Call(s) for Help!

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We have gone from this:

To this:

To now this:

What if frustrated coach Peter DeBoer needed some advice?  How would the conversations go if he called on former coaches and general managers Uncle Jack (Jacques Martin), and Mike Keenan?  Well, here’s how the two calls could have gone.

Pete:  Hey Jacques, how’s things?

JM: Hi Pete.  Well ting are ok.  We have a  bit of a tuff time in the beginning, but I tink we get going now.

Pete:  I need to ask you some questions. I’m really frustrated

JM: I know. Tings are tuff for you, but it will be ok.  What can I do for you?

Pete:  I’ve tried everything to get these guys to have a good start to the games.  They just don’t seem to be prepared.  What would you suggest?

JM: You have to keep remind them that they can get the job done, and that if they focus on defense everyting will take care of itself.  Don’t show too much emotion.  Keep a straight face.

Pete:  What about Horton?  I can’t seem to get him going and we really need him to be someone to count on.

JM: Natan is  good athelete and has good character. That why we draft him.  Keep him on first line, don’t upset him cause he will play worse.

Pete: Hmmm, ok, what about the goaltending?  Vokoun is always mad, and wants to blame the defense, and the lack of offensive pressure.  He’s tired of all the shots he’s facing.

JM:  Look, I give up 2 draft pick for him.  Stick wit him.  He’s a leader and play better when he’s mad.  If the defense keep playing the system that you have, collapsing in front and allowing the shot from beyond the circle he will have more time to make the save.  Don’t pressure the shooter.  Sit back on the D.

Pete:  One last thing Jacques.  How can we hold on to the lead at the end of games?

JM:  The secret with that Pete is short shift.  When the team is in their own zone, chip the puck out, have one of the forward waiting at the redline, and then he should dump it into the other zone.  Then get that line off for an change.  This way you are ready defensively with all the player back on the ice, in position.  And you have fresh player on the ice.

Pete: Yea, but what about offensive pressure?

JM:  No, can’t have dat with a lead in the tird period.  Defense I tell you.  Also, if you dress seven defencemen, you can use him on the fort line as a wing.  He can give one of the oter guys a rest.  You know cause you don’t have Jay anymore to eat all those minutes.  Allright, Pete, I have to go and have lunch with the little one’s.  I mean Gionta, Gomez and Cammalleri.  Good luck.

DeBoer still feeling unsatisfied decides to call former Panther Coach and GM Mike Keenan, for maybe a different point of view.

Pete: Hi Mike, I tried talking to Jacques Martin, but I’m not sure he was helpful.  What should I do to turn this around?

Mike:  Practice tomorrow at 7:00 am.  And when you get there, before you go on the ice, start throwing stuff, like chairs, sticks, pucks, whatever is in your reach.

Pete:  But I gave them the day off.

Mike:  Tough shit.  Tell Kitchen to call everyone right now and tell them to be at the rink at 7:00 AM.  I’m sure he’s not working on how to improve the defence.

Pete: Well, ok, what should we do at practice?  Anything special?

Mike:  Laps.  For 45 minutes.  No pucks.   These guys are not in shape.  That was always a problem when I was there.  The youngsters love to go to  friggin South Beach.  They apparently haven’t gone through the maturation process yet.

Pete:  Then what?

Mike:  Throw some more sticks, yell about something.  Make an example out of one of the players.  Then a 3 mile run around Sawgrass Mills Shopping Center.  The public seeing that should embarasses them.  They need to realize that they have to improve the way they play.  Right now they’re average.  Anybody can be average.  It takes a special type of player to be above average.

Pete: Uh, ok.   What about the Sunrise Express Line.  They are struggling.  How should I get them going?

Mike:  I don’t like keeping lines together.  That’s crap.  Grap Horton by the collar and wake his friggin ass up.  Tell him that if he doesn’t start playing like a man, he’s sitting in the press box. Drop that  little shit Stevie Weiss to the third line, and switch Booth and Frolik.  And for godsakes, stop dressing that foreigner Koistenenenen as a forward.  He’s a defenceman.

Pete:  What if that doesn’t work. How long should I give it?

Mike:  Find a player that loves to play for you and that won a championship with you as coach.  Those guys love playing for a coach where they won.  If you can’t find anybody maybe I can get Stephane Matteau ready for you. He won a cup with me on the Rangers, and he followed me everywhere.  You’ve got to make them realize that there are consequences for their actions.  They need accountability and enjoy being told when they’ve done something wrong.  But it’s how you tell them that gets the message across.  If you’re mad let them know.  Bang some stuff.  Tell them that they aren’t good enough, and that the only reason they’re here is because you don’t have anyone else to take their place.  They appreciate that.

Pete:  Sounds kind a rough.

Mike:  Get  sports psychologist then.  Losing is a disease and habit forming.  Maybe they’ve tuned you out already.  If it’s  not them, it’s gonna be you who gets tossed, so be careful.  You can’t trade all 20 players.

Pete:  Mike, I thought we had something last year, but now I don’t know.  We seem to be going backwards.  I really need something to energize them.  The fans are getting annoyed and I’ve even asked Randy Sexton if we can make some kind of trade.

Mike:  Trade?  Are you friggin kidding?  Who wants those grunts?  Plus half of them have contracts that are way more than what they’re worth.  Boy Jacques did a real number on your team.  You’re probably going to have to just suck it up and get the first or second pick in the draft and start over.

Pete:  You mean tank the season?

Mike:  Hell no!  You can’t tank the season.  They just arent good enough to make the playoffs, so you’ll probably end up with a top 1 or 2 draft pick cause they’re so bad.

Pete:  Well if that should happen who should we take.

Mike:  Won’t matter.  Randy will probably trade it the night before the draft for Lyle Odeline.

Pete:  I  thought he retired? The organization wouldn’t do something stupid like that would they?

Mike:  They signed Cory Stillman didn’t they.  Look Pete, I gotta run and do the pregame for the Rangers.  Good luck with this mess.  Call me anytime, but if I was you, I’d start putting a resume together.  If this keeps up, ownership will blame you.  They’ll never admit these players suck.  Nice talking to you.

NOTE:  IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, AND I WILL FOLLOW UP LATER TODAY, I TRULY HOPE THAT DAVID BOOTH IS OK.  HE TOOK A VICIOUS HIT FROM MIKE RICHARDS LAST NIGHT, AND HE COULD BE OUT FOR AWHILE.  THIS POST WAS PREPARED EARLIER IN THE DAY SATURDAY, LONG BEFORE THE FLYER GAME.  I FELT THAT THE HUMOUR WOULD BE A GOOD THING.

BEST WISHES DAVID.  SEE YOU ON THE ICE SOON.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers.