Jack Blatherwick

To retaliate or not

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

With 31 seconds left in last weekend’s Minnesota-Wisconsin men’s hockey series at Mariucci Arena, Badger defenseman Eddie Wittchow ignited college hockey’s version of a brawl (gloves and facemasks on), by targeting the head of Gopher forward Leon Bristedt. It was an extremely dangerous hit – shoulder to head – the kind that must be eliminated from the game by every means possible.

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What’s tough about trash-talking?

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

This is the season for football playoff games, and with every play we see genuine toughness: Linebackers and running backs crashing head-on with the force of a freeway collision; vulnerable quarterbacks getting pummeled by 300-pound linemen as they try to pass.

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Conditioning to win

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I have a couple questions. But first, let’s define “hockey endurance” from a coach’s perspective, not from the lectures of sports scientists. It would be: “The maintenance of all the qualities the coach believes are critical for winning … third period performance just as good as the first.”

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The Ducks are a bunch of speed machines

Hockey coaches: Do NOT miss this lesson

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

The University of Oregon Ducks football team is ‘conditioned’ (as Pavlov would use the word) to repeat high-speed skills for an entire game. Their pace is so fast and so relentless that opponents are shocked at first, disoriented in the middle and eventually exhausted. Referees are booed by Oregon fans for moving the chains too slowly. Opponents fake injuries to slow down the machine.

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Jean Béliveau: Le Gros Bill

The antithesis of hockey development today

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Jean Béliveau, or “Le Gros Bill” in Quebec, played on 10 Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens teams, and as if that wasn’t enough, he joined management to win seven more. Because so many in Canada are memorializing him as a person and player after his recent death, I’ll write for a different purpose.

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