The Lightning has practiced four times in 17 days in February, not nearly enough, Boucher said. "That's our biggest problem," he said. "Consistency comes from repetition, and repetition comes from practice. It's a game of fractions of seconds. Your body has to react to what it's used to." The lack of practice began with a six-day, lockout-shortened training camp. This month Tampa Bay played nine games in 17 days. That left eight days for practice. Four, including today, were days of rest. "It's that juggle between having the energy to compete at the right level but finding a way to practice here and there to get the execution of it," Boucher said.
"It's still All In to me dammit." - Felonious Python
Excuses. Every other team in the NHL, including the ones beating them, is in the same boat.
What did Boucher say in that quote that isn't true? Do other teams have the same issue? Sure, but GB never said they didn't. What's he going to say when asked about that? Sell out his players? Criticise his staff? Say "Boy, I sure am a **** coach?"
I think we need to be more patient with GB. A team can get REALLY complacent after winning 5 of the first 6, and keeping a team in line is extremely difficult when you're trying to maintain success as a surprise team. The players have to do more to maintain a hot streak, and should not expect wins by putting in the same effort level. When other teams start to figure out TB's playing style, coupled with little practice time, dialing in what exactly "doing more means" is going to be difficult. Players have to accept the blame as well. You can't expect constant success when 1 defensive line is stable, Carle and Brewer are a step or many steps off, Aulie is injured, Lee is Lee (he's improving, slowly but surely), and MAB is .
If you want to be frustrated at GB for meddling with the lines too much, that's fine, I get that. For directing the blame towards him and away from the players? That's a coach that takes responsibility, and he should not be punished for it. I think there is a difference between excuses and taking responsibilty, as GB could have ripped a number of his players not playing to expectations. Instead, he stepped up and put it on himself.
"That's our biggest problem (lack of practice time). I look at San Jose who is struggling. Same thing. I've talked to some of the other coaches... All the coaches, even the teams that are winning we talk to each other and they say we don't even know which team we are going to have tonight. The consistency comes from repetition and repetition comes from practice and video, but you can't just have video. It's a game of fractions of seconds out there so your body is going to react the way it's used to and now we don't practice. It's a very weird year and it's very difficult and we have to create our identity basically without practicing. It's that juggle between having enough energy to compete at the right level, but trying to find time to practice something here and there so you have the execution of it. I've never lived this, it's very difficult.... We have to feel every time (whether or not to have a practice) depending on the game we've played, and that's what's very difficult. To be honest nobody has a clue. All the coaches I talk to and the players, nobody has a clue what's good and what's not, so it's very difficult. We knew it (what we were up against) but what's difficult is really knowing what you need to do to get better but not being able to do it because you are choosing the lesser of the two evils in practicing or not practicing. The energy and the fresh legs... and that's why we have to little bit by little bit use that video and individual talks and make the players understand and hopefully grind it out and become more consistent at things...I'm use to "ok this is wrong, this is wrong let's get on the ice and take care of it," but I know now if I take care of it than I have no energy so whatever we took care of we'd look worse at. It's difficult but we'll find a way, we're not the only ones so that's why you see everyone in the league now very few teams are consistent. Some guys started bad and now they're good and some guys who started good are bad so that's common right now everywhere, so there's ups and downs. And periods too from one to another you're playing fine, all of a sudden "what's going on?" That's what's happening."
Doesn't look like an excuse to me. Just stating some stuff that it's hard, and it's even harder when you're in the kind of funk we were in and you're trying to get out of it. We've seen both sides when we started off comfortably at home getting teams on road trips playing us right after the Panthers and we put on their shoes (or skates) when we traveled and lost 6 straight.
Last edited by TheDaysOf 04: 02-17-2013 at 01:41 PM.
There really isn't one person you can point at and say they are the reason the Lightning dropped 6 in a row.
As a team, they aren't putting in 60 minutes of effort per game. From what I see, that's really what it comes down to.
You can point at the 3rd period of the Winnipeg game as basically the exact moment the Lightning slipped. They got up 6-0(against a team missing 2 of their top 4 dmen) after winning 4 of the previous games and started believing too much of their hype.
Maybe you can blame the coaches or team leaders for the lack of consistent intensity, but these are grown men, they should be able to motivate themselves.
Either they'll start playing with urgency, or they won't. I'm really not too worried about the team's talent/ability though, there has really only been 1 loss so far that they weren't in position to win.