Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: practice
Many years ago, I trained a horse that was so smart it was difficult to train him. He learned everything instantly. Half the time, I didn't realize what I was teaching him. "Seriously?" I wondered, "Is he really shaking his head every time I scratch my nose? Does it matter if I use my left hand or my right?" People are just like that horse. We might think we're practicing one thing, but we're also practicing everything we do before and after that thing. This is the basis for all those superstitions hockey players talk about.
Practice what you preach. I don't mean it the way Ratto meant "just win the game!" I mean it quite literally. Need to shoot more? Practice that. Want defensemen to shoot quickly, at game speed? Practice that. Need to execute better? Practice that. Now practice it all together and don't stop until you get it right.
Two lines stood out in the last two games, one line in each, by performing above expectations. Sheppard, Burish and Galiardi were surprisingly effective in the game against Colorado, especially since they weren't even a line before the game. Kennedy, Handzus and Clowe stood out in last night's game against Detroit, by getting crazy close chances through hard work and relentless digging. Both lines had this in common: they were playing their first game as a line.
During a broadcast of a Worcester Sharks game the other day, Ben Guite mentioned goalie drills. He wasn’t very specific, but he said that shooting drills were more fun than goalie drills, if you’re not a goalie, which he isn’t. I don’t remember if he used those terms, but this answered a question I had some time ago about goalies at team practice. I wondered if goalies get enough or the right kind of practice when they practice with the team. The answer seems to be: not really.
Even when the goalie is engaged in the drills, seeing a lot of shots, if those shots are practice for the shooters, they will probably be varied, the kind of shot that particular skater needs to practice. The goalie will get work, he will get some practice, but it’s not comprehensive.
The Sharks wanted to start the season off fast. That sounds like a good plan, even if the NHL schedule made us hurry up and wait for a week before the next game. I also wish these starts were not against the Yotes and the Ducks. The Ducks should offer some resistance but the current incarnation of the Phoenix Coyotes is hardly rigorous competition for what some are calling the best Sharks team ever, or in a very long time. That’s why a blowout was sort of on the agenda Saturday night, especially after that preseason game I can’t seem to remember.
Everything was going according to plan until the end. I imagine it’s hard to keep playing hard when there’s not much push back. The Sharks won 6-3, but for quite a while the score was lots more lopsided than that. There are several good recaps of the game:
If you haven’t already, go read those. I did.
I wasn’t supposed to be here today. I don’t mean I’m not allowed, I mean I’m so bad at reading schedules that I didn’t realize there were more Captain’s Practices this week so when I said last week was my last that was inaccurate.
There’s a big heater hanging over the bleachers in the East rink. This rink does not have the new glass and boards system. The zamboni demonstrates how much less flexible it is by giving it a sound bump before the skaters arrive.
Pavs, Mitchell, McCarthy, Couture, McGinn, Havlat take the ice. Now Jumbo and Burnzie and Ferriero and Andrew Murray. Then Douglas Murray and Demers and a number 10.