Mar
31

On chemistry

March 31, 2017, by

New York Post

Since the analytics movement began a few years ago, there has been a pretty consistent back and forth amongst the old and new school about the proper way to go about assembling a hockey team. The old adage is that you can’t build a team on a spreadsheet. More goes into it than that. On the other side of the coin, you take what you can quantify and use the most important data as the backbone for the team’s construction. At the end of the day, it all kind of boils down to “how do you quantify chemistry, character and heart?” It is even possible?

Historically, this has been a challenge for GM’s. Hockey is a sport that doesn’t do well with prima donnas. Sure, plenty of teams have won with selfish players, but the conventional wisdom teaches us that is an outlier. This isn’t baseball or football with guys complaining about their lineup spot or how big their locker or shoe deal is. Hockey has always had less money; guys rely on each other more during a game and are more of a family off the ice.

There are old sayings about being so close to your teammates that you would go to war with them. There is a band of brother’s mentality that allows you to will your way to results because you believe in each other and the cause that unites you. Something like this could never be quantified and I wouldn’t presume to say it doesn’t exist or that it can’t happen. Look at the Miracle on Ice. Sometimes, the right mix of personalities can do extraordinary things.

We love those stories. Teams and players like that are so easy to root for. You put on the hard hat with them and off you go. They deserve the accolades they are chasing because they have the right attitude and they put the work in. We all want our teams like that. I think that was a big part of the reason why we all hated those mid-2000’s Rangers teams so much. They were bunch of over-the-hill mercenaries looking for a cushy payday without any real personal desire to bring glory to Broadway.

When a GM goes about building a team or looking to make changes in an organizations culture, these factors undoubtedly come in to play. They want their employees (players) happy. They want them to have a work environment that they can thrive in. The problem is, how do you find that winning mix? Most of the time, GM’s haven’t personally met with the players that they are acquiring, or if they have, it was in a tiny window that amounted to a sales pitch. You have to go off of reputation. Just because a player is considered to be a good guy, doesn’t mean he is the right good guy for your room.

As outsiders, we get wind in the press about a player’s monetary and term demands, about multi-generational wealth and ice-time requirements. We have no idea if this is coming from his agent, his family, or himself. We get these little sound bites when a player’s value is being discussed, lacking all context or more information. We have no idea if or how it accurately reflects on the character of that player. We just react.

So, if character, drive and selflessness are such important ingredients to a winning team, how do you set out to build that? Do you try to explore certain criteria? Do you try to find guys from similar feeder programs or hometowns? This might sound like a great idea to find commonality, but you never know. Guys might have gotten into it over a girl in college or one guy’s father-in-law fired the cousin of the other back home. Maybe diversifying the locker room with sets of different experiences and cultures is the way to go? Maybe the room develops cliques and the team has a hard time gelling. My point is there is no tried and true formula for how to get guys to connect on a personal level.

In my experience, the guys we most think of when it comes to “character” or “heart and soul” guys are the ones who people did not believe in at various stages. The talent wasn’t obvious or they have a distinct physical disadvantage, like size or skating ability. A flaw that forced their desire and work ethic to overcome. The easy to root for guys.

Players with obvious talent don’t necessarily face adversity, proper. Sure, they have challenging periods of development and lulls in performance, but are typically not dismissed outright. Which I guess is part of the bigger point, guys like Mats Zuccarello are so easy to like because of what they have been willing to do to realize their dream. Someone like Rick Nash is easy to goat because his talent is so evident and he should be living up to our expectations.

Which brings me back to finding the right mix for a championship team. When it comes to those great underdog stories and teams of destiny (which are fewer and fewer in today’s NHL), I don’t believe you can build from that perspective. You can’t cookie-cutter personality types and expect them to bond. You need to fill your organization with as much talent as possible and hope there is synergy. If there is, you look like a genius GM and if there is not, you look like an idiot couldn’t get a talented team to perform.

This ultimately brings me to the Rangers. The debate over lineup decisions carries so much personal bias about the ingredients of a winning hockey team. Alain Vigneault knows the individual personalities of his players far better than any of us could, and if he feels certain players respond to certain treatment, we cannot dispute whether or not he has a tangible reason for that belief. We can only see the results. I hope he chooses to field the most talented team possible when the playoffs roll around, instead of trying to find the magic potion to coax extra effort and drive out of his team. The man is a tactician, not a sociologist. Put the most talent as possible on the ice and let the chips fall where they may.

"On chemistry", 1 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.

51 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    It always starts with talent. You then need to spread that talent across the different aspects of the game, but using guys with winning characteristics​. What are those? I would say heart, family, poise, dedication, and leadership. Are these always there? No. You make some sacrifices, but never pure talent over a poor character trait as that will cost you more in the clubhouse than on the ice.

  2. amy says:

    hopefully the few games they have left they will get on a winning streak see you later

  3. Al Dugan says:

    How can you not like Rick Nash? Leaves out there every night. I don’t care that he makes a lot of money. I just like that he drives the net, throws his body to knock the puck out of the zone, and scores goals. And he’s got 19 points in his last 24 playoff games.

    • jeff says:

      Can you imagine what he would be if he had a player to go with him….Like the kid Tkachuk or Wayne Simmonds someone to keep the cheats to almost reasonable and not have to worry about getting his head slammed again? He did not have that in Columbus either. Those are guys who can play the game on the ice and in the alleys. Nash just isn’t that guy but he needs that guy to be more effective. Was never a fan of his (like that counts for something) and never liked who we gave and what we got. But watching him the last two years I’ve come to realize the pair he’s got to go out and persevere knowing what’s coming his way.

      • Chris A says:

        Who do you regret giving up for Nash?

        Dubinsky had to go, he like Callahan, was going to ask for way more than he was worth as a FA. If you think Nash isn’t worth his cap hit, I shudder to think what you would be saying if we had a 4C making almost $6M a year simply because he’s a grit-lord.

        Artie is a real talent, and was always one of my favorites, but it took playing with Kane to turn him into a real point producer.

        Tim Erixon is a giant bust. Kerby Rychel is the same.

        And don’t forget, the Rangers landed the draft pick that turned into Pavel Buchnevich in the Nash deal.

        The Rangers ended up with the two most talented players in that deal, I think you can call the Nash trade a definite success.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          All true statements, but I think you’re being a little harsh on Dubinsky. He can be effective as a 2C and has proven to be a wildly matchup guy. 2014 series against Crosby and the Pens comes to mind. I remember in the past you saying that you very much like Jordan Staal. Would’t you put Dubi in his same ilk?

          Full disclosure: Dubi was my favorite Ranger to ever be traded away (say since 2005, as I was a bit young to really follow closely prior to that time period).

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            ^ wildly *successful* matchup guy

          • Chris A says:

            Maybe a little harsh. Would it be a massive stretch to say Dubi would be the 4C on this Ranger team?

            I was going to say that I thought J. Staal was going to develop into Ryan Kesler, but then I looked at Kesler’s career numbers, and it turns out after three great years, Kesler never really produced at a high level once he hit 28.

            • Hatrick Swayze says:

              Certainly not the offensive player Zib. Hayes or Stepan are, so I’d agree with that.

              I’d categorize him as a middle 6 option. You better not count on him to create your offense and line up on PP1. But he is a solid matchup guy who can get things done in his own end, make opponents fight for their ice and still chip in 40-50 points per year.

              • Chris A says:

                Yeah, think of it this way, in the pre-cap days, specifically 1994, the Rangers had Sergei Nemchinov as their 4C in the playoffs. Sarge wasn’t quite the physical player that Dubi is, but he was a guy that could play some offense and shut down the opposing center.

                So, in a non-capped league, a veteran (age is important, since it dictates cap hit) like Dubi is a great asset. In a capped league, he is likely an anchor that ultimately holds a team back, since he is likely leading to cap space being poorly allocated, unless that team has amazing young talent earning very little.

        • wwpd says:

          dubinsky is a guy who is good for 40-50 pts a year and strong play at both ends of the ice. compare him to his classmates his cap hit is about that of callahan, who comes to play but for various reasons has been not as consistent, and derek stepan who is good for 50+ and cap hit is just under $1M higher (and obviously has his detractors around here); I wouldn’t say dubi’s valuation is unreasonable considering the options.

          • Chris A says:

            Dubi and Cally are carrying their almost $6M cap hits until they reach 35 years old. Stepan’s similarly priced contract expires at 31. Stepan will still be worth his cap hit at the end of his contract, Cally and Dubi are already or are about to be underwater in terms of production vs. cap hit.

            I don’t think you can afford to pay for grit in a league with a salary cap. You have to get grit for cheap, otherwise, it’s not worth it.

  4. Ranger 11 says:

    That just cracks me up. You said something at the end that I’ve always said. AV knows the team far better then any of us. I knew that would get a bunch of thumbs down. So for the people that gave the thumbs down, are you saying you know the team better then AV? I agree with what you wrote. It’s just like when you put a line together, sometimes it works great and sometimes it don’t. Some guys gel together. How many times have we seen a line with real good talented players just not seem to work out too good. Then there’s an adjustment of some sort and it works out great. When it comes to the moves the coach makes with who’s playing and who’s not, I always feel he’s the guy that sees them in practice and knows who might have an injury that’s not being told to the media. It’s funny how many coaches we have that coach from their living rooms

    • Dave says:

      Pick a username and stick with it. I edited your name to what you’ve commented as in the past.

    • Rangers_underscore says:

      I have been thinking about this for a while. The problem is what AV knows, is the problem. When he did not know the team very well the first year, he had to use what was given to him. The team played above their heads and thank you St Louis’s Mom.
      The team plays better on the road because the other teams match up to the Rangers and AV is not matching the other team.
      This again goes to show that the success AV has had was not because of his genius but, in spite of what AV does.
      His nail on his coffin is that he can’t get over the hump because of he when it’s all or nothing he shoots himself in the foot and the team.
      He has a Glass ceiling.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Should we believe you and AV or the stats and our lying eyes?

  5. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Justin, are you absolving AV of his sins?

    In all seriousness, I think it’s fair to say he has been objectively wrong about many micro decisions over the past few years. Overall, the product is very good though. So we have ourselves a delicate paradigm. At the end of the day, given the results AV’s decisions have certainly been overly dissected by all of us. Regardless, his reliance on the ‘old faithfuls’ has been maddening and I can’t help but wonder where we would be if he was less rigid with line up decisions.

    There are many that think AV got in the way of our roster and a Cup. I am not one of those people. However, I think he could have fixed a lot of flaws along the way (2014 playoffs Girardi/Stralman swap for example). Last year, Sullivan brought a lot of question marks into the fold in Pittsburgh and the team took as big a 180 as any of us have seen in quite some time. It’s tough to not want to try the same thing here. But you have to give credit where it’s due. AV is not anti youth. Look at Brady Skjei’s emergence. If AV only played established players, Josh Jooris wouldn’t have been waived and the still young Lindberg would be watching from the pressbox more often. Jesper Fast wouldn’t be given the minutes that he ‘s recieved either.

    All in all, my biggest frustration is wanting to know why some things have not been changed- Girardi’s deployment as a leading example. That said, I understand that AV does not owe us an explanation. As nice as it would be to get one, I prefer living in the dark to the Ranger’s brass showing their hand to the entire league. So while he may be vague or outright obtuse in some of his explanations/interviews, it is by design. This year has gone as well as any of us could have realistically expected. The important thing to look for is growth next year. Keep winning games, but hopefully do so in a more telling fashion. Consistency is convincing. I expect evolution towards that end over the erratic nature we have seemed to embrace in this campaign.

    • Ray says:

      There is a huge difference between what Sullivan had in Pittsburgh and what AV has in NY. Sullivan had guys like Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Letang. Yet the team wasn’t winning. Why? Two explanations – either those guys are not that great – or the supporting cast is not worthy. In some sense, deciding to revamp the supporting cast was not rocket science at all.

      The Rangers rely much more on depth. That means all the players are potentially good. Benching anyone carries a real risk.

    • Egelstein says:

      My two cents on one point you hit on, Hatrick: AV doesn’t need to give a public explanation for other coaches to be able to exploit weaknesses, when he refuses to adjust to obvious issues night-in-night-out. I presume other coaches are as aware as us fans are that AV doesn’t often make big in-game adjustments (aside from benching a younger/less-trusted player for “inefficient touches”, or minor line juggling, etc.).

      I firmly feel the Rangers had more talent on their roster overall at the time than TB did when TB hosed us in the ECFs, for example. I feel TB won due in large part to Jon Cooper’s strategy adjustments as the series went on. IMO, Jon Cooper stole AV’s lunch and ate it right in front of him, and yet AV couldn’t figure out where his lunch went. Still looking for it, far as I can tell.

      PIT, I consider a bit different…they were on fire top to bottom going into the playoffs – even with a green goalie, to add to our misery. Not sure AV could have done anything to change that series. However…I wish he would have at least tried a bit more, and Sullivan still did out-coach him. It didn’t take a Mensa member to see that PIT was simply clogging the neutral zone real early on, so a major strategy change (that didn’t really come) was needed. Not gonna blame AV fully for that tire fire, though.

      LA… I’ve never seen such a close 4-1 series, or a team catch so many bounces as LA did, or so few as the Rangers didn’t. They were a heavier team, sure, but to this day I hesitate to call them downright significantly better. They had a boatload of normally 50/50 things go straight in their direction that series. They bombarded the crease with half-assed shots that led to chaos in front that they could exploit (still their style, BTW). I do not recall barking at AV through my TV quite as much as I usually do in that series, though…perhaps because it was the first time I was really noticing some of his adjustment issues. I just feel robbed by that series more than anything else; NYR deserved better than 4-1.

      So, hey, of course nobody should put it all on the coach and I don’t either…with that said, I personally will not at all be expecting a change of approach or evolution during AVs tenure – I expect exactly the opposite; more of the same. In my eyes, he has become the walking embodiment of the old “definition of insanity” quote that I’m sure we’ve all heard a hundred times before. I still cling to hope that the talent depth, a fair share of puck luck, and a hot streak from Hank can get us further than many/any of us expect.

      And hey, if AV does lead the Rangers to a Cup, I don’t know as I’ll agree he went about it the most optimal way…and I certainly will not be born-again and singing his praises…but nonetheless, I’ll be the first to pipe down and get off his case!

  6. stevesse says:

    How do you actually quantify talent? Is it speed,vision on ice,quick hands,decisionmaking,scoring ability or some other intangeable? To say we must play our most talented lineup then becomes a trap. Buch is more talented than Glass,by far, but if a team needs someone to lead by example, Glass will be played. I will put even money he opens against Montreal because of what happened last time we played them. So then you can argue that strategy and tactics might be more effective than talent alone. When it comes to D, that’s another story.

    • SalMerc says:

      Talent is a multi-faceted character. Not easily judged. Kind of like beauty.
      You could use the score sheet, but that is only one aspect of it, but a large on nonetheless.

  7. Walt says:

    “This ultimately brings me to the Rangers. The debate over lineup decisions carries so much personal bias about the ingredients of a winning hockey team” !!!

    There are those who will state that every coach has favorites, but not to the extent that we’ve seen since AV arrived on the scene. Time and again he has played personnel who are less than optimal to say the least, who have demonstrated poor play, but is never benched for lack of performance. Then there are those who look the wrong way, and boom they are riding the pine for the balance of a game, and won’t play again for a period of time. There is absolutely no accountability with this coach, he sees what he wants to see, and ignores what should be seen by an objective eye!!!

    I can see sometimes one is forced to make moves that backfire on you, but to make consistent poor moves, due to loyalty, and or favorites, that is asinine!!! I’ve stated this too many times, such that I sound like a broken record, but this coach, as good as his record may be, will never deliver us to the cup!!!!!!

    There is a nucleus of quality players on this team who are under utilized, while some over the hill players get way too over utilized………….

    • Chris F says:

      Homework / therapy assignment for you, Walt.

      Before tonight’s game, think of 3 nice things to say about AV.

      • pas44 says:

        He is Bi-Lingual,wears nice suits & has a full head of hair.

        he has also brought teams to the Stanley Cup finals…

      • Walt says:

        I can’t, sorry!!! And I won’t until he addresses the post above by Englestein, who present the facts better than I do!!!!!

    • Rangers_underscore says:

      I have been thinking about this for a while. The problem is what AV knows, is the problem. When he did not know the team very well the first year, he had to use what was given to him. The team played above their heads and thank you St Louis’s Mom.
      The team plays better on the road because the other teams match up to the Rangers and AV is not matching the other team.
      This again goes to show that the success AV has had was not because of his genius but, in spite of what AV does.
      His nail on his coffin is that he can’t get over the hump because of he when it’s all or nothing he shoots himself in the foot and the team.
      He has a Glass ceiling.

  8. HOF 19 says:

    Be nice if they could get some sort of roll going in these last regular season games going into the playoffs……LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  9. Ray says:

    One reason why you don’t see character teams winning is because you don’t want to. IMO, the Rangers have been consistently better than the LA Kings for a number of years. Ditto the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yet those teams have had more heart. This has led to better playoff success and the perception that the teams are actually better. Bottom line: If you refuse to believe that the lesser team actually won a series, you will never see it happen.

    Also, IMO, Tampa Bay was the opponent of four most outclassed by the Pens last year. The whole series was seemingly played in their defensive zone. And yet, they alone got to play seven games. Because they believed that just because the Pens were better, it wasn’t certain that the Pens would win. In contrast, the Rangers got off to a bad start, Lundqvist quit, and the team quickly followed.

    The Ranger are hard to fathom. They beat a superior Pens team a couple years back when Hank willed them to victory. Yet in more recent series, they have not been so resilient.

  10. Ray says:

    Justin,

    One critical thing we miss is that hockey stats are not baseball stats. Sabrmetrics identifies the best players in baseball. Hockey is different. The stats coincide with success to a certain extent. But they miss things. Unlike baseball, there are ways to be a statistical darling in hockey while not being good (and I’m not talking about chemistry). There are also ways to be statistically weak and be a good player.

    We don’t know that Dan Girardi is not a good player. We only know some stats point in that direction.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t need stats to show Girardi can’t cut it anymore. He gave a lot to this team, and we should be forever grateful, but he’s not a viable option today.

      • paulronty says:

        He’s a viable option for AV and in the end that affects outcome more than what we think, as we are just fans who see things differently(at least some of us do) than the coach. It makes no difference to my view if someone says” he knows the players better than you.” That’s sort of like people who come to therapy and say “you can’t really help me because you’re not me.” SELF-awareness is a slippery slope & antecedant to awareness of the other.

        • Ray says:

          Agree, I think. Dave has his perspective and AV has his. What is dangerous is being certain that you are right when there is a strong argument against you. I believe that if strong hockey minds such as the Ranger coach and management think that Girardi is better than Clendening and you believe that Clendening is a decent player, then you don’t actually KNOW that Girardi is not a good player. It is just a personal assessment which may or may not be right. OTOH, with so many criticizing Girardi, AV should also be open to the idea that he can’t play.

          It is important to remember though that one wins by making more good choices than bad ones, not by avoiding errors altogether. The Rangers have made many personnel errors – some by ineptitude and some by luck. Fact is, the Rangers would have been well-served to trade Mike Sauer before he got hurt. But certainly no one appreciated the wisdom of such a move at the time. My point is that the notion of doing everything right is just plain crazy and one wins by making more smart moves than dumb ones, not by avoiding errors of judgment entirely. [and not worrying about yesterday’s errors. Did Hank, Girardi, Staal, Stralman merit long term deals? It really doesn’t matter anymore. The deals that were signed exist and Stralman is gone and it is time to worry about maximizing the current team.]

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            Ray, your backdoor logic, at times, reminds me of when I was younger and would read books with alternate endings (turn to page 42 if Mark decides jump off the moving train; turn to page 79 if he decides to stop it and save all of the passengers on board).

            “I believe that if strong hockey minds such as the Ranger coach and management think that Girardi is better than Clendening and you believe that Clendening is a decent player, then you don’t actually KNOW that Girardi is not a good player.”

            You can know whether or not Girardi is a good player or not irregardless of Clendenning existing. All you have to do is watch Girardi in order to form an opinion on Girardi.

            As an aside, and on more of a serious note, I know everyone has varying opinions on #fancystats…. but if, for example, after 50 games if Clendenning is on for 1000 shot attempts for and 800 against (+200) and Girardi is on for 600 shot attempts for and 1100 against (-500), doesn’t that begin to tell us something about the effectiveness of the two. For simplicity, lets say they play with the same partner, have the same zone starts and play against the same caliber of player. While I fully admit that shot attempts do not tell us even close to the whole story, can we agree that it is an indicator of how the two influence the game?

            • paulronty says:

              For simplicity, lets say they play with the same partner, have the same zone starts and play against the same caliber of player.

              The problem is that this is likely to never be true, since you can’t control who they are playing with or against. In stats, results are only meaningful if you can control all possible confabulating variables. That’s why in research they try to control for gender, socioeconomic status and various other factors that could influence results.

              • Hatrick Swayze says:

                Let’s start with theory. We can progress to reality from there. In my example, in a vacuum, “can we agree that it is an indicator of how the two influence the game?”

              • paulronty says:

                I suppose we could, if we both believed that the theory is valid. But in research & statistics, theories are just that, unless they withstand objective empirical evaluation.

              • Hatrick Swayze says:

                But I’m asking- do you believe that shot attempts over a long period of time tell us a bit about how players influence the game?

              • Ray says:

                Last season, shot attempts indicated that Toronto, arguably the worst team in the NHL, was better than Washington, arguably the best team. So I am not certain that there is necessarily any useful information there without adjusting for other variables.

                Now, if a coach designs his systems to maintain puck possession and his team has poor shot numbers, then yes there is a problem.

            • Ray says:

              Hatrick, let me start by saying that I have respect for you and nothing I say below is directed at you personally. I’m trying to make a strong argument and, having written it, notice that it is not particularly tactful. Sorry about that, but i hope you will read it in the spirit in which it was written.

              Let’s start with the notion that Clendening’s existence is irrelevant. Truly absurd. You cannot assess a player in a vacuum. Girardi makes good plays and he makes mistakes. Does he make a lot of mistakes? Well, what does a lot mean? You really have to know how many mistakes other players make, don’t you. So you have to think about other players.

              Now obviously Girardi is way better than you or I, but that is an unfair comparison. So I bring up Adam Clendening, a player most here at BSB view as a legitimate NHL defenseman and so a fair test of whether or not Girardi really suck. I might not go quite as far as Eddie here, but Eddie would say, I think, that nearly all of those people paid to make hockey decisions would agree that Girardi is a better defenseman than Clendo is.

              Which brings up the question, why is it that you are so smart – that you can just tell by watching Girardi? That you don’t even need evidence!

              Now, I have no doubt that there are things that all sixty GMs and coaches can agree on which are flat out wrong. And I also believe that some of things are things on which you disagree with the professional position. It even may be that one of the things that you are right about is the skill level of Dan Girardi.

              BUT I do think one should be careful about positions that those who are supposed to know better than you disagree with you on. One needs real evidence.

              As for your last paragraph, I don’t know what it means. Interestingly, we never get that kind of evidence (discounting the only real comparison we have – that Hank has been consistently out-performed by his backup for four years).

              I agree that there is information in shot attempts. However, the problem is that the game is not decided by shot attempts. And, sometimes part of the picture tells you less than nothing. For example, in basketball, does height matter? of course it does. You certainly would pick taller players in a vacuum. And yet, are taller NBA players better than shorter ones. Well, not really, because shorter ones need to be better to get into the league and so it all evens out.

              Likewise in hockey. Possession stats highlight the strengths of a Keith Yandle and ignore the strengths of a Dan Girardi, while ignoring the weaknesses of Yandle and highlighting the weaknesses of Girardi. I mean, these stats actually penalize Girardi for blocking shots.
              Yet Florida got Yandle for nothing and went from a first place team to a lottery team. Meanwhile, based on last year’s possession stats, everyone here seemed to think the Rangers would struggle to make the playoffs AND THAT with the assumption that the Rangers would get good gaoltending. [Please acknowledge that, no matter what you think of Hank’s career going forward, this was a poor year.]

              Here is my bottom line: The NY Rangers are a very good team. People here really do not have a good grasp of why that is. And as long as you don’t know why they are good, it is risky to identify elements that the coach believes in as absolute definite weaknesses.

              We do know that they are not a good team because they excel at possession stats — and we also know that a team can be good year after year without excelling at possession stats.

              • Hatrick Swayze says:

                No offense taken, and appreciate the perspective. Will try to dig into this later, but right now it is time to run out of the office and get to the gym before puck drop.

                Let’s both watch Girardi closely tonight. Specificially 3 areas- decisions with the puck, winning board battles, d zone coverage. Hopefully find time to chat about in the future. Enjoy!

          • paulronty says:

            Errors are unavoidable since no one has perfect knowledge of what the effect of their action might be. However, it is important to learn what those errors are & strive to change one’s behaviour to increase the probability of success. The great therapist Milton Erickson used to say that there were no mistakes in therapy, only outcomes. His implication was that if you made a judgement & then made an intervention, observe the outcome & if you didn’t get what you want, try something else. If you keep doing the same thing & it’s not working, but you do it longer, louder & harder, thinking it will work, then that is neurotic behaviour, doomed to fail. As a previous thread by Dave addressed–a good coach needs to put people in a position to succeed. There has to be a belief by the players that the coach is fair & has everyone’s welfare at heart. There can be little chemistry without that kind of leadership.

            • Ray says:

              In light of your comment, may I pose the following question. If you have three roughly equal right defensemen, who do you put on the first pair?

              I actually don’t think there are such hard and fast rules for coaches. Scotty Bowman once said “I don’t care if the players like me. I care if they like one another.” As a group, the players only want the coach to be trying to win, no more no less.

              As for my question, the answer is the guy who can most suck it up, the guy who, when he gets burned by Sidney Crosby doesn’t lose any sleep over it. The Rangers don’t have a right Dman who belongs on the ice with Crosby or Malkin. But Girardi can play against those guys and do his best, never losing his confidence when the puck goes in the net against him and certainly not if they keep the puck in the zone. There are defensemen that Crosby can break. Can Crosby break Clendening? I don’t know, but I think AV does not want to find out.

              • Reenavipul says:

                Your last sentence is why AV will never get the team over the hump.

                A game that means nothing where he has the opportunity to throw a black ace like Clendo against the best in the league and see whether he can sink or swim. What did he do? Had him sit and rolled out the guys who he already knew and got the same old outcome.

  11. Peter says:

    Free energy in thermo chemistry:

    Δ G = Δ H − T Δ S

  12. HOF 19 says:

    OK Rangers Lets win us a game tonight…AAANND outplay the other team……NOW THERE’S A CONCEPT !!!!!!!!!….LETS…….GO…….RANGERS !!!!!!!!!