• Coach Kevin

There's no " i " in team ...

Like all sports, hockey is a team game. It takes everyone executing their roles to win on a regular basis. If one or two lines are playing well, but the other two are not (or vice versa), or say the offense is playing well, but the defense (or goaltending) is not, it's hard to be a consistently, good team.

While goal scorers or flashy goaltending play often are what fans remember, it's the repetitive small area battles that ultimately decide the outcome of the game. In fact, it's often the little things that don't show up on the scoresheet; good defensive zone outlet passes, a timely pinch to keep the puck in the offensive zone, solid backchecking, or a blocked shoot... etc., etc... that usually tilt the balance.

Small plays like backchecking are bigger than you think

As an individual player you are part of the bigger collective and you need to do your job each and every shift to help the team win. Some games your play may get you the glory and other times it may not but understand each and every shift matters and executing even the smallest play on a given shift may be the difference between a win and a loss. This attention to detail is what separates average players and average teams from great players and great teams, Additionally, teams need players with complimentary skill sets to be effective.

It takes all kinds of players to make a good team. Teams need offensively gifted players, stay at home, defensive-minded players, players with size, players with speed, gritty players that can win board battles. For every offensively gifted player like a David Pastrnak or Patrick Kane, you need a Patrice Bergeron or Johnathan Toews that are

Pasta & Bergy... it takes all kinds to make a team

responsible and effective in not only the offensive zone, but also the neutral and defensive zones as well. Diversity of skill sets help balance out a team and also provides a compliment to a line mate who may be deficient in a certain area of his (or her game).

This attention to detail, and making sure there is focus on each shift and even the smallest play is not only important during the regular season but is even more critical come playoff time when the stakes rise. For teams that want to have playoff success or win a championship every member of the team needs to know their role matters. So whether you're the first line center of the 4th line winger you have a job to do and your play on each shift will absolutely influence the outcome of the game.

Play hard, play smart, trust your line mates to do the same and play to your skills and strengths.