Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 Beantown Classic 2

Now the big question is how we will bounce back from something like that.

We are trying to get a handle on the players and how they think. It is a challenge to be sure but an open and I think honest approach is best. This is summer hockey, nowhere near life or death. I will not yell, raise my voice beyond what is necessary and certainly not bench anyone.

How can I? I barely have a full roster. The baseline of my thinking is how we are very solid in goal, so let's formulate the plan from there out.

it was a mistake to run two centers, I should have adjusted at the half, my mistake. We will have to adjust the line up to roll three forward lines and two sets of D. I know one player that will do it without question, A real gamer and will do whatever I ask. She has been a pleasant surprise and a very valuable player on the ice, in the room and on my team. Now to find the other. 

As usual, I will go with what I know. A player, that played with me in Toronto. I know she does not like it but, will do what I ask of her.

As Bugs and Daffy used to say "On with the show, this is it!"

We are playing a team from Toronto and coached by colleagues of mine. I think they are young. They are fast and aggressive, which I expected. This is a well matched game.

We score first and second, with a two goal lead we kind of sit back and a large part of our attack seems to disappear. We will have to find a way in the second half to ramp it up.

As any coach will tell you. If you want to raise the tempo of your bench and game, shorten the shifts. It seems to work and we go up 3-1.

We allow the opposition to outwork us below our goal line, which seems to be the hardest message to get across. "Skates pointed up-ice", and they score to make it 3-2 with quite a bit of time left in the game.

Our goalies once again have been way above average and the team gains strength from that. We ice the game with a fourth goal and I couldn't be happier.

Fitting result 4-2. Back in the chase for now.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Beantown Classic

This will be the last tournament for me behind the bench in North America for a while.

I am starting down a new path and I am excited about it but, nervous as well. More on that as we move forward on this last Boston and Euro Odyssey.

We started against the worst draw of all opponents that we could possibly draw. The Aeros entry. Even if they don't practice together, most players have played with one another enough to be able to generate what looks like a potent, rehearsed offensive attack.

The organic team growth and gaining strength and momentum experiment is once again being put to the test. This is probably a team that given some time and the right breaks, especially, the entire roster healthy and committed, could be in the top third of this tourney.

We take the cards we are dealt and we try to enhance the chances of the team by allowing them to play to their strengths. In the meantime, we try to juggle line ups and combinations to give us the best chance to win.

The game was close for the first half and we were 1-1 for a good portion. Then we went down 3-1 but, fought back to make it an even chance game. They scored a highly skilled goal in the last couple of minutes to make it 4-1. 

All in all not a completely disappointing result. They pushed hard but we just ran out of gas. The short bench has forced our hands to to move two defence up and play three forward lines and four defence. The goalies I have complete confidence in and as usual, let them figure out their rotation between each other. Truth: Confidence shown in players to be part of some decisions helps foster the organic process and allows them to be more confident in their game because of the sense of ownership and control.

End of Game One - Chapter One.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

If it is Thursday, It Must Be Helsinki

Brothers... and sisters,

This has been a whirlwind few days and I am bit behind in my notes but let me try and encapsulate what has gone on in the last few days.

Rejkyavik - Iceland:

The weather never ceased to amaze us. One minute cold and rainy, the next hail or sleet or snow... sometimes the sun poked out.

Like at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bathing pool nestled in between the rocks and volcanoes of Iceland. This place was like nothing I have ever seen in my entire life!

A huge, modern facility which I am sure my words cannot describe how spectacular it truly was... did I mention the weather?

I think everyone went into this pool. The water was a milky blue shade and when you first waded in, it seemed like an overgrown hot tub. The only difference was, there is a swim up bar!

After ordering our first drink, we drifted out to a spot that the heat came through in waves. It was almost unbearable how hot it was, except that off an on it was actually snowing on us but we couldn't have been happier.

A group of Canadian and American hockey people whooping it up because it was snowing while we were up to our necks in some of the most beautiful heat I have ever felt... with a cold beer in my hand to top it off - this truly is the Canadian dream!

Even though the pics are spectacular, they really don't do the location justice. So glad I experienced it, absolutely boiling from the neck down and reaching up to wipe the icicles from your hair. A once (twice?) in a lifetime experience...

Waking up the next morning, we had another tour of the surrounding area... spectacular landscape and sights but, sorry - quite a step down from the lagoon.

We'll have to have a couple of more coach/parent meetings to overcome the disappointment...