Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Response to Some Comments

On a couple of my posts in the past weeks I got 2 comments that I keep meaning to respond to but have not gotten to. So today I would like to acknowledge them and respond to them here.

The first comes from "Grippit" and was on the post "A Win is a Win." The post was a response to the Bears victory over Syracuse that I was unable to see. Thank you to Grippit for giving some information on the game.

Bears still need better back check commitment especially from MAG line. D pinch at inopportune moments or take some shifts off like the first one where Syracuse easily banged home the loss puck after Machesny made the initial save on Frischmon who blew around Helmer & crashed the net. Lots of perimeter passing & boards play from Hershey in the Syracuse end but not until Giroux & Gordon drove to the middle for scoring chances did it pay off. Syracuse got a lucky bounce off the back glass on their second coal but otherwise Machesny was solid. Must be tough getting 5 - 6 shots a period & those either come on a PP or odd man rush which Bears give up frequently.

He makes a few good points. The defense definitely pinches in a lot which leads to many of the odd man rushes that Hershey gives up. The system in place calls for this to happen though. If you watch the Capitals their defense also pinches in a lot but they seem to be less prone to odd man rushes the other way. Many times the pinching in leads to goals but I would be curious to know if it really makes a huge difference or if they should just stay back a little more.

I have never played goalie but I can only imagine that getting a handful of shots each period is hard. Any goaltender will tell you that they would rather face an offense that gets shots on goal consistently. It allows them to get into a rhythm during the game.

The one thing I didn't agree with from Grippit is the back checking. In the system that the organization plays it is not in the wingers job description to back check too deep in the zone. They are to stay out along the boards to cover the defense and to be prepared for the breakout passes. Many times the Bears struggle to get the puck out of the zone is because a winger has fallen too deep and isn't in position to help his defenseman get the puck out. At the same time that the wingers are staying up the center is supposed to be back helping out. He needs to be in there crashing around and taking the body away from the offense.

Thanks Grippit for the comment.

The other comment came from an anonymous commenter on the post "Some Notes and Observations." I made this post after the Hamilton game in response to the lackadaisical play from Hershey and the criticisms being made of them on the PennLive Forum.

it would be better if Varly would stay here for Playoffs too. Surely, Capitals is NHL, but it's not good for him...the environment in Washington is just sick and bad. Who would want to start a career in the team where everything is focused on one, two players who are allowed to do anything....drink heavily, party, ditch practices...It's just sad that Varly is Russian and will be influenced by that kind of players...Hershey is a better place to him to mature as a player

I disagree with this comment almost completely. The only thing I agree with is the beginning that it would be better for Varly to stay in Hershey for the playoffs. And even that I am torn on. It would obviously be better for Hershey but for Varly? I am not so sure.

But the rest of this comment just bothered me. The environment in Washington is exceptional! The team has plenty of young talent but the veterans there, Tom Poti, Sergei Federov, Viktor Kozlov, Donald Brashear, Jose Theodore, and Michael Nylander, are great locker room guys that want to win as a team and not pad their stats. Federov has said in the past season that he feels younger and is enjoying playing more now than in the past few seasons. Would he say that if it was a bad environment?

And obviously this person hasn't paid attention to anything that the "star" players do. It is traditional in hockey for the rookies to show up to training camp a week or so before the veterans to get some work in. Do you know who else showed up with them this season? Yup, Alexander Ovechkin. Not only did he show up in Washington but he PRACTICED with the rookies. And then he took a group of them (Varly included) out to dinner to talk to them.

Oh and then on his NIGHT OFF he drove his personal car up to Philly to watch his teammates play a preseason game. ON HIS OWN! He could have stayed behind and partied as you say but instead he took a teammate and went to the game. Why? Because he wanted to.

This is not a player that doesn't care about his teammates or isn't a good influence. If anything he is showing these younger players that in order to be great in this league you have to do everything not just score a few goals.

But either way thank you for the comment.

I enjoy discussing topics on the Bears or hockey in general. If any of you have something to add to any of my posts or a question about something please feel free to leave a comment.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for your opinion. Obviously, it shows our views on CAPS "inside" environment. The things that you have just described in your reply are called PR. It's convenient for the club and a player to make sure that FANS are aware of all the GOOD DEALS someone does. It doesn't mean it's a reality....Philadelphia isn't that far from DC, as you might know. Driving from Tampa would be a nice jesture. I'm a true believer that you have heard of the scandal in Montreal Canadiens. Well, you can be sure that there familiar things going on in some "other" parts of NHL...I don't just express opinion here. I'm sharing my observations and , in some part, my participation. Forwards can drink and skate. Goalies...I doubt it...not for too long. That what I meant. Kozlov is a truly great player and a role model for kids. Other than that, money, clubs, agent can and ARE trying to cover many wrong deads...Didn't really want to evolve this subject. Better stay focused on hockey)))

GM said...

First let me say this....will you email me so we can discuss this further? It seems as though you have an understanding that is closer to the situation than I am and I would be curious to hear what you have to say. But that is up to you.

I never meant Philly was a huge drive that showed his dedication but I thought it was a great show of respect for your teammates by going up on your day off. Think about your own job...if you went in on your day off just to support your coworkers it would look pretty good.

Your right. I can see similar things with players for ALL teams partying after games and on the road. But that happens everywhere surely. I am not going to say that the young core of players in Washington doesn't do that cause I am sure they do. They are young and they have lots of money. And obviously a goalie can't do it for long....look at Carey Price.

But my point was that the locker room isn't that bad a place. I can see your point but you don't think that the partying goes on in the minor leagues?? Surely not on the same scale but I am sure there are players that are going out and having some fun.

But after getting your second comment and thinking about it I do see your point. For a young impressionable kid in a country where he doesn't speak the language he is going to follow those that are older and show him the way.

Please feel free to email me. I won't divulge anything that is said in the emails I would just like to understand where you are coming from a little better. Thanks.