Friday, January 9, 2009

A reminder that there's a competitive aspect to the game

After a recent road loss, coach Todd McLellan announced to his Pacific Division-leading SJ Sharks that they'd be returning to the visitor's arena the next morning for a brief, but intense practice.

As this article puts it, it was a "non-stop, 35-minute reminder that talent is wasted if effort isn't there. [Coach] McLellan and his staff set up a series of exercises that reduced the sport to its basics while driving home the point that hard work is required every night."

Said one SJ player: "At this stage, you shouldn't need a little kick in the ass to get you going, but sometimes you do, I guess."

"As a coaching staff, we spend probably too much time working on systems... and we forget that there's that competitive aspect to the game — the one-on-one battles, the back check, preventing turnovers," said Coach McLellan. "We had a chance to work on that this morning. It was a work day for us. Nobody takes any satisfaction in thinking it was a punishment skate by any means. It was something we needed to do, the guys competed hard, and we'll move on now."