Posted by Greg Carter
Stanley Cup Playoffs in September? Of course, it’s 2020 and odd as it is, there are some great lessons to be learned by youth hockey players as they start their season.
Great Teams Find A Way To Win One Goal Games
In the Dallas Stars and Vegas Knights series it just seemed like Dallas had the confidence and puck luck to score in key situations. Being down two goals in Game 5, one might wonder if they are thinking ‘it’s all good, we’ve got three kicks at the can’. Wrong. Instead, they get a timely goal, followed by another, and then the series winning goal in overtime. Good teams never give up. Good teams work hard every shift. Good teams find a way to win one goal games.
Great Players Make Great Plays
Whether it’s a spectacular save, a good, clean, hard hit, a great pass or an incredible goal, these playoffs have been another example of great players rising to the occasion to make great plays in pursuit of ultimate success. As we’ve talked about in past articles, none of these passes, saves or shots come without 10,000 hours of practice and plenty of pain. If you want to make the great play, make sure you are putting in the time in practice and regular skill training.
Shuffling Lines Is Not The End of The World
When a coach makes a tactical decision to shuffle up the lines it is done in an effort to win. In youth hockey, it is usually overreacted to and equated to either a promotion or demotion. In fact, it’s about creating chemistry and putting players together who are playing a similar game. This can change from week to week and there is nothing wrong with playing alongside a mix of players. Good players adapt and find a way to be successful.
The Third Period Is Important
This seems obvious, but when teams have a lead in the third and start watching the time on the clock, bad things can happen. A goal counts the same in the final few minutes as it does at the start of the game. Much like running a marathon when the last few miles can destroy everything accomplished to that point, hockey players need to play 60 minutes. Or in the case of The Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets, players need to play a five-overtime game!
Indeed, just like everything in 2020, September Stanley Cup Playoffs are odd. But as a youth hockey player, use the energy and excitement to inspire the start of your season. To everyone that attended our camps this summer, thank you! And thanks for reading and best of luck with the start of your season!