Jack Blatherwick

Hockey’s greatest teacher?

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Scrimmage! That’s the short answer, and it’s right up front, so you can skip the rest of this opinion. We’re told by “experts” above us that there must be a certain number of practices for every game. I don’t remember if it’s two or three, but it’s like a duty. I’ve seen hundreds of practices, and even the best of them lack the intensity and fun of a scrimmage.

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Chasing the dream game

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

As I watched the movie “Red Army” twice this weekend, I was reminded of the Soviet “dream games,” featuring deceptive passing, puck control, weaving, regrouping and non-stop highlight plays.

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A not-so-subtle power grab?

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Recent decree from above: “... Tier 1 hockey in Minnesota will be administered by Minnesota Hockey, and teams will be organized and run by Minnesota Hockey as an extension of the Minnesota Hockey High Performance programs.”

Beware when Minnesota Hockey or USA Hockey – or for that matter the Minnesota State High School League – announce that they intend to add (or subtract) new programs. If statewide control is not the immediate intent, it will be about control eventually.

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The fall Elite League

 

Elevating the comfort zone of Minnesota’s top high school hockey players

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Two Minnesota high school alumni weighed in this week on the possibility of changes to the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. Tom Vannelli and Luc Snuggerud made the jump in their first year from high school to the next level, and were standout defensemen from the start.

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Bury the six-goal rule

No one is going to develop psychoses over a big loss

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

We don’t need reasons to reduce ice time. When one team is getting beat by six or seven goals, play on! I just watched a very fast Bantam game, shortened by rule, and it left many good lessons unlearned. If we play on, coaches will have to get extra-busy teaching valuable lessons. But that’s why we coach: valuable lessons.

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