Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In short NHL season, coaching even bigger key

When Dave Andreychuk recalls the start of the 48-game season after the 1994-95 lockout, he speaks of sloppy play — "Nobody could make a pass" — and players who did not pay as much attention to conditioning as today's bent over their sticks in cardiovascular agony.

"We were dropping like flies," said the former Lightning captain, who at the time played for the Maple Leafs. "It was really tough for us."

What Andreychuk recalls most vividly, though, is coach Pat Burns managing players even more than he did before, from using rest as a weapon to reminding them that in a short season, losing streaks and bad habits cannot take hold.

Andreychuk, now the Lightning's vice president of fans and business development, even spoke about it to Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher.

"Not letting a snowball roll down the hill to where you lose four or five in a row," Andreychuk said. "That to me is the biggest thing. You really have to shake off a loss and forget about it by the time you get in your car."

"It relies on the coaching staff a lot. Really, a lot of it is on (the coach), to how he practices the team, how he gets them to rest, and then mentally how you handle wins and losses."

Boucher said he began that process during the six-day training camp. For example, he allowed Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone to skip Thursday's 20-minute scrimmage.

As for managing emotions during a 48-game season everyone expects will be a sprint to the playoffs, Boucher said, "For me, the big word is 'compensate.' You have to compensate from doing extremely well. We have to be calm and demand more from ourselves, and when we don't do well, be very positive and compensate for the negative and build on the small victories we have during losses and bad moments."

Consider the message he relayed to players before Saturday's opener against the Capitals:

"We're actually in a better position now than we were the last two seasons," with 48 games remaining, Boucher said. "That is positive. We decide the perception we're going to get, and right now, we like it."

In short NHL season, coaching even bigger key 01/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF opens preseason workouts with defensive improvement a priority

    College

    TAMPA — To prevent preseason wear on his three normal practice fields, new USF coach Charlie Strong is staging the first phase of the 2017 preseason on the fields used by the original Bulls two decades ago.

  2. Spieth has suddenly made the PGA Championship a lot more interesting

    Pga

    SOUTHPORT, England — Now that the PGA Championship in Charlotte next month has gone from a big deal to a big-big deal because of Jordan Spieth, there is no telling where he might lead us. On Sunday, of course, he led us way up a dune.

    Jordan Spieth celebrates an eagle during his U.S. Open victory.
  3. In Twitter rant, Bucs' Gerald McCoy says he's unappreciated

    Bucs

    Gerald McCoy is feeling underappreciated again. He says somebody has crossed the line this time. He's speaking out and suggesting he might be gone "soon enough" from Tampa Bay.

    Photo Illustration RON BORRESEN   |   Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Gerald McCoy may be upset that Ronde Barber said a defensive leader “has to have a huge personality’’ like Warren Sapp’s. Monday, Barber walked that back.
  4. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"

    Blogs

    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  5. What are the odds the Rays trade for Brad Hand or Pat Neshek?

    Blogs

    In each of the last three seasons, the Rays have been sellers at the trade deadline. They shipped away David Price in 2014, got rid of David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen in 2015 and flipped Matt Moore, Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer in 2016.

    Padres left-hander Brad Hand has excelled in his two years with the team.