implicate them.

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As a Canadian I hope this coaching staff is sent packing.
Well, you're going to get that wish anyway, obviously.

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