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Toronto Sun: No excuses left and Columbus, Chicago players respond

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Old
12-16-2006, 09:17 AM
  #1
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Toronto Sun: No excuses left and Columbus, Chicago players respond

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The Blue Jackets were 5-13-2 the day Ken Hitchcock took over. After Hitch's awkward first game back in Philly, they won six of the next eight, including five straight.

"I think after you fire a coach, as players, you run out of excuses," said Columbus GM Doug MacLean. "And we're a team that had run out of excuses. We have so many young players who desperately needed some structure and discipline and Hitch has brought that.

"Coaching is interesting. People talk about systems, but everybody's system is pretty similar. There's no magic formula; you just have to hope that people buy in. It's who gets people to play it and believe in it."

One of them will lose tonight, when the resurrected former losers meet in Columbus, but neither will roll over and let it happen, which had been the case all too often in the past.

"I can't say that I expected this," said MacLean, whose club just set team records for longest shutout streak (166:06), most power play goals in a game (five) and most consecutive road wins (a modest four).

"I expected to see results because I thought we had a pretty good team, but maybe not this fast. But there's no doubt ... that I thought we were much, much better than what we were playing.

"And so did the players. They were determined that they were better than how they had been playing. There's a pretty good group there that was really frustrated and ticked off. They knew they were better."
http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Hoc...23959-sun.html

You know I read those comments by Doug and I still get the impression that he puts no stock in the role a head coach plays in a team's success/failure...that he still doesn't get it. Maybe I just don't get it..

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12-16-2006, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Hoc...23959-sun.html

You know I read those comments by Doug and I still get the impression that he puts no stock in the role a head coach plays in a team's success/failure...that he still doesn't get it. Maybe I just don't get it..
Oddly, I agree and disagree. I think in a way that was Doug acknowledging that Hitch was the answer 'cause he found a way to get the players to buy into his system, that, apparently is just like everybody elses (funny...I don't hear Hitch preaching the dump and chase, but maybe that's me.

But in the same respect, this is Doug also taking absolute credit, because he assembled the team, etc. Yeah, you've got to have a coach (I guess) that provides structure and sells his program, but the important part is assembling the players, thank you very much. A back-handed complement complete to pat on the back. Kinda impressive in a Dougie kinda way.

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12-16-2006, 10:25 AM
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where does he take absolute credit? He isnt saying he made the team, you are saying that and just because McLean is saying what we all felt, that the team was much better than they played you take it as Mclean patting his own back only?
You want to see that and thats why your seeing it. One can read betwin the lines and get what one want out of it.
Ofcourse it would be nice to see McLean saying GG sucked and Hitch was the answer and salvation but i do not think that is going to happen and i can actually understand why it wont happen.

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12-16-2006, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Hoc...23959-sun.html

You know I read those comments by Doug and I still get the impression that he puts no stock in the role a head coach plays in a team's success/failure...that he still doesn't get it. Maybe I just don't get it..
It doesn't seem like a far stretch to say that in Doug's mind, certain aspects of coaching doesn't matter. He does separate coaches based on ability to get players to buy in...

Quote:
"Coaching is interesting. People talk about systems, but everybody's system is pretty similar. There's no magic formula; you just have to hope that people buy in. It's who gets people to play it and believe in it."
I would agree that every coaches system is "pretty similar". One can say that and still acknowledge various distinctions between systems (i.e. trap). Our team still dumps & chases, the difference is that it isn't all of the time AND we finally have players willing to go into the corners for the puck at the right times.

When we do it, it is now dump & chase. Before it was dump.

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12-16-2006, 11:02 AM
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I agree with Doug that systems are fairly similar (there's only so many different forechecks a team can run) but the difference this time is everyone wants to run it. Under Gallant we would chase the puck all over the ice at times instead of playing within the confines of a system/forecheck. I agree with Scrappy that when we dump and chase now we actually get to the puck and gain possession. Under Gallant, we would be second to the puck and half-*** and attempt at gaining possession.

It's all about buying in to a coach. If you don't believe what he's doing is the right thing to do, then as a player, you're going to do what you want. Fedorov is a perfect example of that. Under Gallant, he looked like an aging former superstar. Under Hitchcock he looks like the player we traded for and are paying $6 million. The biggest difference between Gallant and Hitchcock isn't their system, it's the fact that the players know they can win if they listen to Hitch and do what he says. Players were doing their own thing under Gallant, and it showed.

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12-16-2006, 11:25 AM
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i think also there is a huge respect for Hitch, jusy knowing he is there make the players confident. I think the fans feel that too, i know i do and the first time i saw him behind the bench i felt an inner confidence and peace that this guy could get anything done, i almost giggled, actually i did.
The first part of the season things just spiraled down and now its a spiral upwards that i hope never ends. I think its a truth when some say that one day players will get so used to him that the aura of Hitch will stop having the same impact but i hope the players has gotten so into the system that that wont matter anymore.

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12-16-2006, 12:43 PM
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To me the "system" is more than X's and O's. It's also all the things the coach does to inspire confidence and commitment among the players. As many players have repeated, they are "buying in." "Buy in" is part of the system too. And this is why Doug continues to "not get it" with regard to what happened to Gallant and the team.

APPARENTLY, Doug didn't see soon enough that the players weren't "buying in" ...that Gerard had lost the team. That's mostly Doug's fault, but not entirely. Speculation: The team leader-players should have been more proactive. Apparently they finally got to the McConnells. But it didn't seem soon enough.

...Would love to know the actual truth of how it all went down.

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12-16-2006, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
To me the "system" is more than X's and O's. It's also all the things the coach does to inspire confidence and commitment among the players. As many players have repeated, they are "buying in." "Buy in" is part of the system too. And this is why Doug continues to "not get it" with regard to what happened to Gallant and the team.

APPARENTLY, Doug didn't see soon enough that the players weren't "buying in" ...that Gerard had lost the team. That's mostly Doug's fault, but not entirely. Speculation: The team leader-players should have been more proactive. Apparently they finally got to the McConnells. But it didn't seem soon enough.

...Would love to know the actual truth of how it all went down.
to you for pointing out the off-ice aspects of a "system".

Hitch has said that the "system" on-ice isn't all that big of a deal himself. I think that "system" could be easily replaced with "culture" when you talk about where the real value comes from. I am not discount the on-ice lessons he has taught and continues to teach, but we're really seeing a belief in how things are as a cohesive unit (aka TEAM).

additional for posting without claiming to know it all!! Not that you personally do that, but there's been so much opinion posted here as fact that it is refreshing to see that. Thanks for raising the bar.

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Old
12-16-2006, 01:17 PM
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Coaching is getting players to do what they are supposed to do. it's the same as any management job.

if you're a manager and you can't get your folks to perform, you're failing as a manager.

Coaching is the same. Having a system is one thing, getting players to execute that system is another. I don't buy that GG had a clear vision of how he wanted the team to play. But it really doesn't matter. Even if he did, he failed in a big way. Why? He didn't get his folks to perform. Maybe he was not a good teacher or communicator. It's all part of the same package.

By comparison, Hitchcock knows how to coach, which means having a clearly defined vision for how the team can be succsessful, communicating that vision and then making sure players execute it the right way.

There's a lot that goes into making all of that work---personality, smarts, psychology, understanding people and motivation. Hitch makes the equation work. GG didn't.

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12-16-2006, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DentonFreeman View Post
The biggest difference between Gallant and Hitchcock isn't their system, it's the fact that the players know they can win if they listen to Hitch and do what he says. Players were doing their own thing under Gallant, and it showed.
I think so too. Confidence and belief is much more important than how the system works. Of course, it's important to have a good system for players so they could believe, but what's more important how you can sell it to the players. Might have been the same book in Philly than now in Columbus, but Philly players just didn't buy it.

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12-17-2006, 12:31 AM
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I'm pretty sure Doug thinks a system is scoring goals and winning games because I don't understand how a hockey knowledgable person like himself can say that there is one universal system in the league.

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12-17-2006, 09:55 AM
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pete goegan
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Originally Posted by CBJSlash View Post
I'm pretty sure Doug thinks a system is scoring goals and winning games because I don't understand how a hockey knowledgable person like himself can say that there is one universal system in the league.

He didn't say exactly that, Slash, he said "all systems are pretty similar." For instance, none resemble the single wing or the Williams Shift. They all required guys on skates to hit pucks with sticks, so they all have that going for them!

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12-17-2006, 05:30 PM
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KeithBWhittington
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Originally Posted by CBJSlash View Post
I'm pretty sure Doug thinks a system is scoring goals and winning games because I don't understand how a hockey knowledgable person like himself can say that there is one universal system in the league.
Doug thinks you put players on the ice and say "Score and play good defense"
Thats his theory on coaching in a nut shell...

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12-17-2006, 07:27 PM
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cbj21
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This thread has become stupid and pathetic as its full of asumptions, lies and not to forget complete BS

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12-17-2006, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cbj21 View Post
This thread has become stupid and pathetic as its full of asumptions, lies and not to forget complete BS
How is this different from anyother thread on this board...

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Old
12-17-2006, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cbj21 View Post
This thread has become stupid and pathetic as its full of asumptions, lies and not to forget complete BS
It will not do to forget that all threads (like systems) are not created equal. A thread is only as valuable as the information or insight reflected in the lexicon of respondent posts. Likewise, a hockey system is only as valuble or effective as it's participants ability to communicate and execute that system to achieve a beneficial outcome.

In other words, a thread (like a hockey system) is only as good as the effort and information put into it and therefore is a reflection of the ability and effort of its posters (or players.)

Hope that clears it up for y'all who were struggling with the worth of this thread.

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Old
12-18-2006, 09:24 AM
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Handyy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contingent_23 View Post
"Score and play good defense"
I think that is the base for any tactical hockey system

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