In defence of Skill andObjectivity "Mark is what I want my team to be,'

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In defence of Skill andObjectivity
"Mark is what I want my team to be,'

  says coach Dave Cameron". With only a few weeks of hockey left to go and Ottawa all but relegated to the outside of the playoffs, I'd like to address the internal divide between sens fans on the matter of coaching and skill in the game of hockey. I find that the internal logic of the management/coaching side of this team is deeply flawed and likely the cause of much of Ottawa's failings this year. I'd like to make a case for the traditionally skilled players on this team, some of whom have gotten a rough ride this season. 1. Cameron is, probably, one of the worst 3-5 coaches in the league, and it's not particularly close Patty Roy, John Tortorella, all qualify here too.1 b). Coaching is usually not that big a deal, but Travis Yost has lately been making the point that when it comes to the worst coaches, it is underestimated how much they hurt their team's chances to win.2. Effort:2. a) That Hoffman and Blobby have been scoring less in the past few months is undoubtedly true. Is it lack of effort? I can't make any real claims to how hard they're trying Austin Watson Face Mask, I don't think anybody but they themselves can, but it seems clear to me that, with the exception of a few outliers like Kovalev, hockey players are trying damn hard to do their jobs, and have obvious incentives to do so (especially Hoffman, whose future is very much up in the air) Alexei Yashin Flag. When I see guys struggling to play their game, I'm inclined to think it's the result of lacking confidence - hesitation that their mistakes will cost them future chances, which derails them from playing the way they need to to be successful. A guy like Hoffman can be told to play the body, play in the middle of the ice, etc. and he will take it to heart because he has to listen to his coach. But that isn't how he finds success, generally, and so compromises his game to try to meet (and fail) the expectations set for him. 2. b)What good coaches do is understand the roles that dictate success for certain players, and exploit opportunities for them to get going in them. Babcock sheltering Phaneuf with Gardiner is a great example of how this works. Cameron seeing Borowiecki as a punishing player who opens up space for his linemates is an example of poor player assessment, and when he tried to exploit an opportunity for him at wing, it backfired. 2. c) Now I think that, since Smith is having a monstrous year in terms of what we've come to expect from him, it is proper to keep playing him in the role that he is currently excelling in. His try-hard game is really paying dividends right now. That style also works for Pageau, Stone, and other guys, but is not a universal virtue for hockey players. Anton Stralman's play looks fairly effortless, and telling him to 'try harder' would probably throw him off his game. And that's the thing: management and coaching are trying to assess the whole damn team with the idea that 'try-hard' play is universally successful or necessary. 3. There's a bunch of guys who are trying to get back into the swing of their roles: Ceci is still trying to establish his. There are flashes of great play, and many more of unfortunate mistakes and turnovers. Chiasson has been given a role for which he has no aptitude whatsoever. But according to the internal logic of this team's management Olle Alsing T-Shirt, they are worth giving time and opportunity to. And yeah, it's great, casually, to watch guys work hard because that idea of hard work = success is deeply embedded in our culture at large, and especially in Canadian hockey. We can't help but get caught up in it, but when we adopt it as a universal principle we are blinded by ideology to what is actually going on. 3. b) Last year Smith scored 2 goals in 37 games. Last year Hoffman scored 27 in 79 games. One of those guys has a history of scoring goals, a history of success in that facet of hockey, which to me, is a pretty damn important facet. It's smart to continue to use Smith in his current role, for now, but the coach has got to understand that he is not consistently capable of filling it, and at some point it will be important to have guys who can consistently score able to play their game they way they need to to win. And finally, the idea that Cameron is holding his skill players accountable is gratifying, sure, but bad for the hockey team. Those are the guys who have the greatest shot at giving us a goal in the dying seconds, of breaking the game open, of facilitating success. And so long as we begrudge them for not doing it consistently and thereby limiting their ability to find confidence again in their roles, we are effectively shooting ourselves in the foot. I've seen no indication that Cameron has any idea of how to do any of these things, and every indication that he is beholden to the ideology that is quickly sinking this team.Please let me know what you think, I understand that this is a hotly contested issue, but I'm tired of sound-byte analysis defending the inner workings of this hockey team.