Jack Blatherwick

Youth hockey needs more Duncan Keith spirit

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Duncan Keith has – so far – won two Olympic Gold medals, three Stanley Cup championships, two Norris Trophies as the best defenseman in the NHL and was the unanimous choice for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. So ... it might seem extraordinary that, with a dozen or more scouts per team, they all said “no” 342 times before the Chicago Blackhawks drafted him 54th in his second year of eligibility (2002).

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Conventional wisdom is wrong again

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

The “experts” were at it in full force before game7: Blackhawks vs. Ducks for all the marbles. Pre-game question: “Eddie (Olczyk), what do the Ducks have to do in order to win?”  Answer: “Stick with their game plan (which failed in game 6). They have to be PHYSICAL.”

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Questions as you plan your offseason development

 

First: Are you getting the most from your time and effort?

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Chip Kelly, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and former coach of the University of Oregon Ducks, said this about every workout, even offseason strength training: “People should be able to come, observe you and in five minutes know what you stand for.”

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Do NOT keep it simple ... at least not in the offseason

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

The color commentator sounded as if he’d just seen the greatest athletic achievement in history. He was ecstatic to explain that the two teams sharing a 0-0 tie after one period “kept it simple.” This wasn’t a playoff game, where winning might arguably be the only purpose. This was regular season college hockey where one might expect improvement to be part of the long-range plan. What is it about SIMPLE that drives coaches and commentators to convince us that safe, vanilla hockey is the path to greatness? In other sports, it’s about complexity and deceptiveness, and “going for it.”

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Scrimmages are encouraged by USA, Minnesota Hockey

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I’m happy to correct a misstatement I made two weeks ago in Let’s Play Hockey, when I said USA Hockey does not allow two teams to scrimmage without referees. USA Hockey contacted me because they’d like people to know they DO encourage scrimmage activities of all kinds in practices or competition between two teams. There are no restrictions, but both teams have to be registered.

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