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How do you deal with being on the team that always loses?

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Old
07-16-2013, 03:16 AM
  #26
madguitarist
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Originally Posted by JoeCool16 View Post
I'm all for being competitive, but I'd advise against blocking shots when you're not winning games or heading to championships. There'll be a time it might make a sort of crazy sense (I went down for a couple in our championship game when we were up by 1 with a minute left) but I agree with the rest.

As a team practice breakout strategies and zone entry, focus on simple puck movement and don't worry so much about that one thing you can't change. Maybe once you accept you'll probably lose you'll play better too!
If your keeper's the weak link, help him get stronger. Talk to him, and find out what shots give him fits or what plays are leading to his issues stopping the puck. For me, I have a lot of trouble with guys backing in too far and screening me, so I've explained this to D-men, and I communicate it to them when I can't see it coming. That way they know to clear the lane or take away the bottom and leave me the top.

Good communication with the guy and telling him when you notice a trend in how he's getting beaten, will only serve to help him improve. If he's giving them too much glove to shoot at, tell him that you see a lot of glove to shoot at when guys come in on him. It could be as simple as him adjusting his angles to correct this. Maybe he's lifting his stick when he drops into his butterfly, leaving a 5-hole gap. If you see him doing things that you use to pick apart other goalies, then tell him what you see as a shooter.

Just casually say something like "Can't help but notice that you lift your stick when you drop to your knees. As a shooter, I'd probably shoot there on you every time knowing that." Most keepers, are pretty good about it if you approach them in a cool and calm manner about it. We're not all temperamental psychopaths, right on the edge of snapping...we're mostly just masochistic fools, who have taken a few too many slappers to the melon.

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07-16-2013, 09:22 AM
  #27
Robs789
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I was on a team like this. Thing i hated most about being on this type of team was that 95% of the time i got the puck and looked up, i had nothing to pass to. All the guys just didnt know where to be.

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07-16-2013, 09:57 AM
  #28
The Tikkanen
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I would switch teams. If that can't happen at the rink you play at then I would find another rink. If there are no other rinks I would play pickup multiple times a week until my skillset improved to where I did not have to play on league teams with people who either did not know how to or could not play hockey.

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07-16-2013, 10:55 AM
  #29
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there is really only one answer, goon it up, cheap shots, shirping being a jerk. make it unfun for everyone else too

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07-16-2013, 11:30 AM
  #30
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I haven't ever played league hockey, but I'm planning on joining a team in the fall and I expect I'll probably end up on a squad that is a mish-mash of free agents and will lose a lot, so I've given some thought to the scenario.

Personally, I'd use each shift as an opportunity to give 110% and make as many good plays as possible, and learn from playing in this kind of situation.

This assumes that the problem on your team is the goalie. Maybe you can't change goalies or make him/her better, but is there really no way that, as a team, you can change your overall strategy in order to maximize your chances of pulling off some wins?

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07-20-2013, 04:36 PM
  #31
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When my team lost about 90% of games over 3 seasons, I quit and became a Zebra.

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07-20-2013, 08:06 PM
  #32
RandV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madguitarist View Post
If your keeper's the weak link, help him get stronger. Talk to him, and find out what shots give him fits or what plays are leading to his issues stopping the puck. For me, I have a lot of trouble with guys backing in too far and screening me, so I've explained this to D-men, and I communicate it to them when I can't see it coming. That way they know to clear the lane or take away the bottom and leave me the top.

Good communication with the guy and telling him when you notice a trend in how he's getting beaten, will only serve to help him improve. If he's giving them too much glove to shoot at, tell him that you see a lot of glove to shoot at when guys come in on him. It could be as simple as him adjusting his angles to correct this. Maybe he's lifting his stick when he drops into his butterfly, leaving a 5-hole gap. If you see him doing things that you use to pick apart other goalies, then tell him what you see as a shooter.

Just casually say something like "Can't help but notice that you lift your stick when you drop to your knees. As a shooter, I'd probably shoot there on you every time knowing that." Most keepers, are pretty good about it if you approach them in a cool and calm manner about it. We're not all temperamental psychopaths, right on the edge of snapping...we're mostly just masochistic fools, who have taken a few too many slappers to the melon.
I suppose that could work most of the time, but not always. My first beginners team had this problem. I'd say the guy was a decent goalie, but he was getting a bit too old for it and had a hard timing admitting it was time to hang the skates up. He'd make 2 or 3 routine saves then get tired and it was 50/50 that the next shot would go in. I mean have you ever seen a goalie respond to a breakaway by standing on his goal line? Though what really made matters worse is he had a bit of a temper and would take needless penalties from time to time putting us short handed.

We started phasing in a new goalie though at the end of the spring season and for the next winter season had a regular guy.

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Old
07-21-2013, 12:04 AM
  #33
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Maybe it's the team's system?

I mean it's one thing to have a bad goalie.. another to have bad D and hanging him out to dry. Perhaps the team is giving too many good looks.

Is there always someone back to support him? Does the D take away the front of the net? Breakaways, odd-man rushes?

These are some questions you have to ask as a team rather than just saying "he's the weak leak". you're stuck with the problem the whole season. Rather than sulk about it, why not go try to implement a system that can give you guys a chance.

Trapping game? Boston style of play. Have 4 guys always back and take away the ice of more skilled teams. Get a lucky goal and just shut down the other team.

In beginner leagues, having the skilled guys playing defense can change the flow of the team. The problem with most low level leagues is that everyone wants to score and rush. Players get trapped down low, turnovers and can't backcheck. Simplify the game, dump pucks in, chase. For some reason, everyone hates dump-ins. They are super effective at tiring people.


Last edited by goonx: 07-21-2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old
07-21-2013, 03:13 PM
  #34
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Well I don't think the situation is quite as dire as the OP indicated, at least if I'm assuming the correct team here. There's another one that it could be, but I'm pretty sure that league doesn't assign teams.

If it's the one I'm thinking of, we're 1-3 (three teams in the league) with two one-goal losses to the team with far and away the best individual talent and a two-goal loss in a game we probably could have won if our best offensive threat hadn't started on D. Yeah, it can be frustrating, but if it's the league I'm thinking of, the teams shuffle every four months anyway, so it's not like we'll be stuck this way forever. I'm more annoyed that there's an obvious talent imbalance in general that hasn't been addressed (like it has been in previous seasons), but there's only four weeks of the season left, so it's really not a huge deal to me.

Here's how I've dealt with it, because yeah, it is a little frustrating. First, ignore the jerks who put 115 percent of the emphasis on winning that game because it's obviously the most important game in the history of the world. It's a league designed to better individual skill across a range of lower-level players. So all you can do is concentrate on what you're doing and if you're getting better. The jerks who yell about not being good enough are some of the better players making really stupid tactical decisions because they don't really know what they're doing.

Playing certain systems at this level really doesn't help. You have your game-breakers, your reasonably skilled, your moderately skilled and your still figuring things out. Our issue, beyond the one alluded to by the OP, is that we have the same number of game-breakers as some other teams but a higher ratio of the still figuring things out to moderately and reasonably skilled players. Dumping the puck in or playing four back won't change that ratio, and some of the more reasonably skilled guys wouldn't stick to a system even if we told them to. They already know everything they need to know about hockey in their own minds, and trying to convince them otherwise is futile. Frankly, I like playing with the lesser skilled players who at least admit "Yeah, man, that was my fault. I'm sorry" than the jerks who are infallible lowest-level beer-league gods, at least in their own minds.

FWIW, I think there's definitely one glaring issue, but there are several smaller ones as well. We've had a chance to win every game, including strong late flurries in our two one-goal losses. I don't think the situation is quite as dire as you do at this point. I'm not sure if we'll win next week (I expect that particular team, which boasts the best goalie, the best individual players in the league and several other very strong secondary players, will go undefeated), but the week after we have a very good chance.

So essentially, just concentrate on your own game and being as good as you can be. Wins and losses, in this league especially, are secondary to your own growth as a player. Ignore the few jerks on the bench who can't seem to understand that (and also can't seem to understand that if you are a D and your partner has creeped up into the slot in the offensive zone, you cannot join him in front of the net no matter how awesome you think you are). And know it'll all get shuffled in a few more weeks.

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07-21-2013, 04:10 PM
  #35
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I play on two teams. Both are D league. One team is about middle of the road in the standings and the other is tied for last. The second team has split games against the other last place team. One win, one loss.

I mainly work on my own game, in particular puck handing and moving through traffic. I'm coming to the realization that I'm one of te better players on both teams so I'm trying to become a player that can generate offense when needed. I play center in both teams so this allows for some creativity. Reading the plays. Becoming a smarter hockey player in general.

So basically, I go out, have fun, develop my game and try to become somebody who makes a positive impact.

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07-22-2013, 03:44 PM
  #36
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I think it's pretty obvious that it's the goalie she's talking about. If that's the case, the team captain has to be straight up and either tell the goalie that they're going to look for someone better or (if the organization assigns teams) talk to whoever runs the league and tell them that your goalie is costing you literally every game.

Side-note: It really grinds my gears when older guys who clearly CAN'T play goalie effectively anymore attempt to "hang in there" in mid to higher-level league games. In a league that is D, C2, C, B2, B, and A, these types of goalies shouldn't be playing past C2, yet there are a handful of them that think they're good enough to not be hurting their respective teams.

Like seriously, if you're an overweight goal-tender who can't even drop into butterfly anymore because your tummy gets in the way (or you just don't know how to butterfly to begin with) and you let in floaters from the blue-line (unscreened) because you're trying to kick the puck away with the toe of your skate, then do you really think you should be playing anything higher than D or MAYBE C2? Probably not...


Sorry. /rant

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Old
07-24-2013, 10:37 AM
  #37
Jarick
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If it's literally just the goalie that's making you lose games, get a different goalie.

I get wanting to be the nice guy and everything, but is it fair to everyone who pays hundreds of dollars and shows up to play every game to EXPECT to lose? I think not. Just like it wouldn't be fair if you brought in a ringer to score five goals a night.

If your captain keeps going with a goalie who should be several levels down, the rest of the team's going to turn on each other and split at the end of the season. That's a lot worse than just finding a new goalie.

Now, if you're just not good enough as a team, suck it up, and drop down a level.

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07-24-2013, 11:05 AM
  #38
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If this is the league I think it is, we're already at the lowest possible level. There's no dropping down for any of us because there's nowhere left to go. In fact, it's a league specifically designed for the lowest-level players (regular games but also regular classes for the whole group of three teams).

In regards to personnel, again, if this is the team I think it is, then we have very little control over any roster moves. The structure of the league is all individual sign up, then there's an evaluation day and a captain's draft. The league coach/manager has made trades in past seasons when teams are obviously lopsided (one team last go-round was winning 6-2 or 9-1 every game before some of their best players got moved), but nothing looks like it's happening this time around. The league re-starts every four months or so with a complete re-draft, and the league manager makes sure teams are significantly different each time around.

And that's part of the reason I just can't get too worked up over it (and if the OP isn't talking about this team specifically, it's a team in nearly the identical situation). It's the lowest level league, quite possibly in the area, designed for beginner or low-novice-level adults to get better. Yeah, there are people all over the ice who are significantly less skilled than some of the best players in the league. That means there are some face-palm worthy plays every single period. But the league is designed for that and to make those players better. It's not, nor should it be, about putting together a team with minimal flaws that gives you the best chance to win each game. In fact, I would argue the real issue with this league is they allow some far-too-skilled players to remain in the league for too long (which is related to a secondary issue of there's no easy next-step league - it's a pretty big leap up to the next level of league play around here).

I love winning as much as the next person. I used to be a kid who flipped board games because I was pissed I wasn't winning. But that's just not what this league can be about. And it's a maximum of four months/nine games before it gets shuffled whether you're on the best or worst squad. It might not be as fun as it could be to feel like you're starting with a disadvantage every game, but it's a self-limiting experience by design.

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07-24-2013, 11:43 AM
  #39
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I'd find a different league. If they can't keep some semblance of parity then it better be real cheap ice time. I wouldn't pay $15+ to get my ass kicked every week.

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07-24-2013, 12:10 PM
  #40
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Like I've said, I'm about 95 percent sure OP and I are on the same team. She can feel free to correct me if I'm completely off base. There's one other league in the area I can think of with this problem, but that's not an assigned-to-teams type of league.

Our league is 11 practices and 8 guaranteed, possibly 9 games over three months. That works out to about $14 per 90 minutes, so it's really pretty cheap. Parity rotates by season, but even with our 1-3 record, it's a lot closer than I think the OP feels.

We've got an even goal diff (lost by 1, 1 and 2 and won by four) and are dead middle in GF and GAA among the three teams. We play from behind a lot and can't seem to get big goals late, but that's a team-wide flaw rather than it being on one or two people. Yeah, we have our weak links, but so does every other team in the league. I do feel like we start with a strike against us in some ways, but we have also had every opportunity to make it better. Sometimes hockey is just like that.

I've been on much worse teams than the one I'm on now and had much more fun, though. And that doesn't have anything to do with our team makeup weaknesses and everything to do with a jerk or two on the team who just stews and screams and generally makes everything way too serious for the lowest-level adult league in the area. I'm a competitive person at heart, but there's also something to be said for not being a jerk when you're a big part of making the problem worse.

And parity really does rotate by season (though with so many re-drafts, some players inevitably end up on the not-best teams more times than others). I was on a dead-in-the-middle team last year that finished 4-3-2, on a good team the year before that and on a bad team when I started. When you've got players who have never played in a league before and scrubs like me who skate like we're carrying a piano and conducting the orchestra at the same time along with some more skilled players in the same league, imbalance is gonna happen. IMO, we haven't done a good job of minimizing it (we tend to stick our lesser skilled players together on a line, for instance, and we insist on a defensive pairing that is fundamentally flawed because the lesser player wants to be the best player and allows lots of odd-man rushes), but that's not a fault of the team makeup.

So to go back to the OP's original question, I'd say the first thing to do is examine the actual numbers and see if the situation is really as dire as it feels (it's not). Then I'd go about making sure I played my best and had a good time, regardless of how some defensemen want to sulk around and pout. And I'd know everything flips in three weeks, so there's a new opportunity to put things together in a more positive way.

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07-24-2013, 12:14 PM
  #41
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I just finished up a year-long, multiple season stint on a coed indoor soccer team that lost one game per week. That's 52 straight losses. They weren't close games. So I have a pretty good handle on this issue.

The biggest thing that helps parity is this: it has to come as much from the winning teams as the losing. No one likes to be seen as a whiner.

Do your captains share email addresses? A discrete discussion about the problem is probably in order. If the goalie is just bad relative to other goalies in the league, you might be able to make a trade or two. A novice who gets good looks because his defense is stacked might do okay, and he might get better a lot quicker. If there's no hope, a united front to the league will help sort things out. If all the captains agree this kid needs to drop a level before he gets hurt or half his team quits, the league is much more likely to see if they can work something out.

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